Today’s world is heavily influenced by money. Maximizing profits and gains is more often than not considered more important than values and public interest. A local news station is mostly driven by bigger ratings rather than the story that demonstrates good moral judgment. It is the aspiration of every local station to expand nationally and even internationally. The news of the death of a major celebrity is usually viewed by many as captivating and engaging. The intricate details of this kind of news would interest many and so most TV stations would get to the specifics and make it the lead story. This was seen in the case of the death of Michael Jackson who was a major music icon. Such news as the death of a major celebrity cannot be overshadowed by the closing of city parks for three days a week. Therefore, as a News Director I would put the death of the celebrity’s death as the lead story. This would be the attention grabbing news which would bring in more ratings which translates to more money. This approach is clearly the more realistic one, since in theory it would be better to headline the news that affects the public most, which in this case would be the park story. This example clearly illustrates that the process of news delivery is not as easy as it seems, it also brings to the fore the issue of the part played by the media in conveying news to the general public.
Role of Media in Delivering News to the Public
Media has many roles to play in society; the main one being the conveyance of precise and trustworthy news which is not subjective. The public largely depends on the media to say the truth on matters that affect them. This means that it is not the role of the media to bring unimportant and exaggerated news to the public.
When news is broadcasted instantly or immediately to the audiences, there is the advantage that the public is quickly informed of the crucial issues quickly. This means that things are done based on real time news events. The downside of this is that it develops an impatient culture where people expect things to be done now rather than later. No one would want to wait to receive the latest news from news agencies when they could access it through their cell phones on social media sites or through news feeds on the internet.
Every organization is expected to outline its corporate social responsibility and the media is not an exception to this norm. Theoretically the media is supposed to enlighten the public on major issues going on around the world without being biased. This means that they are charged with the responsibility of informing the public of the latest happenings objectively. The media ought to also provide solutions through interviews with experts on social, political, economic and any other matter. The media also has the responsibility of campaigning against social vices, glorifying good behavior and promoting peace in cases of war or unrest.
It may seem that the online world has no ethical considerations but in actual sense it does, though most people may not adhere to them. For example intellectual property is treated as real property and the same respect is accorded to them. This means that some people refrain from such things as pirating on an ethical basis. There is also a legal aspect in the online world in that there are laws against cyber crime for example, hacking, which could cause serious problems especially for government agencies and financial institutions. If one does not adhere to these considerations, one could face jail time. It is also important to comply with the ethical considerations to ensure that someone else’s hard work does not go to waste, especially in the case of intellectual property.
There is a myriad of methods to deliver information to audiences in this era, some of which include TV and radio stations, websites, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, flyers, e-mails among others. The more modern ways of information delivery for example social media sites, ensures that even those who do not have time to listen to news through radio or TV can do it using their cell phones. Modern means of information delivery ensure that news from all over the world is accessed and instantly relayed.
The last century has seen tremendous changes in the media. More modern forms of news delivery have come up including the internet, television and radio which did not exist in the last century. Due to use of the latest technology, more and more people can access news faster and easier. There is also more global news. The more the media is growing, the bigger its responsibility to the public becomes. This means the media ought to painstakingly choose the right news at the right time for its audiences.