Posted by: slee3324 | November 14, 2011

Media reform calls for real solutions

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

—The Wizard, The Wizard of Oz

McChesney’s work is built on the foundations of democracy, where in the political realm, power is exercised and shared equally among all citizens. Decisions are not left to the experts but to the users, the citizen body. Access to unbiased information is essential and ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices and that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office. It is my belief that McChesney would agree that these conditions are not met by today’s representative democracy and that political democracy should be without internal influence.

 The same holds true for the corruption of mass media where pervasive corporate influence has led to a failure to adequately inform people of their own role and interest in important topics. In effect, the mass media advance the economic interests of the wealthy few at the cost of the interests, and values, of the majority. McChesney argues that reform is necessary in order to fully realize a true political democracy but is short in offering any real solutions.

Media reform should move us from a media that is directed by government and private interests to one that is more open and serves the public interest. If the media is to have any meaningful role in democracy, then reform should include developing a range of diverse channels and voices that are credible, and to build a sector that promotes such outlets. While, the Internet may be a strong conduit for editorial independence, it will always be marginalized as long as corporate and government interaction prevails.

The following questions might help stimulate the kind of solutions that McChesney failed to offer:

  • How do we create supportive objective news and information channels so that people can make informed decisions and counter controlled media
  • How do we cultivate alternative media, so that multiple voices and opinions will be heard?

 

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