There is no journalist in the world that will be truly objective. Unfortunately, there is no universal reference point where good is always good, and bad is absolutely evil. Journalists have a great power to manipulate the truth and present it from a certain angle. Democratic journalism is the main attribute of democratic society and seems to be the most objective type of journalism. But even in a democratic state, journalism can be influenced by politics, business, and other things. In the following research paper on journalism the author has tried to analyze how politics and business negatively influence democratic journalism.
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What Sphere Negatively Influences Democratic Journalism More Significantly – Politics or Business?
A modern state of journalism is influenced by many factors including politics and business. As the primary purpose of the free media is to deliver news to the masses, they collect the data from the direct sources. However, it sometimes becomes impossible to reflect the information without changing it. In the countries where totalitarian regime exists, the government establishes certain restrictions. Based on these policies, the whole stream of data is thoroughly controlled by the authorities to prevent unwanted information from leakage. In the democratic countries, people receive authentic news concerning politics and business. Nonetheless, these two spheres still have a considerable impact on the contemporary democratic journalism which has a damaging effect on the overall situation in the country.
People tend to believe in the information presented by the media. Journalists have build trust and loyalty of the society in which every citizen absorbs the news quickly. In some countries, the influence of press on people is significantly high. The community has even lost the ability to filter and analyze the data that has been given. As a result, the government may manipulate people by giving them false information concerning some political conditions in the country.
There is an apparent connection between the politics and the media. The political representatives require working with media to win the trust of each citizen, to influence their decision during an election campaign, and motivate their performances. Press, on the other hand, should have an access to the political affairs to be aware of the current news. Both media and politics try to maintain reliable relationships in order not to lose their trust. Politicians might become unable to control the society if the media stops cooperation. This link also interacts people’s lives and might negatively influence their decisions.
Indonesia had gained their democracy in the press only when the New Order collapsed (Ekayanti, Mala, and Hao Xiaoming). The media of the country has a considerable changing landscape, and now it has a status of a partly free nation. There are twelve core media groups in Indonesia which control all the leading newspapers, online channels, radio networks, and television as well. Each of these sources has a chain of political purposes which are set by a particular government member.
In 2014, when the election took its place in the country, political influence on media has increased, and the democratic aspect was almost lost (Ekayanti, Mala, and Hao Xiaoming). Television portals were forced to cut a great part of the information to prevent the political secrets from leakage. They were accurate in what news to present on radio and newspapers and which one should be omitted.
Another example of political influence on democratic journalism is reflected in India. One lawyer Suhrith Parthasarathy has claimed that most Asian countries remain less democratic in media in comparison to Indian journalism (Galhotra, Sumit). Nonetheless, the political impact on media has become significantly high in the recent years. Therefore, it is difficult to believe in the truth of modern information which is presented through media channels.
In one of the Indian states called Tamil Nadu, politicians and the family, who are involved in political affairs, have established a chain of television portals to have a more considerable impact on their citizens. The first channel was introduced in 2000 with the purpose to favor one particular party of the government. During elections in the country, the chain of channels presents different campaigns with the coverage for one party or one political member. By doing so, politicians limit human rights and deprive people of the chance to decide.
According to the report of a Business Standard, approximately 60% of distribution television channels have political ownership (Galhotra, Sumit). Some of the channels, such as Sun and Kalaignar decided not to broadcast most of the information about events in Sri Lanka. On the contrary, Makkal TV which is a competitor channel has provided full coverage concerning the circumstances. Nevertheless, as the rival politicians do not own the leading distribution channel, they were unable to resist when other politicians banned the Makkal TV.
Press media confronts political pressure as well. The Sun Group of India’s government has created two newspapers and several magazines to control the stream of information which is delivered to the society (Galhotra, Sumit). Politicians have their editors who control which data is appropriate to be published and which one must be forbidden.
By having a political-owned media channels, India became deprived of not only local democracy in journalism but also did it on an international level. In general, news which is broadcasted in particular regions of India is spread all over the Asian continent. Therefore, people become confused about the information and claim that the media is hiding the truth from them.
India and Indonesia are just two examples of the countries which face the influence of political forces on the modern journalism. There are plenty of governments which try to manipulate their citizen by establishing policies and regulations concerning some events as well as political affairs.
One of the negative outcomes from political influence on the democracy within journalism is that people tend to make the wrong decision (van der Pas, Daphne J. et al.). They would rather absorb the information which was given by the press instead of analyzing it. Therefore, many countries have faced a strong confrontation of citizens who truly believe in the authenticity of news and those who criticize the media under the political ownership.
