Media policy Essay Example


Media policy

Question two: The concept of free media

The emergency of media policy is not from communication technology logic, from media corporation business plans, or from creative individual’s imagination. Media policy entails a public policy that gives a response to distinctive characteristics of mass mediated communication. Media policies are not determined by technology, neither are they economically inevitable. Instead, media policies are based on political objectives and values. Policies appear to be the political action intended to organize public life, to protect the public, to defend national security, to maximize the market forces’ flow, and to increase market efficiency (Errington & Miragliotta, 2011).

James Curran indicates that the dominant way of perceiving the media across the world is the liberal approach, and this entails critical and progressive ideas. Pluralism is a powerful discourse underpinning the media policies’ development as well as popular conceptions of media’s role. Several normative principles have assisted in the development of media and they further assist in the emergency of various regulatory tools. There are three main areas to focus on, and these are the content regulation, the process of making media policies, and ownership rules (Chadha, 2000).

Before the 1980s, domestically owned television, radio, and print media typified the systems of national media. Media systems were many national and often had limited features of public service. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a rapid change as there was the designing of transnational communication systems. Today, there has been a radical improvement in the technology of communication ensuring that there is visibility in the low of global media as well as global business (Zhang, 2012). However, it important to note that the political force has underlies the new technology of communication, a move to neoliberal orthodoxy that eliminates or removes barriers to commercial media exploitation, foreign investment in the systems of communication, as well as concentrated ownership of the media. There are two main principles that can form the basis of reform platform. First, there is a need to discuss the media technology in a widespread, open, as well as transparent manner. Second, there is a need for the reaccreditation, enlargement, and fortification of the public principles (McChesney, 2003).

The focus of the relationship between the media and the governments globally is the free press and private citizens independent of government control and censorship generate this. Without intervention from the government, there will be a rise of a healthy system of the media from political freedom’s rich soil. The US system of Neoliberalism is currently used by many nations of the world. The neoliberal system of global media does not face opposition. For many, the proliferation of new technology of communication, for instance, the digital cameras, equipment used for satellite broadcasting, as well as mobile phone gadgets ensures that there is transparency globally (Zhang, 2012).

In a democracy, journalism plays an important role in that it informs people on how they can participate in decision making within the government as well as exercise their citizenship. Media can influence the societal democracy directly or indirectly through the news. A free press media means that the government cannot control the media. Press freedom s a fundamental right of human beings that foments the ideas as well as information dissemination. Socially, press freedom forms the basis of civil participation and political debate. At individual level, it ensures that there is intellectual emancipation as well as human welfare. The origin of the press freedom transformation as an international right of human beings was “freedom as a natural right” concept (Losifidis, 2011).

Respect for expression freedom as well as the right to accessing info held by companies as well as public bodies will enhance greater transparency as well as accountability in the public. It will also lead to a good governance as well as give strength to the democracy. Press freedom indicates an effective democracy and is an essential aspect of that democracy.

Since mass media are the primary information source on domestic as well as international issues, a free press globally can greatly influence international cooperation as well as foreign policies. The notion of press freedom as well as speech has not fully attained a global consensus, and in additional, there is no contextual meaning of the word ‘free’. The exporting of the concepts of press freedom the well established democracies of the west to countries in their initial stages of transformation democratically can compromise the free press concept creation that can confide with social as well as cultural context. For instance, the democratic media rise in some third world countries has received support from the global media-assisting projects, for instance those curved by United States International Development Agency. Media present in developing countries that receive assistance from international initiatives may be having a dilemma of being dependent on international program or government. There is existence of disagreement on the characteristics that press media should posses, the purpose they may serve, as well as the accountability agencies (Errington & Miragliotta, 2011).

The best description to give to the present historical era is globalization, democratization, and technological revolution. In all these areas, media as well as communication are mainly central or perhaps play a defining role. Cultural and economic globalization would arguably be impossible without a worldwide commercial system of media to encourage the values of the consumers as well as to promote international markets. The very core of the revolution of technology is the radical development in digital computing and communication (Zhang, 2012).

Neoliberalism entails sets of national as well as international policies that call for the domination of business of the entire social affairs with minimum force of countervailing. There is the intertwining of neoliberalism with the deep belief in the capacity of markets to utilize new technologies to bring solutions to social problems better than any other course. The centrepiece of the policies of neoliberal is a call to bring deregulation to the communication markets as well as commercial media (Errington & Miragliotta, 2011).

In the past decades, the systems of the media were national, but presently, there has been the emergency of commercial market for global media. Seven multinational corporations namely Disney, Viacom, Vivendi, OAL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, New Corporation, and Sony have dominated the global media market. In addition, there has been a radical communication technology improvements and this ensures that the global empire of the media is feasible as well as lucrative than before. Advertising can, for instance show the link between the neoliberal economy of global capitalism and the global commercial system of the media. Another global technology is the internet. As the media turns out to be commercialized as well as globalized, many parts of the world are now accepting the aspect of the free press being perpetrated by the US. Since much of the dominance of the media systems are corporations from the US, many nations across the globe are likely to embrace the UNESCO resolution of free press (Chadha, 2000).

