Media has increasingly made an impact on the lives of humans throughout the years and especially in light of the recent events of the pandemic. It has taken many forms like newspapers, magazines, television programs, and these days the most popular is social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, etc. It has allowed people to have a voice yet also allowed people to at times be publicly humiliated. Social media platforms can at times be democratic in that it allows the user to filter through a lot of information to determine whether that information suffices their opinions, determine whether the data is true or false, and give the user a voice to speak for themselves. However, it is not completely democratic because of echo chambers and the filtering of information after something is liked or forwarded or even clicked on.
Media is a great way for information to be spread to a vast amount of people in a short amount of time. Politicians who successfully know how to use the media are able to get their arguments and policies out in the open with a good idea as to what the people think through the amount of responses. However, media is a way for broadcasters to discredit or undermine the politicians and that the praise or downfall of a politician is pretty much determined by the interviewer or the media outlet (Ozerturk 4). This can make it a bit difficult to get information about a politician and see whether what they stand for is agreeable to others. In addition, dependent on who and what the source is, the users must decide for themselves whether this information is true, and they have the power to voice these opinions on social media as well, which is a very democratic point in that the people shape their opinions and use the same medium to voice those opinions.
Because media can get information out quickly, this does not always mean the entire story. It can be released in pieces that are not always verified that can create a perception of what happened without any real proof (Zubiaga et al. 2). It is democratic in that it allows people to shape their own opinion but also shows how someone is in control and has power to persuade people to think a certain way, whether it be hatred or praise, like an echo chamber. This again can be reflected in politics, especially in today’s time. Like “merely seeing political and social labels can cause you to reject facts that you would otherwise support” (Akpan). This can particularly be seen in news outlets like Fox and CNN, that has made its way to social media like Twitter and Facebook. Everything seems to be two sided yet when one looks at the other, they are either wrong or right with no in between. Which can be a democratic point in that in the end it is a person’s decision on whether that information is correct or bias.
To find out news, people tend to discover it in different ways, like going to an actual news site or finding out through search engines or increasingly, social media. The use of news branding has become increasingly important because it shows how people process information and is important for journalism as it builds loyal audiences that can make them profit down the road (Kalogeropoulos et al. 584). This can again create an echo chamber; if the brand is not popular, then the users are not going to really look at it or trust it, regardless of it being true. This also leaves room for people to search for a brand that supports opinions of their own and disregarding any other sources that fall off target of their perspective views. This is democratic as it shows how an individual can sift through sources that contribute to their beliefs, but this can also lead to a biasness depending on the brand like say Fox.
Media is an excellent way for information to be spread, and through the years it has given a voice and allowed people to explore the depths of the ample sources of information to shape opinions of their own, and in this way media can be seen as democratic. However, through filtering and echo chambers, it can show how media can be used to instill perceptions on how people should think and shove “facts” that are either not verified, no evidence to support, or completely false in general. But in the end it does come down to the individual and they have the ability to decide for themselves what to believe and what not to believe.
Akpan, Nsikan. “How Seeing a Political Logo Can Impair Your Understanding of Facts.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 3 Sept. 2018, www.pbs.org/newshour/science/how-seeing-a-political-logo-can-impair-your-understanding-of-facts.
Kalogeropoulos, Antonis, et al. “News Brand Attribution in Distributed Environments: Do
People Know Where They Get Their News?” New Media & Society, vol. 21, no. 3, 2019, pp. 583–601.
Ozerturk, Saltuk, and Ozerturk, Saltuk. “Choosing a Media Outlet When Seeking Public
Approval.” Public Choice, vol. 174, no. 1, 2018, pp. 3–21.
Zubiaga, Arkaitz, Liakata, Maria, Procter, Rob, Wong Sak Hoi, Geraldine, & Tolmie, Peter.
(2016). Analysing How People Orient to and Spread Rumours in Social Media by Looking at Conversational Threads. PloS One, 11(3), e0150989. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0150989