Term papers writing service


Communication and the role of media in society

Discuss the relationship between new media and democracy.

  • It has been argued that this visual aspect of text is important in and of itself because it shapes the way human beings pay attention to their environment, and this shapes the way that they think about themselves;
  • In the following part of my paper I will outline these cases and refer to international Example;
  • In India and Thailand, Rural libraries have been used as centres of continuing education and learning of new techniques of agriculture.

Evaluate the ethics of intellectual rights and copyrights in new media. Evaluate the ethics of content filtering and surveillance in new media.

The days of analogue media are coming to an end and, indeed, are over in many places. As a speech teacher, one of the technology struggles I have faced over the years is recording student speeches. For the past several years, while teaching at different schools, I was continually flustered by the difficulty of finding an easy way to digitally record and have students access their speeches. When I first started teaching, we rolled a camcorder into the classroom on speech days and each student brought his or her own VCR tape to class and would pop it in, hit record, do the speech, and then pop it out.

It was the easiest method of recording I have ever used. But the last time I asked my students to bring a VCR tape was about five years ago, and when I asked, the students looked at me like I had five heads. Some of the same problems with representation and access for which the mass media were criticized are still present in new media, despite its democratizing potential. As we discussed earlier, new media increase participation and interactivity, giving audience members and users more control over content and influence over media decisions.

Media critics point out, though, that participants are not equally distributed Jenkins, 2006.

  • This strategy has almost disappeared with the appearance of catchall parties;
  • By fulfilling the previously mentioned functions mass media is likely related to the prevailing structure of political and economic power;
  • Thus, when scholars initiated the study of text, they discovered that communication not only helps shape individual relationships, but it also plays a role in defining the social environment.

Research shows that new media users, especially heavy users who are more actively engaged, tend to be male, middle class, and white. New Media and Democracy Scholars and reporters have noted the democratizing effect of new media, meaning that new media help distribute power to the people through their personal and social characteristics.

Many media scholars have commented on these changes as a positive and more active and participative alternative to passive media consumption Siapera, 2012. Instead of the powerful media outlets exclusively having control over what is communicated to audiences and serving as the sole gatekeeper, media-audience interactions are now more like a dialogue.

  1. Television and videos cannot reach the masses in remote areas without electrification of villages. In such cases, parents or others may want to control the information available with filtering software that is customizable.
  2. Publication of large number of rural newspapers with increasing popularity is an indicator of their usefulness in the rural areas.
  3. Institutions can block certain content using software or other technical means. According to this view, the communication processes and outcomes are influenced by internal and external contingencies situations as well as by the degree of freedom of the work processes of the system.

The personal access to media and growing control over media discourses by users allows people to more freely express opinions, offer criticisms, and question others—communicative acts that are all important for a functioning democracy. A recent national survey found that young people, aged fifteen to twenty-five, are using new media to engage with peers on political issues. These activities were not included in previous research done on the political habits of young people because those surveys typically focused on more traditional forms of political engagement like voting, joining a political party, or offline campaigning.

Political engagement using new media is viewed as more participatory, since people can interact with their peers without having to go through official channels or institutions. But the research also found that this type of participatory political engagement also led to traditional engagement, as those people were twice as likely to vote in the actual election. In fact, about 25 percent of registered voters told their Facebook friends and Communication and the role of media in society followers who they would vote for Byers, 2012.

Aside from new methods of advertising, social media also helped capture the much-anticipated Election Day, including some of the barriers or problems people experienced. People used YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to document and make public their voting experience. People also used social media to document long lines at polling places and to share the incoming election results. What are some of the positives and negatives of the increasingly central role that social media play in politics?

Issues of ownership and control are present in new media as they are in traditional mass media. Although people may think they are multitasking and accessing different media outlets, they may not be. To help keep users within their domain, some large new media platforms like Facebook and Yahoo!

New media provide ways of countering some of the control and participation issues that audiences have typically faced as the lines blur between producers and consumers of media.

Study portals

The phrase alternative media is often associated with new media. Alternative media include a range of voices with diverse cultural identities and experiences, which counter the mainstream media outlets that are controlled by and include the voices and perspectives of more privileged people.

