Communication between the government and its people is a vital aspect of building a better nation. Languages, symbols, gestures, numbers, words, and pictures are all a form of communication that can be seen in the media. We live in a world where technology has advanced and affects us. Media technology has made viewing things easier throughout the years. In fact, the media plays a huge role in communicating with one another.
This research paper will define why the media in developing societies must work with the government to build a nation and also how people benefit from it. In this technology era that we live in today, it’s more likely that people switch on the television or search the internet to listen to their new favourite song, watch a show or catch up on the current events. The source in where the general public use to get their information from is called mass media. When asked what is the meaning of media, the literal answer most people would give is the planned technology used to reach a mass audience. Media is communication used other than words or mouth to reach the vast majority of the general public. In addition to that, it can also help in endorsing the right messages at a right time or can make use of any situation to create commotion in the society.
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There are 3 types of media such as printed (books, newspapers, journals, magazines, photos), broadcast (advertising, cinema, television, radio, and internet), and new media (social media) such as Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc. Furthermore, the media acts as a form of a sign that has signifier and signified. All messages must be encoded into a form that can be conveyed by a communication channel. The receiver then will need to decode the message to decipher the actual meaning and/or propaganda behind it.
For example, the news outlet – such as Utusan Malaysia, TV3, RTM, etc. – is used as a tool to promote the election candidates and convey their main purposes on how to change the region into a better nation. The internet and social media are one of the biggest source of information today, Twitter and Facebook became the platform for the leaders or people with power to spread their propaganda onto their audience. Take Donald Trump for example, because of his malicious and hateful comments on the Blacks and Muslims, these two identities have been received multiple backlashes; especially after he was elected as the president. According to Braham P.
and Barrett O. (2013), “the expansion of communication in recent decades has been steady and uninterrupted, in keeping with demographic, educational, social and political trends.” (pg. 17).
There are many roles and function of media. Firstly, media gives us a wider perspective of the world and how they work. Now that we are in the year 2018 and social media is the main platform, we should have a better understanding of how the media can affect a society. For example, a popular musician recently passed away and many were openly mourning it.
However, they too received many criticisms for openly mourning someone’s death. Many asked them why they were mourning and crying for someone that doesn’t know them. In my opinion, music is a way of communicating with each other. As the criticism got out of hand, this leads to a few of the mourners taking their own life. Therefore, we should always think before posting something on the internet as it can affect others negatively. Next, media can help keep people informed on current events not only in their society but also in other regions and countries.
For instance, a Malaysian actor was recently the hottest news in Malaysia as he has been acting up on social media by posting negative things such as swearing. Another example is a YouTuber filmed himself in Aokigahara (also known as Suicide Forest) and laughed upon seeing a dead man hung to a tree. This particular YouTuber’s audience age ranges from 7 to 15-year-olds. What kind of message and impression did he leave on these kids after laughing at a dead man? Which leads me to my next point – media as the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper – preferably the editors – studies and examine the flow of news materials through the stages of selection and editing process.
Why should the media in developing countries work with the government? By doing so, the government can study and monitor what the society choose to believe. A great nation is one where the government and its society is able to trust and communicate with each other. Media can act as a watchdog. In my opinion, media can indirectly reduce corruption caused by those with power. For example, a police car was parked illegally and was clamped outside the Putrajaya Halls in December. The public then found out that the police officers were gambling and won a lump sum of cash. Without being monitored, politicians may use their education and money to become more corrupted.
In addition to that, media can also improve the government’s responsiveness giving the vulnerable a voice. For instance, a number of regions in Malaysia were evacuated due to heavy flooding. News Straits Times Online (2017) “Prime Minister, Najib Razak, said he is monitoring the situation in the flood-hit states and ensuring that adequate aid is given to the victims.” When the weak and vulnerable is heard by the government, it gives them hope and faith that the government is there to help them. The media can benefit by using media in building campaigns and spreading awareness. In my perspective, the government should actively participate in conversing with the public in order to influence them.
Political Economy examines the power of the media by analyzing the structure of ownership and control. Contents of media & meanings carried by their message are primarily determined by the economic base of organizations. For instance, communication media organizations must cater to the needs of advertisers and produce audience to maximize the product consumption.Not only can media be used for social and political equality, it can also help boost the economy of a society.
