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Satisfactory Essays
Is the media an active participant in democracy or a trafficker of consumer capitalism? Guardians of the citizenry or lap dogs of the power elite? Many journalists see themselves as protectors of our political system or more so as watchdogs of democracy, but the media is concurrently blamed and praised for various aspects of political life. On the one hand, it is indicted of a large spectrum of offenses such as jeopardizing national security, oversimplifying issues of public policy and focusing all too much on the negatives. On the other hand, the same politicians who criticize the media attempt to sway and dominate it, trying to get their messages out to the electorate. What does this say about journalism in the current age? To start with it speaks about the substantial presence the media has in our political system. In many ways, our democracy depends on the media, just as much as the media depends on the political system of a country. As said by Angela Phillips and Tamara Wtschge, “Information is to democracy what oxygen is to fire. Without one the other cannot survive. This is why democracy and the independent news media have developed hand in hand, and why any threat to the survival of organized news in the public interest is also a threat to democracy.” (Changing Journalism, 2011, pg. 1)
In this day and age, the public is able to make their political presence felt and their opinions heard instead of simply being docile receivers of political news. Authors such as Muthukumaraswamy believe that a “significant accomplishment of the new media world is the shifting of power from publishers and advertisers toward the people” (2010, pg. 50). The vast web of the media ensures that the electorate takes responsible, informed and conve...

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...mply turn a blind eye to the fact that both the quantity as well as the quality of the stream of beneficial political information now available to the common man far exceeds that to which previous generations had access. It can be said that democracy and the media are unmatched early cautioning devices. They help in defining and revealing risks that are not worth taking the plunge for and they make sure that something known is not easily relinquished for an unknown better. So what is the connection between news media and the political system of a country? Some might say that the relationship is deteriorating as we move ahead into the future but according to me such concerns are as old as democracy. Nonetheless, as per my belief, the connection between the political system and news media will always be fraught, while at the same time being complaisant and synergetic.
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