Although press freedom is a global right established by UN, various nations’ lack independent media of the government, while in others, press censorship as well as giving threats to journalist are frequent acts. A good example is North Korea where there is only one media house (Korea Central News Agency). No foreign media is allowed into the country and if one is caught violating the law; he/she is either persecuted or jailed. Instead of protecting the press freedom, North Korea’s government restrict it (Tan, 2015).

There are several levels of press freedom and these are:

  • Non existence of the press or too limited for instance North Korea and Vanuatu

  • Free: there is free press and the media houses have the capacity to function as a political competition arena. Examples include the U.S, Australia, and the U.K.

  • Imperfectly free: there is the compromising of the press freedom by unofficial influence or corruption. However, news agencies have the capacity to function as a political competition arena. Examples are Finland and Mexico.

  • Restricted: there is no direct control of the press by the government but the media lacks the capacity to function as a political competition arena. An example is El Salvador and Jordan.

  • Controlled: the government directly controls the press and there is a strict censorship. Examples are North Korea, Eritrea, and China.

In its 2008 report, Reporters without boarders identified two threats to speech freedom globally. The first threat is the assassination of journalists as well as harsh punishment. There is rare prosecution of crimes committed against journalists, and when there is prosecution, those responsible do not face charges since they are mostly powerful people. Another threat is the impunity by the government as well as power abuse. In this case, the government escapes domestic and international laws (Losifidis, 2011).

With the 1991 Windhoek Declaration, press freedom, according to UNESCO does cover pluralism, media freedom, and independence. In the subsequent years, the significance of journalists’ safety has been included in the declaration. The recent 37th UNESCO Conference that took place in November 2013 highlighted the significance of promoting three main concerns namely the expression freedom, universal access to knowledge as well as its preservation, as well as free, pluralistic, as well as independent media, both online and offline. The resolution gave the description of these indispensable elements for democracies that are flourishing as well as to foster the participation of the citizens. For UNESCO, the expression freedom, as well press and information freedom are fundamental rights and can enable many goals that bring relevance to the post-2015 agenda of development. These include transparency, good governance, and access to info, ending poverty, youth and women empowerment, and ensuring peaceful and stable society (Lunt, 2012).

There is a close link between the freedom of press and the freedom of expression. Freedom of expression entails the capacity to speak in an open manner without fearing restrain from the government. Freedom of expression is often equated to the free press because it is composed of the right to be heard and the right to speak. In US, for instance, both free press and freedom of speech are commonly referred to as freedom of expression. Access to information equates to freedom of expression because the press that makes the information accessible (Freedman, 2008). Through press media, people are able to access information and can express their views freely but this can only occur in the fully developed democracies such as in Australia and US. There is a close relationship between a democratic society and free access to information. Free speech allows people to obtain info from various sources, freely make decisions, as well inform the government about the decision. Freedom of expression is a facilitator of majority rule. When we talk, we promote consensus and at the same time form a collective will. Whether we attain the right answer, free speech brings conformity to the thoughts of most people (Losifidis, 2011).

Through the Patriot Act, the government of the US is able to marshal the new restrictions over information freedom as well as media content domestically. At the same time, the government is able to silence as well as police foreign media content that has the capacity to promote terrorism. An example is Aljazeera. The UN agencies do set the grounds of normative for global cooperation for regulating the trade terms as well as technology transfer to instituting a global devotion to freedom of expression and opinion (Lunt, 2012).

In conclusion, there are three main areas to focus on, and these are the content regulation, the process of making media policies, and ownership rules. Nearly all political and social theory variants hold that the system of communication is a modern society’s cornerstone. The government, as well as the private media, have always been in conflict. Journalism ensures that the there is accuracy in the action taken by the government as it act as the watchdog of the public. In many countries with democracy, every person can express his or her own opinion freely. This right entail the freedom to embrace opinion without intrusion as well as seek, receive, as well as impart ideas and information through any mass media and regardless of frontiers.


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Chadha, K. (2000). Media imperialism: some findings from Asian case. London: Sage Publication.

McChesney, W, R. (2003). The political economy of international commutation: foundations for the emerging global debate on media ownership and regulations. European Journal of Communication Vol. 18, no. 2, p. 181-207. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Freedman. (2008). Introducing Media policy. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Losifidis, P. (2011). Global media and communication policy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tan, M. (2015). North Korea, international law, and the dual crises: Narrative and constructive engagement.

Cuilenburg, J, V. (2003). Media policy paradigm shifts: towards a new communication policy paradigm. London: Sage Publications.

Lunt, P. (2012). Media and communications regulation and the public interest. Los Angeles: Sage.

Zhang, K. 2012. International coverage, foreign policy, and national image: exploring the complexities of media coverage, public opinion, and presidential agenda. Los Angeles: University of Southern California’s Anneberg Centre for communication. International Journal of Communication, vol 6, p. 76-95.