All Australian Media should be Government Owned, do You Agree?
Mass media plays an important role in formation of public awareness. However, only in case mass media is independent, it is capable to create healthy public consciousness and be a link between society and policy. Independent Australian media provides people with the opportunity to control the activity of the Australian politicians. Therefore, if media is government owned, it becomes a dependent manipulation tool.
According to David Randall, the code of honour of a journalist is a set of rules to which he has to adhere. Moreover, if he does not follow it, he has to be ashamed. The main goal of journalists consists of guaranteeing the right of citizens to receive truthful and significant information, which allows them to form the corresponding opinions on social and political processes, their importance, and perception of the situations in the modern world. Journalists have the rights, as well as duties, and they should respect the rules of their profession. First of all, they should follow standards of human ethical principles. Secondly, they should be careful with information, as journalists possess the social power to create the political agenda and influence public opinion.
The governmental journalism plays a key role in creation of the democratic state; thus, the purpose has to be the cornerstone of journalistic mission (Morrison 48). The concept of “the press as fourth estate”, which in the 18th century was introduced by the conservative politician and the philosopher Edmund Burke, characterizes current position of political journalism. Thus, the journalism is an independent institute which is an integral part of the political reality of the country (Fleming 144).
At the end of the twentieth century, Australian information space was overflowed with different products provided by mass media. Today, at the beginning of the twenty first century, media continues to play an important role in society (Patching and Hirst 62). It informs the society about actions of politicians and grants feedback from the citizens. Thus, the society has an opportunity to control directly the actions of elects. National interests of Australia demand providing favourable conditions for political development of the country and information availability.
In the contemporary world, people manage to estimate the relationship between journalism and government. The increase in the new digital and network communication technologies has correlation with stagnation and decrease of many traditional mass media. New digital mass media displaced the means which politicians use for communication with citizens. Now they have an opportunity to communicate directly without participation of journalists.
Peoples’ opinion concerning Australian policy results from the interpretation which is provided by media. Even if politicians limit journalists’ access to information or try to focus their attention on advantageous subjects, press has a professional opportunity to interpret information into media texts with specific comments and quotes.
On the other hand, the government-owned media should provide a qualitative platform for open discussion between citizens and politicians. Thus, not only citizens will be assured in their future, but also government will not lose connection with society and acquire facts about the real problems of people. The governmental media plays an intermediary, but extremely important role (Patching and Hirst 9). The governmental information has to satisfy and protect interests of the state, and defend benefits of civil society.
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However, media not always serves the public interests, and quite often presents a position of a certain political elite or the representatives of large business. Thus, close and unscrupulous cooperation of mass media and government led to the essential falling of authority of mass media as main source of information for citizens. If journalists do not follow the code of professional ethics, people cannot be sure of truthfulness of the information (McNair 21). Journalists constantly face the need to provide objective, responsible and timely information that is interesting to people. Because journalistic ethics have impact on formation of the public opinion, observance of ethical standards demands the journalist to be objective, honest and sensitive. Thus, independence from the government is crucial for objectivity.
Due to the fact that media is allocated with a special socially important role, journalists bear heavy responsibility. Journalists use their skills to execute the informational role to equal public hopes. In many countries including Australia, journalists are granted constitutionally right to advance various opinions and pluralism of views in masses and analyse comprehensively the current public events. Moreover, journalists influence the perception of many political and social problems. Therefore, journalists have to observe ethical principles because they directly influence the different groups of people.
Therefore, the government media in Australia changes constantly and finds itself as a craft and as a profession. Journalists face mistrust of citizens. Besides, very often they become tools in hands of politicians. It is necessary to find the golden mean. On the one hand, media should help politicians to create the strong state; while on the other hand, it should not advance interests of a certain political elite. The relationship between media and government has to bring justified, constructive and effective benefit for the whole society. The relation should be like a tennis game, where a politician and a journalist compete constantly, but at the end of a match they shake hands.