1In what ways does the media play an important role in a democracy?
Answer: Media gives news and discusses events that are happening in the entire world. Based on this people can understand how the government is functioning. These news stories are the basis on which people in a democracy can take action against the government’s policies and decisions by organizing public protests, starting signature campaigns etc thereby asking the government to rethink its decisions.
Can you give this diagram (NCERT Exercise) a title? What do you understand about the link between media and big business from this diagram?
Answer: The title to this diagram is ‘The money cycle in business'
This diagram shows that the money that the big business houses spend on advertising their products on media flows back to them. This happen by way of the purchases made by the people after watching/reading/hearing the advertisements of the products on TV /newspapers/radio. This cycle is a continuous process.
You have read about the ways in which the media ‘sets the agenda’. What kind of effect does this have in a democracy? Provide two examples to support your point of view.
Answer: Media decides what news to focus on. It therefore influences the thinking and the action of the people. Since people are an integral part of democracy, their thought processes and actions influence the overall working of the government. For example there was a media report on the high levels of lead and MSG (a food additive) in a popular brand of instant noodles. This has made people aware and cautious regarding the health hazards of consumption of instant noodles.
As a class project, decide to focus on a particular news topic and cut out stories from different newspapers on this. Also watch the coverage of this topic on TV news. Compare two newspapers and write down the similarity and differences in their reports. It might help to ask the following questions:
What do you understand by independent media? Is the media actually independent and unbiased?
Answer: The term ‘independent’ in the context of media means that there should be no control or influence on the coverage of news by them. In other words, nobody should have a say in what should and should not be included in a particular news report. An independent media would give reliable and unbiased news.
In reality, media is not independent. This is because the Government has a lot of influence on media. There have been times when the government has censored the media.
Describe local media.
Answer: Since media will not be interested in covering ‘small issues’ that involve the lives of ordinary people, many local groups have come up with their own media. This is called local media. Some examples of these are:
Write a note on media and democracy.
Answer: Since a democracy refers to the concept of – ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’, the elected representatives are accountable to the people. Media plays an important role in disseminating information about events happening in the country and the world. Based on this information, people are able to understand how the government is working, how much it has fulfilled its promises and where it is lagging behind. People can express their views/ suggestions and take action against the government based on the media reports.
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