Is there really a totally free press or media?

 A press crew interviewing a police officer.
Though the press is free from censorship in many countries, it does not mean we should overemphasize the expression “the free press.” Why is this so?"

Limitations of press freedom


When it comes to information, the information is dependent on the news agency. The agent for a piece of news will leave his mark and personality on the report.

For example, if you read or view an item from a country like Ukraine, which is involved in a “political war with Russia "-you must consider whether it comes from an American news agency or from a Russian news agency. The two agencies will tell the same piece of news in their own way.

Indeed much the American media agencies endeavor to be independent of the U.S. government’s policy, however their news service must necessarily be marked by the American origin, not colored, not twisted, only marked.

Actually, few media houses are truly independent.

The reader or viewer who desires to be correctly informed should be aware of the interest this media houses have in serving a particular policy or group, such as a political party.

For instance, if a media house favors one political party over another, it will not be quick to criticize the party it favors, whereas events or actions no worse on the part of the opposing party will be severely attacked.

If there are no political interests to care for, there are other interests to consider. All media houses have the public or the majority to consider.

By “the majority” we do not mean the majority of the entire nation, but the majority of the group to which the media addresses itself.

This majority has a peculiar influence on the press. How so? This is because this media houses are run as businesses. The media houses must sell advertising space.

The price of an advertisement depends in large measure on the reach of the media house.

The more people who read or view their information, the more income an advertisement brings to the media house, as the rate per advertisement can be increased as more people are reached.

That is why media houses often take part in what can be called a “ratings race.” 

Hence, the media houses must be careful not to present material that would be offensive to these advertisers and cause them to withdraw their advertisements, damaging the prime source of income for them.

Therefore, it will be difficult for them to present ideals not favored by the majority.

What interests the majority is considered more important than information about the big and vital issues. This can have a decided influence on the information presented by media houses.

Usually much interest is concentrated on the life of movie stars, princely weddings and princesses’ childbirths.

The current psychological, cultural and historical significance of certain important events pass most people unnoticed. Or they only receive a shrug.

This willingness to cater to trivialities in order to build up the number of viewers or readers explains why superior media houses may often have much less reach than other media houses that devoted to sensational exposes of the lives of prominent people.

It seems as if in our time we have completely lost the ability to distinguish between important things and unimportant ones.

However, if a matter is fairly well covered by the media, the alert reader or viewer can get a general idea of what is happening.

But if one who wants to be objective and thoroughly informed on a particular subject, one must go to books or other sources of information that treat the matter as a special subject or get a cross-section of opinions.

This is especially true if the subject is a controversial issue.

Conclusion


If you are an alert reader or viewer you can get much valuable information from the media as well as enjoyment, especially if you have given attention to the way information is gathered and the media group to which the information is accredited to.

The media has its proper place as a channel of information. It enables us to get a fair picture of what is going on in the world.

But we cannot be only contented with the information in the media domain only. This would not be complete or at times may even give us a distorted view of events.

A balanced view of is essential to one who is truly interested in being enlightened on world affairs.

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