Take Malaysia for example, the media has portrayed it as a tropical country with a multi-cultural society such as the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Punjabis, etc. The tagline “Malaysia truly Asia” is defined as a diverse country with many cultural beliefs, food, and music. Many foreigners who moved to Malaysia was surprised by the number of holidays and amount different food we have. Not to forget how cheap some products are in Malaysia comparing to where they came from. Through this campaign, the economy in Malaysia has increased rapidly. Besides that, media can also lead to the increase in awareness and changes in behaviour across social issues. Undoubtedly, media is strong whereas the audience is weak.
This is because the audience is easily influenced by the media. Frankfurt School – mass individuals who were atomized and not linked to each other who were easily influenced by the elitist and capitalist – and the Bobo Doll experiment – violence on the television has an effect on children’s stimulus-response – can be an example of how media can influence the public. As of late, I’ve realized the media tends to show contents that have vulgar and violence in it such as Avengers, Suicide Squad, Stranger Things, etc. As a result, many of the younger generation has been using vulgar words on the internet proudly. Some get triggered by the contents they view and start acting it out in real life, somewhat like the Hypodermic Needle theory. However, if the media work with the government to produce a filtered content filled with positive messages, this could affect the public in a good way. Despite all that, there are many benefits for the public by watching, listening or reading the contents posted by the media. Firstly, it makes the public more informed about the social, political and economic progress of not only their country and but also other countries.
Especially with the new forms of media, you can read up on current news updates faster on social media than others. This system is called the Two-Step flow can also act as a stress reliever. Hence why you see many people at the cinema or at home watching the television. Two-Step Flow is a theory done by Lazarsfeld in response to Frankfurt School. He conducted a researching during the American presidential election and sent out mediated messages through media to see how the public would response it. As a result, he found out the public is more likely to be influenced by other people.
For example, the Kony case back in 2012. As stated by the writer, Jason Russell, the film’s purpose was to promote the “Stop Kony” movement. The film was uploaded onto a social network and then was shared to other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The poster of the film has two animals on it – a donkey and an elephant. The donkey symbolizes the democratic party, whereas the elephant symbolizes the Republican Party. The head of both animals overlap one another to create a white dove.
In my opinion, a white dove usually means peace and freedom. This campaign became the talk of the town. Not long after, troops were sent in to catch Kony, which leads me back to the Two-Step Flow theory. Mass media used opinion leaders – in this case, celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and George Clooney – to convey its propaganda to individualsAccording to the democratic view, more people need to be educated new technologies and the development of industrial revolution the public will benefit from the media by getting educated. When the public is educated, they get more literate which then equals to a better democracy. For example, there is a section for education purposes in the newspaper, and also a few channels on television specifically for learning such as ASTRO TVIQ, BabyTV, Discovery Science, etc. In order for the public to be literate, the media must meet the needs of the younger generation to be wise consumers of media, managers of information and responsible producers of their ideas.
The society in developing countries should have some basic knowledge on medication ‘Globalization’ is a result of media which ceases the boundaries of different societies among individuals. The idea of the ‘Global Village’ is about knowing more about other cultures with new technologies. This is frequently linked to the motion of rapid advance in communication technology resulted in information being exchange immediately. In addition to that, social media has the ability to summon mass movement faster than any other media. For instance, when Kim Jong-Nam was killed at KLIA 2, where witnesses were posting updates on social media before the news was delivered to the public. Besides that, media also provides tools and methods that encourage respectful discourse.
The topic can be discoursed through the television, an interview on the radio or even online forums. Media can be therapeutic to some; especially through shows and songs. In my perspective, this is because sometimes the public would like to find comfort in something they feel they can relate to. Lastly, once the government and media provide the public with its propaganda, they are more than likely to provide feedback on the matter and how they’ve understood the message. The government then will need to take the public feedback in consideration to achieve a better society. As a conclusion, by working with the government to build nations as it will benefit both the government and society.
Through communicating with one another, the society and the government will achieve a well-knit and democratic nation. How the media is conveyed doesn’t really matter as long as the message gets through and is understood. The media plays a critical role in improving the government system and also reducing corruption, increases economic stability and creating positive social change. For these reasons, the media in developing societies must work with the government in order to build a better nation and benefit people.