Contemporary Political Problem in the Media
November 18, 2018
Contemporary Political Problem in the Media
During the race to the United States election in 2016, the news media was one of the central players towards determining the race. One of the issues that were attached to this system was that the media was commercialized by politicians for their own benefits (Pickard, 2016). An example of these politicians is the current president Donald Trump who many as remembered had been accused of having free access to many of the media outlets in the country. During this period the powerful politicians seemed to have the upper hand in manipulating the media as their commercial tool that enabled them has the benefit of popularization. Under the same issue, it was clear that many journalists had been turned into political campaigners since they were been manipulated by their specific media outlets to become moderators for the powerful politicians (Pickard, 2016). Even in the debates, these powerful politicians showed that they had commercialized the media to some extent that they discussed only the issues that they were positively building their reputation and fame for the sake of votes.
One of the main values that media should have is that they should uphold their primary goal of distributing information to everyone but cases like the commercialization of the outlets by politician made them more of corporations that are after revenues and ratings. The issue of political manipulation and commercialization in the media, therefore, has become common to an extent that in every election all over the world the same cases are been seen the power and over again (Keane, 2018). In the same case where Donald Trump was accused of having manipulated and commercialized the media for his own benefit, it was clear that the same outlets had undermined their purpose to the public in delivering information but they were all about making a profit and building their brands. The growth of Donald Trump over the campaign period was therefore based on the manipulation in which he gained social media power due to the various contributions that he had been having from the media.
With the idea that the candidates were powerful and ready to have their agenda based on some specific values that they needed, the media too was vulnerable towards the special frame by these politicians. In this case, it was clear that the media policy had been changed by the political ambitions and the ability of the politicians to build their own political acceleration. Obviously, this is not the first or the last case and in many other parts, such cases have been common even with the kind of media systems that have been set up. Media commercialization is, therefore, an issue that has been brought up by the political ambitions and the powerful agendas that politician who has the power and ability to push them (Keane, 2018). In a case like a trump’s case, his visibility and popularization were increased by the various aggressive confrontations that he made in presence of the media which was willing to have such issues for the sake of their commercial advantage. The same led him to win the same election.
There are different measures that can be undertaken with a view to solving the stated contemporary political issue in the media. In most cases, as stated, elections and political power tend to give politicians the intensive especially in media. This has grown to be an issue of concern as it affects the independence of media and also affects the influence that this issue has on the general public. To solve this, the media can undertake policies that improve their accountability despite the incentives that politicians may have on it (Strömberg, 2015). This is important as it will help reduce the politician’s incentive to pander. By so doing, media will also resolve the issue by suppressing some of the powers that politicians tend to use on it yet in the wrong way. The different media channels can also take firm steps towards solving the issue by avoiding biases. In most cases, as stated, politicians tend to use their power to suppress the media or rather to gain media’s favor which is not ethical as it interferes with the independence of these media channels.
However, media officials would come up with policies that are against some of these actions that politicians undertake to achieve their personal benefits. They can do this by implementing measures that allow them to report politicians that try to manipulate them while at the same time securing their positions and employment in media. This is an effective step as politicians will fear being put out to the limelight for such actions. Another reason why politicians tend to take advantage of media for personal gains is because the latter is mainly focused on making profits.
Therefore, to ensure that this issue is solved or reduced to an acceptable level, media should ensure that they switch their focus to performing their duties ethically and as per the regulations of media rather than making profits (Strömberg, 2015). It is due to the thirst for making a profit that politicians get the chance to take advantage of media hence using their power to manipulate media into achieving personal benefits. On the same account, media should ensure that they are in a stable position that they can weigh out the benefits and challenges of their actions rather than focusing on promoting their brands and gaining popularity among the majority.
Keane, J. (2018). Structural transformations of the public sphere.In The Media, Journalism and Democracy (pp. 53-74).Routledge.
Pickard, Victor, (2016). Media and Politics in the Age of Trump. Retrieved from http://origins.osu.edu/article/media-and-politics-age-trump
Strömberg, D. (2015). Media coverage and political accountability: theory and evidence. In Handbook of media Economics (Vol. 1, pp. 595-622).North-Holland.