It is known that social media and the business have changed the concept of democracy in modern journalistic (Nordmeyer, Billie). Different companies and private organizations set the regulations concerning their operations for various media new portals. Moreover, they tend to control some information and double-check it to prevent their business affairs from collapse.
The effect on media from the business is less harming and does not have damaging outcomes. Mostly, companies use television channels, newspaper sources, magazines and radio to convince the humanity concerning selecting their products or services. In this way, people are presented in the role of victims who unintentionally become catch on the hook of strategic business performances.
One of the purposes of journalism is not only to present new and other information in business but also investigate. Thus, media representatives might conduct an analysis of some operations within the company. For instance, a full and fair story has been told when Volkswagen accident occurred. They have used false indicators to cheat the commission concerning the harmful emission of gases.
Due to such openness in the issue, the corporation has lost trust and loyalty of a considerable number of their customers (Nordmeyer, Billie). Moreover, people became more attentive while choosing a vehicle to make sure it the engine will not break and cause the car accident as Volkswagen did.
The democratic aspect of journalism also influences the business. The previous example has proved that when the media reveals the truth – the reputation of the corporation falls dramatically (Schudson, Michael). Journalists conduct the future investigation concerning resolving this problem which took place in the organization. Therefore, they remain democratic and act freely toward business affairs.
Media also can involve the society in the investigation to improve the situation. They conduct polls, questionnaires, and debates on the television channels with the company members participation. Usually, these programs are controlled by the company in order to prevent the organization from the further collapse. People show their reaction and current attitude to the company, while the corporation tries to make counterarguments to the debates.
Many enterprises and private businesses use the media to increase their sales. Press and television also possess as the intermediate link between the company and their stakeholders to meet the objectives (Nordmeyer, Billie). This cooperation strengthens the customer relationship management, open new markets, and promote products for the new audience.
Market research is an integral step in the process of company’s development. With the help of media, the corporation is able to forward the information concerning their services to any corner of the world (Schudson, Michael). Other markets might respond to the company and start cooperation as well as purchase their products.
Business representatives also control the media while providing them with the information concerning their strategies and objectives. It is known that these days the world of business has a high level of competitiveness. Therefore, companies must act accurately to protect their internal affairs from leakage (Nordmeyer, Billie). Some large-scale corporations, such as McDonald’s once revealed the intentions to open new franchise locations. As a result, Burger King took advantage of this information and did not need to conduct the market research to find locations.
Free and democratic journalists enable individuals from different countries to participate in political and business affairs. Nonetheless, these fields do not consider humanity as the driving force of their operations. Otherwise, they try to manipulate the society by establishing regulations and even create separate channels to broadcast the information more securely.
Business and political representatives take advantages while using media sources. They reach the audience by propagating their intentions and campaigns. Politicians try to win trust and loyalty, while the business world is more concerned about widening the borders of operations (van der Pas, Daphne J. et al.). They conduct market research, increase sales, and set the reliable relationships between stakeholders and the corporation to achieve the goals of the organization.
All in all, the influence on the democratic journalism all over the world remains quite considerable. As the media became worldwide, it has a great potential to control people’s behavior, change their beliefs, and convince to make a particular decision. These days, politicians cause the most damaging effects on the free journalism. In India, for instance, political members create their channels to guarantee stability for the particular party. They do not allow to conduct investigation and analyses of the private political affairs in order to prevent the information from leakage.
Business field, on the other hand, also undermine the democracy of journalism. They use media forces to gain their objectives and justify their pitfalls. Journalists have more rights and opportunities to conduct research on the issues in business, as well as make polls and questionnaires with the society for the further investigation.
Ekayanti, Mala, and Hao Xiaoming. “Journalism And Political Affiliation Of The Media: Influence Of Ownership On Indonesian Newspapers.” Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 2017, p. 146488491773409. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/1464884917734094.
Galhotra, Sumit. “Indian Journalism Under Increasing Political Control.” HuffPost, 2018, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/committee-to-protect-journalists/indian-journalism-under-i_b_4556499.html.
Nordmeyer, Billie. “The High-Level Business Impact Of Social Media.” Smallbusiness.Chron.Com, 2018, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/highlevel-business-impact-social-media-38816.html.
Schudson, Michael. “News And Democratic Society: Past, Present, And Future.” Cuadernos De Communicacion, 2008, http://www.iasc-culture.org/eNews/2009_10/Schudson_LO.
van der Pas, Daphne J. et al. “Political Parallelism In Media And Political Agenda-Setting.” Political Communication, vol 34, no. 4, 2017, pp. 491-510. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/10584609.2016.1271374.