Mass Media with the Masses and the Politicians!

A country like India with the population of one billion where direct democracy holds no existence, here the media’s roles begin to bridge the gap between the masses and the politician’s. What is direct democracy? Direct democracy is a political system where the citizens participate in the decision making personally, contrary to relying on intermediaries or representatives. 

India with the population of one billion out of which 25% of people live below poverty line and other half is largely rural population. Masses of a country like this would ever know what their so-called representatives or politicians have in store for them. All the act, laws, bills, and amendments made by Indian government are hardly known to the masses.

Media can play a vital role in taking up these rules and regulations from the government to the masses. Until unless people know about the policies of the government, masses can’t interact with government therefore firstly media has to make the masses aware about the laws and the rules pertaining to their rights so that masses get power to raise their voice. 

Media should take up the problems of the general public to the government. If media does this it would give power to the general public to make their problems heard to the government. The things which are on paper as rule but are hardly applied to our daily life one such example is about the bribe which always government officials ask for. And on the other hand a government official never forgets to write the note “if some ask for money please call on this number……..”But are these numbers really functional? The answer I got is no, these phone number when dialled are never received or a voice will hamper you saying “the no. you are trying does not exist”. In democratic country where media has whole-sole power can get applied these on paper rules into reality.

Corruption-free governance is a basic human right and the media has a big role to play in helping citizens enforce this right. Programs like citizen journalists recently launched by network 18 should be encouraged in other channels also so that people can come up with their problems and media could act as a middleman between the governments the masses in getting the problems solved. In this way media can prove itself also as problem solvers rather than problem makers.

It is also important to study the interaction between the structure of the society, the political institutions and the mass media. The media appears to have a significant role in the formation of political opinions. The mass media have the power to support or to shake the institutional power of political institutions. The 'public opinion' of political decisions is influenced by the media. The amount of programmed time and column space, as well as the quality and nature of the publicity that a political line or argument gets, are important factors in modern politics. The media can also directly influence the degree of ideological and organizational power that political institutions have. If they choose to support the political elite, they may form, together with the decision-makers of the country, a very powerful machinery of political propaganda. The mass media, and especially the press, are traditionally seen as the opposition of the power elite. What institution or which parts of the society take the media's place in this important social play, if the media decide to "go over to the enemy"? The media can either be active, relatively independent actors of the political communication or the governments' marionettes.   


More by :  Suchita Jain

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