From a truly democratic perspective, which is supposed to invite and encourage dissent, a plurality of voices, and civil debate, alternative and tactical media are welcome additions to the traditional media landscape that tries to diminish, rather than encourage, competing voices. Blogs were the earliest manifestation of Web 2. Blogs are an accessible and popular outlet for citizen journalismwhich is reporting done by individuals or small groups outside of the media establishment as a corrective to mainstream journalism, which may inaccurately report or underreport a story Boler, 2008.

Citizen journalists increasingly play a part in shaping local and national discussions of news and have received positive and negative evaluations from mainstream media and audiences. One corrective function of alternative media and citizen journalists is the gatewatching function. Recall that earlier we discussed the gatekeeping function of mass media through which reporters, editors, executives, and advertisers influence what content and how much of it makes it to audiences.

  • In shaping public opinion is more visible if we examine its instrument;
  • As we discussed earlier, new media increase participation and interactivity, giving audience members and users more control over content and influence over media decisions;
  • This "mass" communication process, which makes use of permanent text that can be made available to millions of people at the same time, has quickly become an important factor in the lives of many human beings.

Citizen journalists revised this notion to be more actively involved in the process, so gatewatching refers to a media criticism practice that seeks to correct or expand mainstream communication and the role of media in society reporting.

These citizen journalists look for stories or information that will be relevant to their often smaller more niche audiences. Since many people use new media to access information, they seek out information specifically communication and the role of media in society toward their interests and needs.

The citizen journalists then transmit that information to their audience through a blog or microblog, such as Twitter. In this sense, they act as gatewatchers for the mass media and serve the traditional gatekeeper function for their niche audiences.

They may comment on how one media outlet covered a story while another did not or how one outlet used more credible sources than the other. They may also critique a media outlet for shallow coverage or overcoverage. Stories that may not have been picked up by a major media outlet now get covered after they receive much attention through new and social media. People in such cases may demand that major media outlets cover the story, or the outlet may choose to cover it on their own to capitalize on the popularity of the story.

New Media and Ethics If you buy a song from iTunes, should you be able to play it on any device you wish? Should ideas or knowledge that can lead to positive change for many people like an approach to international conflict mediation or a scientific discovery that could lead to a new lifesaving medication be protected and kept from the public through intellectual property laws? How much information and creative works should be available in the public domain to help further knowledge and inspire further innovation and creativity, and how much of that should be protected?

Censorship, which is the suppression, limiting, or deleting of speech, is an issue that predates the advent of mass media and new media but one that has become more prevalent as the amount, access to, and diversity of information has increased. Censorship is based on the notion of freedom of speech, which is a foundational principle of the US Constitution and was declared a universal human right by the United Nations Deibert, 2008.

I have chosen to discuss censorship in the section on new media because the Internet, which is the basis for most new media, has been envisioned as an avenue toward and an outlet for more free speech. Censorship is enacted and free speech limited in two primary ways on the Internet: Intellectual Property Rights and Copyrights As we learned earlier, one of the technological changes that made the birth and explosion of new media possible is the near universal compatibility of digital content.

This problem gained much attention following the mass popularity of the peer-to-peer P2P file-sharing program Napster. Despite the numerous lawsuits and legal challenges that Napster faced, P2P file-sharing programs like Limewire, Vuze, and bitTorrent became the new way to legally and illegally share files ranging from software to video games, documents, books, music, and movies.

Once anything is digitized and makes its way to one of these networks, it becomes nearly impossible to control or limit its circulation. For example, media corporations and law enforcement and government agencies have tried to prosecute individuals, require Internet service providers to take action against users who illegally download materials or visit suspect sites, or shut down domain names based in the United States Newman, 2012.

Although many people applaud the effort to stop the circulation of pirated material, many were also afraid that the regulations could lead to restrictions on other forms of information circulation such as open source sharing and crowdsourcing Magid, 2012.

