Themedia plays a significant role in the country by providing citizenswith updates on the different issues affecting their social, economicand political welfare. People rely on the information given by thevarious sources to make daily opinions. Besides, with the increasednumber of correspondents, consumers can access information fromvirtually any part of the world. Government agencies also use themedia to gain public confidence by portraying various projects andtheir impacts on the society. However, at times, the media clasheswith the state for exposing confidential information and spreadingpropaganda. The different media houses are, therefore, governed byregulations to enforce responsibility and non-partisan views.
Types of news sources
Newsemanate from three major sources. They include the broadcast, print,and online media. The broadcast is one of the oldest methods ofreaching a wide coverage. It consists of both radio and televisionhouses. These have been used to pass live recordings to the public(Miyagawa). For example, they have been instrumental to the citizenswhen following the proceedings on Inauguration ceremonies andwatching or listening to presidential speeches. They are alsopreferred for providing live entertainment and discussions.
Theprint media encompasses newspapers, magazines, journals, posters,books among others. It is also an ancient method of passinginformation and it is hailed for high levels of detail (Miyagawa).Print materials are the most used sources in the United States. Theimproved transport infrastructure makes the dissemination ofmaterials fast, and citizens are assured of daily supplies.
Theinternet is a dynamic source of news that has intensified in the lastfew years. The platform embraces both print and broadcast media andconsumers can follow the news given by a particular company online.With the increased use of smartphones, the internet sources havegained popularity for their variety and low cost.
What are some of the distinct characteristics of each medium?
Eachof the news sources has distinct attributes that enable them to passthe required information. The broadcast media mostly provides live orrecorded feed from the primary sources. For example, an audience canwatch a basketball match aired from the location or a recordedpresidential speech (Biagi 143). The medium also tailors its messagesand programs to suit audiences of different ages and interest. Thesealso occur in specific hours and the consistency earns them theloyalty of the consumers. For example, there are radio and TVprograms specifically for children, and they are aired when thetarget group can offer their attention. The source assumes that theintended audience avails itself for the programs at the specifiedtime. According to Biagi, the broadcast medium also covers a widecoverage and this makes it a preference when disseminating urgentinformation (111). The audience can receive the intended message atthe same instant and take action if necessary.
Theprint media has wide coverage and attracts the attention of thereaders by providing information that is considered interesting orcontroversial in given settings. In addition, the medium presentsnews as a secondary source (Biagi 21). Apart from newspapers thatprovide general information, there are magazines that specialize inreporting on particular issues of public interest. They may provideinformation on politics, beauty, nutrition, physical fitness andfashion. Such issues are released on monthly or quarterly basis.Another major characteristic of the print media is that it employsflashy images and headlines mainly to capture the attention of thereaders.
Onlinesources, on the other hand, can be accessed from any part of thecountry without incurring the purchasing cost on top of the chargeslevied by the internet service providers. According to Biagi, theonline platform gives the consumers liberty to choose the news theywant to read unlike the broadcast and the print that are relativelyrigid (185). It is also the fastest medium to disseminate news due tothe lack of streamlined program schedules. Consumers can also use thesites to access broadcast and print news from different parts of theworld. This makes it have the widest coverage among the three majorsources of information.
How do the sources differ from each other in how the disseminate news and in the audiences they reach?
Theinformation available in the media is meant for different categoriesof consumers. It is, therefore, presented in varied ways. Thebroadcast media has a wide range of programs that run throughout theday. Critical information is disseminated during designated hours.For example, during news time, consumers expect to catch up with theoccurrences in the country and around the world. Therefore, thebroadcast companies exploit the specific hours to ensure widecoverage (Biagi 113).
Conversely,the print media uses eye-capturing headlines to trigger the attentionof the audience. The specific field magazines also use intriguingcovers to highlight the information contained in the pages. Theonline source disseminates news as they happen and this makes it apreference for those who seek instant messages (Biagi 186). Just likethe print media, the online platform uses thrilling phrases to compelthe audience to access the news. However, most of the consumersseeking information online are not overly concerned with the details.Therefore, the source mostly provides summarized accounts.
What are the potential problems associated with the rapid proliferation of online news sources?
Accordingto the American Life Project, about 61% of the citizens derive someof their news from websites every day (McChesney 12). There arevarious shortcomings associated with the increased preference foronline news. First, most of the secondary sources are not confirmed,and they end up giving erroneous news. This makes it a target forindividuals with the intention of spreading political propaganda. Inaddition, once the information is posted, it can be accessed andshared instantly by thousands of citizens. A counter message becomesineffective after such news is disseminated. Besides, the mostconsumers may not distinguish the trusted and unreliable websiteswhen sourcing for information (McChesney 12). In most cases, websitesseeking popularity may use personal opinions of their editors as theview of an aggrieved party. This may lead to the formation ofunnecessary attitudes among the audience if they take the opinionspresented to be true
What are the responsibilities of media the role of government in maintaining a free and responsible press?
Citizensrely on the media to understand the issues in their environment.Although the role of the media is a subjective concept, the differentsources should serve as watchdogs to unearth information that wouldhave been otherwise inaccessible to the general public. According toGehlbach and Sonin, the media should also act a platform for thecitizens and opinion makers to air their opinions on the issuesaffecting the government and the society (166). In addition, it isthe duty of the media to disseminate the necessary information whileconsidering the political and cultural implications in any givensetting.
Thegovernment can aid in maintaining a censurable press by devisingpolicies that are devoid of suppressive tendencies. These will giveliberty to the reporters to conduct independent reviews and presentthe findings to the public unless such information can frustrate thegovernment well-intended efforts (Gehlbach and Sonin 165). Theauthorities should also enforce accountability of the media houses byensuring that they take liability for any misleading information.Furthermore, the legal framework should restrict partisanassociations with influential stakeholders who may use the platformto further nugatory agendas.
Miyagawa,Shigeru. Types of Media. Globalization101.Web. Retrieved on Oct.33, 2016.
Gehlbach,Scott, and Konstantin Sonin. "Government Control of the Media."Journalof Public Economics118 (2014): 163-171. Print.
McChesney,Robert W. RichMedia, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times.New Press, 2015. Print.
Biagi,Shirley. Mediaimpact: An introduction to Mass Media.New York: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.