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Media Positive Functions and Risks for Democracy

2021-11-09 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

51Due教员组今天给各位留学生带来一篇纯原创代写传媒范文,本文将分析媒体在现代社会中对民主的积极作用和挑战。希望这篇可以帮助到各位留学生,同时需要代写也可以直接联系我们51Due客服vx(vx:Jenny_dynh)进行咨询。

Introduction

As the “fourth pillar of democracy”, there has a close relationship between media and democracy for years. “The power of the media in a democracy comes from it being the 'watchdog' of society, the 'fourth estate', supplementing the other three pillars of democracy - the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary - by providing the necessary checks and balances on issues that concern the masses”. (Saeed 2009). Each technological change in human history has provided the technical driving force for the development of democracy, political life and the distribution of power. Previously, shared new information source is from the news media (Rensberger 2007). In modern society, the development of Internet has brought two kinds of noticeable phenomena, namely the social networking and network socialization. Social media has influenced society widely and deeply. Social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have more influences when compared to traditional media. With characteristics including large audience participation, convenient communication and rich communication carrier, media has not only become an important platform for information dissemination, but also an active carrier in the process of democratic construction. The rapid development of media has contributed to a series of positive functions of democracy in the global political environment. On the other hand, however, there are some risks and challenges between media and global democracy. This paper will conduct an analysis of the positive functions and challenges for democracy brought by media in modern society.


Media Positive Functions for Democracy

Media in modern society has its new decentralized characteristic in network, which also has fragmentation characteristic in transmission and form. The characteristics make modern media break the traditional transmission model and promote the democracy to a multiple mode. The main positive functions brought by media for the progress of democracy can be concluded as follows.


Modern media has widened the channels for people to be involved in democracy participation. In modern politics, the most important issue leads to the political participation, regardless of the rich participation forms. Political participation refers to the behavior that citizens voluntarily participate in the social and political events through various legal channels or influence the political decision-making directly or indirectly. In modern society, political participation is not only the need for citizens to express their political attitudes, but also an important supporting condition for the effective operation of the democracy. In democracy construction, it is essential to ensure sufficient political participation of citizens. In traditional media age, political participation abilities and channels are extremely limited. In modern age, new media has managed to become a good channel for citizens to expand their political participation for democracy.


The available forms and convenient participation channels created by media has largely promoted the democracy awareness of average citizens. In modern society, average citizens are able to express their voices and opinions through media platforms. In face of different political issues and events, more citizens are willing to give more attention and propose more suggestions. Following this tendency, the openness of media has enhanced the democracy awareness and motivated their active behavior to be involved in political life.


Media provides a platform for collecting public opinions. With the expansion of political participation and the promotion of democracy awareness, public opinion is becoming more and more important in social politics. Media is becoming the public sphere for public opinion, attracting citizens to participate in social and political life with a strong sense of responsibility and enthusiasm. When government aims to formulate new bills, it can collect public opinion on social media platforms and adjust the bills based on citizen voices and practical needs. The arrangements for the public holidays have also been widely solicited through new media. In national democracy, citizens are playing a more and more important role for better results. The wide participation from citizens has also promoted the constant development of modern media, producing a positive interaction between media and democracy.


Media plays a role in promoting democracy reform. From the perspective of government, media was originally used as a propaganda tool. However, the development of new media has quickly broken out from the pure propaganda tool positioning and promote the bidirectional interaction between media and democracy. In this process, government and administration departments gradually develop political ideas for more openness, transparency and service awareness. The citizens are transformed from passive participation to active political participators. Media also plays a role in the supervision of the democracy. With the original characteristics carries by media, this kind of supervision is more convenient and influential. At the same time, media has promoted citizens’ political participation in democracy, and the government has been constantly adapting to the democracy influences from media by reforming its functions and delegating more power to the citizens.


Media Risks and Challenges for Democracy

While rejoicing in the great media promotion function for democracy, it is essential to be aware of the irrational and impetuous risks and challenges.


The digital gap has hindered wide democracy for many citizens. The digital gap can be interpreted as the the division between the information wealthy citizens and the information poor citizens. In general, the digital gap is the huge difference between the ability of information acquisition and dissemination. The existence of the digital gap is significantly influential in many developing countries like China. In developing countries, there are economic inequality development problems between the rich and the poor, thus the digital gap has more negative effects in these countries. The lower social class or disadvantaged citizens have natural disadvantage in the information dissemination in media, limited by conditions and cost. This leads to their disadvantageous position in democratic participation level, democratic ability and awareness through the democracy process. Accordingly, it makes it difficult for these people to be effectively protected in aspect of democracy. Media has broadened channel for democracy, but the willingness of the whole social groups cannot be fully expressed. The willingness is possible to be repressed and restricted due to the bias of media audience.


The disordered media environment may reduce citizens’ political participation intention in democracy. The anonymity, freedom and other characteristics of media has brought similar features in democracy. In the new media environment, almost everyone is able to express their own opinions in accordance with their own willingness and manners. In this process, there are ineffective censorship and inspection. The huge amount of digital information makes this kind of control and monitoring more difficult, and it also makes it difficult for the general public to distinguish information rationally. The flood of false information in media information dissemination often makes people confused. There are some people or groups with ulterior intentions who post false information on media platforms, causing great social impacts like social panic or unrest. This will not only affect the democratic political construction of the whole society, but will also arouse suspicion and mistrust among citizens. The citizens may also lose the participation willingness and confidence of democratic activities.


Democracy identification awareness of the citizens is largely impacted by media information. Due to media’s globality and openness, people using media can easily reach every corner of the world, where different thought and ideology gather and contradict. This can bring unexpected challenges, doubt and suspicions of a nation's mainstream political culture and the existing behavior model. More seriously, this will lead to the unbalance for political thinking and moral concepts. These conditions will weaken the centripetion of the existing democracy, make people feel alienated from the reality, and impact the political identity of media participants. Therefore, how to achieve democracy identification through global media transmission is the main focus in modern media environment.


Suggestions for Promoting Democracy Progress in Media Age

In the new media environment, the construction of democracy shows new features and some inevitable risks and challenges. New media is the result of social and technological progress. Following this tendency, it is better to make strategies for promoting democracy in new media age.


Government should actively develop media and protect citizens' speech freedom. With the advancement of science and technology, media forms will be further enriched and enhanced. In promoting democracy, government should be fully aware of the role of media and create more space for media development. Rational instruction is needed to avoid aggressive opinions. The government can make full use of the characteristics of media, to guarantee citizens' willingness expression abilities.

Only if the citizens’ opinions are unimpeded, will public opinions be truly reflected. Thus the government can take measures to promote democracy based on the interest the overwhelming majority of the people.


The deeper the democratic political construction goes, the higher demand for government information disclosure will occur from citizens. Government agencies are reasonable to accept the supervision of the people and make the government information transparent to citizens. In modern media age, the rational use of media can effectively and quickly realize government information disclosure. This is not only the expression of the government's service enhancement, but also provides more available channels for citizens to have better democratic participation.


Conclusion

The emergence and development of media in modern society has overturned the traditional one-way transmission model for political information and provided more opportunities for citizens to be involved in democracy construction. According to Saeed (2009), “It is hard to conceive of a strong democracy without placing communication at the centre of things”. The media transmission characteristics have produced certain negative effects. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly recognize the influences of media. By giving full play to its positive role and eliminating the adverse factors of media, it can be used to create a better environment for democracy construction.


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