To protest and raise awareness of these laws, several high-profile sites and hundreds of other online supporters engaged in the largest act of cyberprotest to date. Within a few days, support for the laws had dwindled, and both are now on indefinite hold. Most new media scholars and commentators do not question the fact that some information should be protected as intellectual property and that many artistic creations should be copyrighted.

Such practices help ensure that innovation and creativity are recognized and that the people who create them are duly compensated. Such protections actually help promote and protect freedom of speech and provide an incentive for people to expend considerable time and effort to produce innovative and creative products and exchange ideas and art that circulate and enhance our society Deibert, 2008.

Intellectual property rights and protections are newer and more difficult to enforce and even define than are copyrights. In the realm of academia, especially, the philosophy of open and shared knowledge has been applied to academic research and scholarship. Corporations and companies have long had a more closed policy to knowledge and information, keeping many product ideas and designs to themselves and considering them proprietary information. The increase in corporate-like application of such protections to intellectual property in academia and other scientific areas that were historically more open and collaborative has received much criticism.

To reiterate, these issues exist independently of new media, but the fact that most ideas and creations are now in digital form and that the Internet provides for sharing and then rapid and uncontrollable diffusion of such material is what creates the issue relevant to our discussion. And the issue of enforcement is what brings us back to the notion and ethics of censorship.

One way such protections have been enforced is by actually building new codes directly into the content or technology. But one media scholar and critic sums up the oppositional view of such practices in the following statement: The main criticism in terms of infringement on intellectual work rests on the increase in copyrights and intellectual property laws on the circulation of academic findings and publications.

The Internet is seen by many as a tool to enhance academic research and sharing and as a place for collaboration, but such laws have limited or shut down some academic databases and the circulation of electronic journals and articles. The main communication and the role of media in society in terms of infringement on creative works rests on the loss of revenue for artists, authors, and musicians whose works are pirated and losses for their representatives, such as distributors, record labels, or movie studios.

DRM has raised much concern and controversy. Even though that content belongs to us and we bought it legally, we are not able to take advantage of the portability and cross-platform compatibility that we learned earlier is so characteristic of new media. Content Filtering and Surveillance Research shows that Internet content filtering is increasing as new technologies allow governments and other entities to effectively target and block Internet users from accessing undesirable information.

16.2 New Media and Society

For example, in 2002 only two countries, China and Saudi Arabia, were known to actively filter Internet content within their borders. Presently, many more countries, including the United States, engage in such content filtering.

Content filtering can happen at different levels. Internet service providers can also block or censor content at the request of governments or other groups. Institutions can block certain content using software or other technical means.

This type of blocking may be carried out to meet the objectives or values of a particular institution—for example, to block sexually explicit information from school computers. Finally, censorship can occur at the individual computer level. In such cases, parents or others may want to control the information available with filtering software that is customizable. Typically, blocked content includes pornography or other materials deemed sexually explicit, information deemed harmful to national security or public safety e.

In terms of politics and human rights blocking, China blocked access to Twitter in the lead-up to the twenty-year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.

The issue of censoring information deemed to be religiously offensive gained worldwide attention in September of 2012 when a video trailer for an anti-Islamic movie made in the United States made its way onto YouTube, which sparked protests in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Tunisia, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, and many other countries.

In response to calls from some of these countries for the United States to remove the video from YouTube, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton condemned the video but affirmed that the video communication and the role of media in society protected under the right to free speech promised by the US Constitution.

Google did make the unprecedented decision, in the wake of an attack on the US embassy in Libya that killed four US Americans including ambassador Chris Stevens and in the face of increasing protests, to block the video in Libya, Egypt, Indonesia, and India Rosen, 2012. Should the United States have completely removed the video from YouTube in the wake of the protests and violence it sparked around the world? Why or why not? Do you think this was the right or wrong decision on the part of the company?

In your opinion, should anything be removed from or added to these guidelines?

Media, Communication and Society

Blocking software can now also limit access to translation sites, which a person could use to get around the filtering since most of the information that is blocked is in the native language s of the country. This was the case in Bahrain, which blocked access to Google Translate in 2009.

Web access can also be limited due to security reasons.