Government Influence on the Media

Government Influence on the Media

Media is a widespread source of information that can be accessed through your electronics, newspapers, magazines and more. Over the years, media has evolved from a source meant to only serve the locals to now giving information about political events, celebrities, and other countries. The government has been able to keep media wrapped around its fingers since the beginning of media. This can lead to unfair advantage in a political race because parties are making campaigns that is ruining the others reputation with, for all we know, false information. The public has even been known to have a change on opinion after watching or reading a source from media. The government has learned how to persuade everyone, which is why our voices are more important than ever in this generation. One person who has not been influenced is weak when standing alone, but when we all start to educate ourselves and learn the truth behind the governments involvement we can then stand with that single individual, combining our voices and using the media against the government to gather others to stand against it. The government in taking control of the media, is making it harder for individuals to make a valid opinion without it being influenced.

The purpose of newspapers being created was so that colonial residents could inform other colonial residence of what is happening in their community. The newspapers were not created to serve the masses. After World War II ended, an influential Press was still around. It was said that it was managed or closely associated with the government. “With the dismantling of colonial empires after World War II, a small but influential print press remained in place, either in the hands of expatriates or under management that was controlled or closely associated with indigenous governments” (“Developing Countries and the Media” 2003). World was two was an event that ended in 1945. As you can see, the government could become a part of the last influential media outlet that was meant to be run by only colonial residents. The government must have realized that if they wanted to keep a hold of the communities they would have to take control of their news so that they can publish what they want.

Scholars who fled from Europe started their research on how media is influencing the publics opinion. The research began in the 1940’s when people were voting more because in that time, women, African Americans, and factory workers were fighting for the rights that they deserved. In today’s day and age, people do not vote as much because they feel as though their voice does not matter. In fact, our voices matter more now than it did then. In the 1900’s there was not as many media outlets as there is today. That means that we are more likely to get manipulated of have the thought of changing our political stance because of this.

It was not until the 1960’s when the researchers began to not only input the number of citizens who voted, but also include how the media was influencing us.

Currently people tend to trust newer sources of media such as the television and the internet, instead of older sources such as a newspaper. “They argue that lower levels of trust in mainstream media drive a greater tendency to use newer sources of news, such as the Internet and talk radio” (Morris 710).  This can lead to people accessing websites that are repetitive and false, leading someone to change their perspective on a subject based off false information. This outbreak of multiple sources being created daily are giving people a larger plethora to choose from, meaning that it can lead to people choosing sources that fits their preferences, even if they are wrong. “By simply clicking the remote control or computer mouse, individuals can access any one of the countless news sources that best fits their personal preferences” (Morris 711). Normal civilians who believe one view, is most likely going to see bias towards them, and vis versa. For example, “Democrats are more likely to see a Republican bias in the news, and Republicans are more likely to see a bias toward Democrats” (Morris 711). This can lead to parties getting upset and creating other bias information on their social media creating an outburst and more information put out into the public without it being backed up by facts.

Ways that the government indirectly controls what is put out into the media is bribing privately owned news stations to do the work for them. The government believes that if they have privately owned stations take a bribe that they aren’t technically doing anything wrong because the station chose to take the bribe meaning that they believe in whatever cause they are about to put in their newspaper or radio station. “The private owner, in contrast, has preferences over advertising revenue and contributions represented by the utility function where the first term is advertising revenue and C is the subsidy from the government to the private owner” (Gehlbach and Sonin 166).

You may be thinking, well if the locals are running their own newspapers then wouldn’t they only write the truth and let others know what is going on in their community?  That is not the case. At first, they might use their voice for what they believe in, but after a while, they become part of the governments control. For example, “Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya—had worked as journalists during colonial times and used the press to voice their nationalist aspirations. But when they achieved power, they stifled the independent media” (“Developing Countries and the Media” 2003).  As the years went on, the numbers of Newspapers and Media outlets began to expand.  “The entire country of India had only 200 newspapers in 1947. Within a decade, this number had quadrupled, and by the mid-1990s, India had an estimated 25,000 newspapers and magazines. Radio and television in Asia emerged almost as quickly as in the industrialized West” (“Developing Countries and the Media” 2003). The governments influence over the communities began to expand to where they now have almost full control over everything that we see and read.

One argument that you could make against mine, is that the government is using media as a source of helping the general population and not to persuade us to do something that goes against our own beliefs. For a national state, the government’s main purpose is to maintain peace throughout, and make sure that the locals are being well educated and the roads and cities are being taken care of. The government has told us that this is the reason that they need to have an influence in the media, so that they can reach out to others and help build up cities. If this was true then why do we have terrible school systems, messed up roads, and houses on every street being foreclosed. We will see more political statements being made in the media then about the government helping cities out.

