Role of the media
What is media responsibility?
To get information across to a large audience, we use the media: communication channels such as news, music, movies, education and promotional messages. Media incorporates physical and online newspapers and magazines, television, radio, billboards, telephone, the Internet, fax and billboards.
Usually the media is used to report on something that has happened, is of concern or of interest. When challenging issues that require reflection are reported, they can make for great reading, and lead on to some well-needed action.
But, news outlets also have a bias, reporting what they perceive to be of interest to its audience or owners. It is not unusual to have a spin on reported topics, particularly if they are sensational in nature. Often therefore, newsworthy items do not get reported because they are not deemed suitable to that newspaper’s audience. So that audience misses out on items which could have been of interest to them.
So, what is the role of the media?
For us out there in the world, if information is relayed in a certain way, then an assumption of authenticity exists.
Is there such a thing called responsibility of the media?
Is the role of the media to research hardcore issues and present them in a proper, unbiased manner to the public at large? Or is the nature of reporting such that sensational issues, criminal activities, gossip, rumours, sports and entertainment news take precedent?
Does this tell us that we assume our audience cannot engage with anything other than what is presented to them?
How have we come to that conclusion?
Is it time to test the assumption? Is our audience really simply not interested?
Let us consider the rise of the social media. It is rampant, and we have an increasing audience engaged in knowing about others’ tidbits. It lets you look intimately into someone’s life, comment and participate. Hours are happily spent in this pursuit with the mind constantly ‘disengaged’. Social media such as Facebook, have become a huge part of life’s everyday.
What interests the public today are tidbits of individuals’ lives. Given this trend, have hardcore issues become a thing of the past?
The news is reported to sell newspapers and air-time. I believe that newspapers have a responsibility to cover news issues that are real and pertinent.
The issues that we face today will determine our future and our New Zealand of tomorrow. These issues may not be sensational or tidbits, but they are real and here to stay. They will have a greater impact on our lives than rumours and gossip.
Newspapers are more than interesting headlines
Working as a columnist, I have been bringing immigration issues to the forefront and creating discussion which otherwise may not have been possible. Newspapers should be commended for giving space for such issues to be brought into the public domain. I believe this is, in fact, the role of the media.