6.4.3 The Role of the Media in Politics

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The media can act as a useful channel for two-way communication between politicians and the people:

      They can provide a platform to enable politicians to explain their policies, especially in economic matters and foreign affairs.

      They can also provide a platform to enable the people and interest groups to inform politicians of their opinions and requirements.

Politicians need to hear criticism and to know what people are thinking: what is reported in the media is partly what people are already thinking and partly reflects what they are likely to think after they have seen the report. The media influence on the population puts a corresponding pressure on politicians, who need support from the people.

The media undoubtedly wield power (6.4.3.1), so media ownership (6.4.3.2) can be an issue. Although the two-way political communication is valuable, it is sometimes distorted (6.4.3.3), and it would be helpful if an impartial source of news were available (6.4.3.4).

PatternsofPower.org, 2014