Thursday, January 23, 2020

Media Influence On Public Policy Essay -- politics, government

Policymaking is a political process which is affected by various social and economic factors (Hofferbert, 1974) and media systems play an integral role in shaping the social context in which policies are developed. Through the media, citizens learn how government policies will affect them, and governments gain feedback on their policies and programs. Media systems act as the primary channels between those who might want to influence policy and the policymakers '' controlling the scope of political discourse and regulating the flow of information. Textbook policymaking follows an orderly sequence where problems are identified, solutions devised, policies adopted, implemented, and lastly evaluated (Mazamanian & Sabatier, 1989). In reality, the policy process is more fluid, where policies are formed through the struggle of ideas of various advocacy coalitions (Sabatier, 1991) in what has been described as a policy primeval soup (Kingdon, 1995). The policies, on which the media focuses can, and often does, play an important part in determining the focal issues for policymakers. One of the fundamental roles of the media in a liberal democracy is to critically scrutinise governmental affairs: that is to act as a watchdog of government to ensure that the government can be held accountable by the public. However, the systematic deregulation of media systems worldwide is diminishing the ability of citizens to meaningfully participate in policymaking process governing the media (McChesney, 2003, p. 126). The relaxation of ownership rules and control, has resulted in a move away from diversity of production to a situation where media ownership is becoming increasing concentrated by just a few predominantly western global conglomerates (M... ... small media reforms (like public journalism) will be enough to reduce the commercial and corporate imperatives driving our existing media systems (Hackett and Zhao, 1998, p. 235). Instead, a fundamental reform of the entire system is needed, together with a wider institutional reform of the very structures the media systems work within, our democracies. This will be a difficult task, due to powerful vested interests benefiting from the status quo, including media, political and economic elites. Reforms will need to be driven by campaigns mobilising public support across the political spectrum, to enable the citizens of the world to have a media system that works to strengthen democratic principles as opposed to undermining them. This task is challenging, but it will become easier once people begin to understand the media’s role in policymaking within our democracies.

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