Monopolization of the media

Monopolization of the media
Monopolization of the media

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Monopolization of the media

When you think about the transitional – or pre-transitional (as in one-party states or nations mired in civil war) – countries around the world today, what are some incentives and disincentives you have seen or can think of that might thwart monopolization of the media in these settings?

There has always been a strong link between governments and the media in most states. The media is managed and controlled by the governments, the workers are government employees and the top officials are affiliated to the government. Although their constitutions grant right to expression and free press, the state still monopolizes the press. The media has been sucked dry due to the capitalistic nature of such states. There is therefore need for citizens of such states to come up with their own alternative and powerful media in order to put an end to this monopoly by the capitalistic class (Ghadbian, 2001).

Most journalists in such states work in highly pressurized conditions and insidious ways. The upcoming journalists have their aspirations put to waste as they cannot work in their ideal ways. ‘Objectivity’ of the media is a myth that has been contaminated by different political interests. For instance, incidences of war can only be reported with the consent of the government. This reduces the quality and quantity of news about different communities in the media. Taboo topics not to be reported, are set by government and sensitive information is censored by the Ministry of Information. Independent sources of information are also restricted.

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The states have gone as far as imposing word limits on the internet. The media cannot wholly utilise the unlimited space on the internet for their reporting as they have been restricted. This curtails the integrity of journalism. Newspapers and other media channels in such states have to neutralize their news, views and opinions in fear that they might turn out to be unpleasing to the parties on which their advertising rates depend on.

The pursuit of particular issues in journalism and interesting views to readers has turned out to be a threat to larger profits. This way, even the problems regarding the poor in the country stop being highlighted not unless the affluent customers are affected by them. 

Monopolization of the media

The concept of politics in the media has been marred by blandness due to standardization. Material that are socially sensitive to the affluent customers are not exposed, and the selection and writing of news become totally neutral. This is an aspect of media ‘objectivity’ that has contradicted the ideal ‘subjectivity’ in journalism. This objectivity has led to genuine relevant information being left out as per the authorities’ command.

There is the reproduction of the words of the authorities in the media. The media then makes a habit of reporting only political safe news such as crime, natural disasters and accidents, even if they are not relevant to the audience. The reporters have been left powerless and their democracy and that of the people is threatened (Ghadbian, 2001).

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The media in these states has centered on advertising taking most of the time on television and space in newspapers. When criticised, the media owners claim the public enjoys advertisements. To counter such criticism, they have further sophisticated the manipulation of emotions.

The monopolization of the media erodes democracy and the link between the media and country’s political system has worked to starve the voters of important knowledge. This therefore calls for community-based models and alternative business in order to bring to an end the monopoly of big media corporations.

Monopoly in the media can be challenged by founding of numerous satellite TV stations. Proliferation of these can change the government’s rules of censorship and control as it will prove to be overwhelming. In the Arab world, satellite TV stations such as; Al-Jazira, played an important role in the eradication media monopolization. The internet on the other hand can be utilized essentially for dissemination of information. This way, the government is rendered less relevant; and independent and free sources of information are availed to the people. When people lose interest in state media, the state eventually loses control on the media. 

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If state media could free themselves by embracing commercial support rather than government subsidy, they will no longer be under government control as they will make their own profits independently.

Monopolization of the media

Making the press law effective by the election of leaders who are passionate about the information age can make a move from monopolization. Such can bring in new measures in the media policy in response to the worldwide competition. The appointment of a reform-minded Adan Umran in Syria saw him bring numerous changes in the media (Ghadbian, 2001).

If all intellectuals and journalists demand more freedom of speech, expression and accountability, this will relieve them the burden of monopolization in the media. This need of a journalism culture in Syria, made writers demand for freedom of press and an end to the one-party rule and this bore fruits (Ghadbian, 2001).

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In conclusion, all individuals should be agents of change in their countries as this is key to unlocking the freedom of media and closing the doors of media monopolization. If appropriate actions are taken, then this freedom will be achieved. On the other hand, lack of political will, fear, reluctance and unwillingness to take steps of change will not drive to media freedom.

References

Ghadbian, N. (2001). Civil Society and Citizenship: Internet Resources. Contesting the state media monopoly: Syria on Al-Jazira Television. Volume 5, No. 2 – June 2001. Retrieved from http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/meria/journal/2001/issue2/jv5n2a7.html

Monopolization of the media

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