BU Research Blog | The relationship between journalism and democracy | Bournemouth University
Section 1: News Journalism and Democracy: why it matters and the the relationship of the media to democracy, one must also attend to the current state of. ABSTRACT. Journalism is often discussed in terms of its relationship to democracy. But one's conception of democracy can influence how one. Watch this excellent short video from BU's Prof Stuart Allan on the relationship between the study of journalism and the study of democracy.
In theory, parliament is supposed to scrutinise the executive but in practice it is unable to do so. Opposition parties do not have the numbers on their side to push through legislation. Their deliberative contribution is also erratic because parliament meets only at certain times and governments are now anyway adept at stonewalling or deflecting troublesome discussions. The courts, meanwhile, are overburdened and they are often not able to respond as quickly to public concerns as some might hope.
The link between journalism and democracy stirs creativity
The executive, in turn, cultivates the media to promote its views but does not want to be probed by it.
Ministers do not grant one-on-one interviews to tough, independent journalists anymore — they tend to hover in a scrutiny-free space beyond the reach of the media.
Amid this culture of silence, some journalists still try to raise issues of public interest, discover the roots, debates and values in the shaping of policies, they follow their implementation and their philosophical and substantive impact on communities.
They are trying to pry open state institutions that have a logic and tradition of secrecy, so that the public is informed on matters that affect them. At a time when the space for academics, artists and a range of thinkers has significantly shrunk, the media, across all platforms, for all its faults, is the one institution that is still feistily contesting cheery, self-serving narratives of those in power.
In a mass society, there is always a crisis of representation as countries tend to be too big to hoover up all opinions as feedback for establishments.
Political leaders cannot speak for all interests and concerns; they have to, by necessity, pander to some and ignore others. And even if they do, their impact is linked to political stature rather than the rightness of their cause.
Journalists, on the contrary, try and course through society and make contact with as many constituencies as possible and relate the views of the ignored to the wider public. It is in part through the work of the media that we hear of agrarian distressthe impact on development projects on displaced Adivasi communities, excessive use of force in Kashmir, the effect of changed rules for cattle slaughter on livelihoods in north India, the impact of demonetisation on the informal economythe changes in textbooks in Rajasthan, the perceptions in south India about the imposition of Hindihow women in India feel about being told how to live their lives and so on.
The media has flaws like any human institution. Journalists have biases, blind spots, prejudices, delusions of self-importance and, in many cases, they work for institutions that have complex motivations that constrain them.1.1 Journalism and Democracy - Interview
But they also work in a competitive climate where the fear of being challenged by peers has the overall effect of elevating reporting standards, which in turn helps readers to separate the great from the good and the avoidable.
Unlike some sectors, the media has some self-correcting conventions which it is able to implement in real time. The industry has its blemishes, but they should not detract from the fact that it is an institution which is critical for democracy.
They attempt to keep a watch on power, its practices, deceptions and effects and are expected to be attentive to the tribulations of the weak. Two conclusions follow from this: Journalists should mainly be judged by how they try and practice these principles.
Second, governments have a vested interest in taming the media to cover up their failings and excesses. Citizens must be constantly aware that intimidating journalists is part of an attempt to silence all.
The link between journalism and democracy stirs creativity | The Seattle Times
Sushil Aaron is a journalist and writes on Indian politics and international affairs. In a Times op-ed in January, C.
Edwin Baker, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, proposed the government use tax credits to cover half the salary of reporters and editors, as an incentive to avoid layoffs and unemployment. Others ask the Justice Department to look at antitrust laws, in the words of Attorney General Eric Holder, to review enforcement policies and conform them to the reality the industry faces. Another suggestion revisits a remedy as old as the Founding Fathers: Nichols and McChesney propose ending postal rates for newspapers that receive less than 20 percent of their revenues from advertising.
Media recipients of the stimulus would have to pledge 90 percent of their content to online. Sure, as if that transfer does not happen already.
The authors would direct funds so every middle school through college had a newspaper and low-power FM radio station. Many proposals stir tension between the independence of the press and its relationship with the provider of the aid and incentives, the government.
Yet each idea stirs a conversation with the intent and desire to maintain and promote the vigorous journalism behind a robust democracy.