Mc Quail (p.1) defines media regulation as “the whole process of control or guidance, by established rules and produces applied by governments and other political and administrative authorities to all kinds of Media activities”. Several ways in which the media are regulated include governmental legislations and media self-regulation. The advancement in technology and the exponential growth in the media industry as well as the demand for innovative information, deregulation however breaks the barriers that stifle the media industry and enhance its growth. This essay will draw examples of why are media regulated in Trinidad and Tobago and show the advantages and disadvantages.
Mc Quail, (2005 p.6) states, “Regulation by its very nature sets limits to freedom which is the most basic principle of democratic societies”. Media regulations were designed to control the content of the media as to protect the public and individual rights and interests as well as to ensure that universal standards of decency are met. Also, to shape the Market to encourage healthy competition and avoid monopolies, as well as to ensure technology meets requirements and world standards to allow access to the industry by investors and competitors. The dependency of the society on the media would mean management is key, therefore; media regulations are the management system.
Mc Quail, (2005, P.7) notes, “the surface reasons given conceal other purposes (especially the interest of the state)”. In 1997, Basdeo Panday then Prime Minister accused the media of publishing untruth and bias articles. In 1999, he wrote a letter to the President of the Inter-American Press Association as two years prior he had refused to sign their Declaration of Chapultepec until it dealt with issues regarding integrity in the media. Mr. Panday claimed that the Declaration of Chapultepec did not support the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, he proposed the Declaration of Port of Spain, which...
References: Mc Quail, D. (2005). Mc Quail’s Mass Communication Theory. London
Saith, L. K. (2004). The National Policy on Broadcast and The Broadcast Industry [PDF documents]. Retrieved from http://www.fastforward.tt/files/cms/National_Broadcast_Policy.pdf
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