What is the Role of Media in Elections & Society?

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In this article, we will discuss: What is the role of Media in Election? What is the role of Media in Society? Essay on Media. Further, we will also discuss the Importance of Media.

What is the Role of Media in Election?

It was the second presidential debate in US presidential election. The election was between George W. Bush and Democratic governor Bill Clinton. Both the leaders were taking questions from neutral voters in this highly publicized event. Tension was running high as after the Gulf War, the USA was in a mini-crisis of sorts. A woman stood up and started asking questions to President Bush, but to everybody’s surprise, President Bush flinched and looked at his watch. The media covered this event on large scale. The rating go down, never recover again, and he lost the election. This is the power of media in modern democracy and elections. They mold the viewpoint of the public and act as a bridge between the electorate and contenders in the great democratic excuse.

But, this bridging power is nothing new. In a pre-democratic era, the rulers kept in touch with the masses through farmers. They also propagate information by beating drums. Legend has it, that Akbar himself joined his spies and went as a regular person to get the opinion of the masses.

The great Ashok propagates his message of Dhamma via his Pillars. But, it was the era of revolutions after the French Revolution which gave the idea of freedom of speech and expression, and the US constitution mentions it explicitly in letters. Moreover, media plays a significant part in every democracy, it is the grand exercise of the election it plays a major part.

What is the Role of Media in Society?

Moreover, in a democracy, opposition not only exists but is acknowledged and institutionalized and plays the opposition during elections. It emerges as the festival of democracy, not only conveying public voice but also providing democratic training and keeping people interested in working for the government. But, this interest is useless without the two-way flow of information. That information is called public opinion.

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Since not everybody can participate in elections. It is in fact public opinion that effectively rules the masses. Public opinion is not in majority opinion but the opinion of those who may be called spectators of political action. Thus, the media gains public opinion toward political leaders and parties. They form their agenda on the basis of public opinion.

Election free and fair is not only about information. Media plays a great role in several other senses as well. Media energizes the public and makes them aware of the process. Election Commission uses media to convey the importance of votes to the general public and makes it a social event.

Rational choice thinkers have always wondered about how many individuals among hundreds of millions find that their vote won’t make a difference and goes out. It is the media mobilization that imbibes this spirit. Moreover, media also conveys mal-functioning of the working and act as eyes and ears of administration.

However, the internet as a mass medium has led to the use of social media and making individual opinions important and available. Further, The use of polling the percentage of young is an indication of this renewed enthusiasm. The media is also becoming a keen observer and an activist. Moreover, Constitutional provisions protect the interest of the media. Recently, Apex Court declared freedom of media under freedom of speech and expression.

Importance of Media

Media is the fourth pillar of democracy. Supreme Court and the election commission accepted that the government is using media by giving them money to influence particular news. This fact surpasses the free and fair election as a medium to exercise an independent opinion. When information itself becomes corrupt, the electorate is blinded and loses faith in the system. Sometimes, media influenced by foreign strategic interests destroy basic democracy.

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However, government control of media is not only harmful but in a long-term danger to democracy. Moreover, Gandhiji wrote in Young India stated that the power of a pen is like free-flowing water. If it controls itself, it gives life else its banks. The same media become the tool of destruction. Only through an ethical code of conduct and recombination of public responsibility with limited but effective exchange regulation without having food can serve as a deterrent to misuse.

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Though, External or internal regulation is not a silver bullet. The answer to proper use of media lies in the forces that created it i.e.”public opinion” itself. There are several pieces on the chessboard of Democratic politics and the quest for power like elections, media, political parties, and institutions. No doubt, they are important and necessary. But, whenever the story of the Democratic Game of Thrones will be written either in success or defeat, the most powerful peace will always be the opinion of the masses.

In this article, We discussed the role of Media in Society and What is the role of Media in Elections?

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Vikramjit Singh, founder of Newscoop, an esteemed UPSC educational website, helps aspirants prepare for UPSC CSE with 5 years of experience, offering a deep understanding of crucial concepts.

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