The failure of media corporations in modern democracy
Democracy and Sufferage is all about giving the people the power to decide for themselves.
Many consider democracy the final form of goverement, that it is the most evolved and sophisticated form of how a society should distribute its power and decisions.
While democracy as a notition is very sound and more importantly noble, being a democractic country doesn't neccisarily remove you the issue of corruption of power. What it doesn't addres is the issue of how those whom vote form their opinions.
We have a wonderful tool in our society that allows us to get information across to millions, upon billions of people across states, countries and the entire globe if need be.
Television (as well as the Internet and News papers) could be used to provide the popluation of countries that use a democratic system to elect their leaders or make decisions for themselves with a fully non-judgemental (what some may call objective) view of scenario's that effect them directley or indirectley.
This would allow for a true democracy to work, it would allow for people to decide for themselves.
What if however, a few individuals had control over this tool? What if they were able to use this tool to ensure more people had the very same political opinion as they did? Would that be considered wrong? Would it not negagte the whole point of demcracy and plunge us back into what is in essense a dictatorship, the desires of one or few, overshaddowign the desires of many?
Let me show you an interesting correlation between the elected goverements of the UK and the owner of the most media assets political opinion over the past few decades:
Between 1980-1992 Rupert Murdoch was generally favourable towards the Conservative party in Britain.
Between 1980-1992 The Conservative party goverened Britain.
In 1992, The Sun News paper, owned by Rupert Murdoch, published an article damining opposition candidate Neil Kinnock, it's probably the most definiative example of media influence over a election and something the paper itself is highly proud of.
Between 1992 and 1997 - The Conservative party continued to govern Britain.
In 1997, Tony Blair met Rupert Murdoch in a private meeting to discuss the future of Britain and how Murdoch would help Blair achieve his aim by wining over public opinion through the press.
In 1997 Rupert Murdochs publications became favourable to that of the Labour Party.
In 1997 the Labout Party became the governing party in Britain.
In 2008 Rupert Murdochs publications, free from the agreement with Blair, are now leaning towards the Conservative Party.
It will be interesting to see whom will win the next British General election.
Rupert Murdoch owns 7, yes 7, national news papers here in the united kingdom, it owns an entire broadcasting company (premium TV, like the american version fo cable). As well as other publications.
In 1985 Murdoch became a citzen of the United States in order to purchase a Television company, namely Fox.
Ok, everyones got a political opinion, even the owners of news corporations, whats Fox Done wrong?
Fox does two things, hand in hand, that go against what the media should do in terms of political coverage in a democratic society. The first thing it does is offer a subjective view, that is it is a view which has passed judgement on a particular issue. The second and perhaps most contreversial (and to it's viewers insulting) of all is that it has the audacity to say it is putting across as objective (non-judgemental) view point of political scenario's.
So in short, Fox News is gathering news and information and then showing you particular aspects of it in order to impose the political opinion of itself as a corporation on to it's viewers. Instead of actually giving their viewiers the entire situation and allowing them to decide, it does the decision bit for them.
You, after being told what to think effectivley, then go off to the voting booth.
Maybe the media don't want to own up to the responsiblity of informing society of what is going on, maybe they want to just make the arguement of 'We just want to sell news papers!' or 'We just want to get viewers!'. That may be so, but at the same time we as a society have to recognise the power that the media has over us and as such it needs to be heavily scrutinized especially when it comes to claims of impartiality.
In an ideal world, saying your impartial, then presentialy a highly subjective opion across should be illegal, it is a crime against society and it is an insult to anyone watching.
While organisations such as these exist, we have no right to go to any other country in the world and challenge their view on how a country should be ran or how it should treat its citizens and in a world where you have the likes of the Burmese Junta, Zimbawae and Norther Korea then it becomes a rather large issue.
Cheers for reading, any opinions are most welcome.