In the article “Bias in the News” Written by Andrew McIntyre we learn a different perspective on bias information being distributed by the news. McIntyre states “The media throughout the Western world appears to have a permanent and pervasive soft left-liberal interpretation of almost everything, be it cultural, political, or social. The degree to which this left bias has become entrenched has been convincingly measured by Groseclose” (2). McIntyre is explaining that the media has already grasped the public and can persuade the audience to believe anything, even if they came in with a different perspective.

As we know, researchers fear that media can influence citizens to change their political stance based off an ad or other related concepts that would demine the other opponents. This could lead to those unfit to be elected into office, even though they are incapable of upholding all the responsibilities that come with the job.

Government is battling for the attention and air time of the media. Just like everyone else, politicians have a need to be portrayed as a well put together citizen so that other people will take kindly to them. It is mentioned that the legislative and executive branch try to influence the media to go along with their views, leading to the government and others eventually being influenced by them as well.

This helps to depict how the Executive branch has more power and authority over the Legislative branch. The article studies the similarities and differences between the two showing how the Executives have more power, and how the media has a part in it. The article states, “The news media in pragmatic journalistic cultures open an oppositional space for less powerful actors, like members of the opposition or non-official sources and thereby moderate the dominant position of government actors in the news” (Dalen 4). This states that the media created a space for the less empowered government, and that then lead to a dominance in the media.

In “Slanted Objectivity? Perceived Media Bias, Cable News Exposure, and Political Attitudes” written by Johnathan Morris, we learn the effect that the media can have on a person. Currently people tend to trust newer sources of media such as the television and the internet, instead of older sources such as a newspaper

This can lead to people accessing websites that are repetitive and false, leading someone to change their perspective on a subject based off false information. This outbreak of multiple sources being created daily are giving people a larger plethora to choose from, meaning that it can lead to people choosing sources that fits their preferences, even if they are wrong. Normal civilians who believe one view, is most likely going to see bias towards them, and vis versa. For example, this can lead to parties getting upset and creating other bias information on their social media creating an outburst and more information put out into the public without it being backed up by facts.

In conclusion, the government has put more work into pretending not to have a large role in media then actually doing anything to help locals. The government has taken a source meant to help locals and turned it into a monstrosity of a power that can influence a mass to do almost anything. Our generation needs to stand up and fight for our freedom that others have been fighting for, generations. If this continues at the pace that it is currently going at, we will have zero means of telling false information from real information making us powerless against the governments influence over the media.

Works Cited

  • Ceron, Andrea, and Vincenzo Memoli. “Trust in Government and Media Slant: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Media Effects in Twenty-Seven European Countries.” International Journal of Press/Politics, vol. 20, no. 3, July 2015, p. 339. MasterFILE Premier, doi:10.1177/1940161215572634. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.
  • “Developing Nations and the Media.” Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications, Elsevier Science & Technology, Oxford, 2003. Credo Reference, lorainccc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/estimc/developing_nations_and_the_media/0. Accessed 2017.
  • Dionne, E., J. Current Controversies: Politics and the Media. Gale, Cengage Learning, 2012. Edsgov, lorainccc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgov&AN=edsgcl.EJ3010799207&site=eds-live. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.
  • Durante, Ruben, and Brian Knight. “Partisan Control, Media Bias, and Viewer Responses: Evidence from Berlusconi’s Italy.” Journal of the European Economic Association, vol. 10, no. 3, May 2012, pp. 451–481. Business Source Complete, doi:10.1111/j.1542-4774.2011.01060.x. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.
  • Gehlbach, Scott, and Konstantin Sonin. “Government Control of the Media.” Journal of Public Economics, vol. 118, Oct. 2014, pp. 163–171. Business Source Complete, doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.06.004. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.
  • “Government Role in Media.” Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications, Elsevier Science & Technology, Oxford, 2003. Credo Reference, lorainccc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/estimc/government_role_in_media/0. Accessed 2017.
  • Mcintyre, Andrew. “Bias in the News.” Institute of Public Affairs Review, vol. 64, no. 2, June 2012, p. 32. MasterFILE Premier, lorainccc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=86893135&site=eds-live. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.
  • Morris, Jonathan S. “Slanted Objectivity? Perceived Media Bias, Cable News Exposure, and Political Attitudes.” Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), vol. 88, no. 3, Sept. 2007, pp. 707–728. Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection, doi:10.1111/j.1540-6237.2007.00479.x. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.
  • “Political Bias in the Media.” Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications, Elsevier Science & Technology, Oxford, 2003. Credo Reference, lorainccc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/estimc/political_bias_in_the_media/0. Accessed 2017.
  • Van Dalen, Arjen. “Structural Bias in Cross-National Perspective How Political Systems and Journalism Cultures Influence Government Dominance in the News.” Conference Papers — International Communication Association, 2011, pp. 1–40. Communication & Mass Media CompleteTM, lorainccc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=79595254&site=eds-live. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.

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