Mass Media

Topics: Mass media, Developed country, Canada Pages: 7 (2514 words) Published: October 22, 2007
Mass media can be referred to as a means of public communication such as television, radio and widely circulated newspapers that tend to reach a large audience with similar social characteristics (Mintz et al, 2005). In a developed liberal democracy like Canada, the media plays an important role in supporting the free discussion of ideas, providing information to citizens in order for them to make informed political decisions, and preventing the abuses of authority. In a less developed country like Bangladesh, the media plays a critical role in changing the country's cultural outlook, social structure, economic organization and its political system. Although the diversity of views available to citizens, the ownership of media, and state regulation of mass communication is significantly different in each country, the relationship between the state and civil society is stronger in Canada than in Bangladesh. The Canadian media system has demonstrated a stronger technological advancement and a greater desire to promote the common good of Canadians by presenting a diverse range of perspectives and allowing the criticism of government authority. In Canada, mass communication is a two-way process. "It serves as a conduit through which citizens and interest groups can channel their demands to government. But it is also the public's main source of information about government and government policies" (Bateman, 2004). There are several sources of media and different information systems available to Canadians that inform citizens about political events and issues. Television is one form of media that attracts a large audience and connects with a greater percentage of the country's population. Many surveys have revealed that the majority of Canadians regard television news as the most credible source of political information. (Ranney, 2001 cited in Mintz et al, 2005). Accordingly, fifty-two percent of Canadians stated that television news was their primary source of information during the 2000 election (Mintz et al, 2005). In addition to the news media, television magazine shows, such as 60 minutes and Dateline, present in-depth coverage of selected topics and current news events. Radio broadcasting and print media are other forms of the mass media that provide complete local, national and international news coverage for Canadians. Elite media, which consists of newspapers and magazines, is distinct from tabloid newspapers and magazines such as Toronto Sun and the National Enquirer. Examples of elite media in Canada include the Globe and Mail and Le Devoir, which are serious in tone and appeal to decision-makers in the government and business sectors along with social institutions (Mintz et al, 2005). In order to present a diversity of views, newspaper columnists and journalists provide commentary on political issues and offer opinionated articles to the public. Moreover, "the development of the Internet has resulted in a major change in political communications" (Mintz et al, 2005). In Canada, access to a wide range of perspectives on political issues can be obtained through the World Wide Web. For instance, major newspaper companies like the Toronto Star have online versions of their daily printed media that can be retrieved quickly and easily from anywhere around the world. One of the main functions of the mass media is to promote the interests of those with economic and political power (Naiman, 2004). Accordingly, the internet allows "governments and political parties to provide information to interested and concerned citizens without having their message filtered through the critical lens of the mass media" (Mintz et al, 2005). On the contrary, the internet can also supply information that is unverifiable or bias, which acts like a passage way for lies, rumors and hatred to spread Furthermore, in addition to the development of the internet, technological advancements such as direct broadcast satellites, interactive video via...
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