Role of media and public perception

Written by The Frontier Post

The renowned Philippine Journalist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Maria Ressa inaugurated the Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum (GMF) in Bonn, Germany on Tuesday. During her keynote eye opening address, Maria commented on media freedom, reporting and responses of democratic and illiberal governments across the world. She said that if you don’t have facts, you don’t have truth; if you don’t have truth, you don’t have trust. According to her, the illiberal governments have destroyed the trust. She was of the view that the three pillars of technology, journalism and the community will help rebuild trust in journalism. The head of the German media organization, Deutsche Welle emphasized that the journalism has proved its relevance during the war in Ukraine, although it cannot stop the war but it can contribute to decisive political action by keeping the fate of hundreds of thousands of people in the headlines. According to him, the world is facing a storm of disinformation, propaganda and censorship, however, when the free voices work together, they will withstand the storm and make a difference.

Today, the media has become an integral part of every-day life, state affairs, national and global politics as well as businesses, education and industry. Media has shaped into a fourth pillar of the state along with the executive, judiciary and legislature, while it also acts as regulator through positive criticism on the functioning of state institutions, NGOs, and other service providers. Media also plays an important role in the promotion of democracy, elimination of corruption, protection of citizen rights, spotting of public issues along with accountability of the people in power. Media has always played an important role in the defence of nations through reporting from war zones, timely projection of national narrative and raising morale of the nation through responsible coverage of the war. Present day media has also put great impacts on daily life and every statesman, bureaucrat, businessman, academia and common worker starts his day with morning news bulletin and flow of information continues throughout the whole day till he goes to sleep. Media has become the most powerful tools to influence one’s life, social habits, lifestyle, decisions relating to sales/ purchase of assets, businesses, stock markets, politics and governance, as well as the global economy.

Interestingly, such limitless access and level of influence has proved to be counterproductive for the media and poses serious threats to the survival of media houses, safety and security of media workers on the hands of the government institutions, non-state actors, armed militias, business cartels and criminal gangs. Ostensibly, the illiberal states and oppressive governments used to react to media reporting by using their administrative and monetary powers against media houses and workers, whereas non-state actors and criminals had been attacking news reporters to stop reporting on them. Similarly, countless media men had lost their lives while reporting from the war zones and terror hit regions.

In fact, media has always stood by the oppressed communities, sided with victims of state atrocities, reported on the incidents of terrorism, highlighted human rights violation and corruption of the government officials along with embezzlement of the Influential. Therefore, every powerful sees media as a foe and each tyrannize considers it a savior, hence media is committed to preach fact and unbiased truth but people perceive it differently.

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The Frontier Post

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