MCM511 Theories of Communication Assignment 1 Solution Spring 2013

Development Media Theory
Development media theory (applying in countries at lower levels of economic development and with limited resources) takes various forms but essentially proposes that media freedom, while desirable, should be subordinated (of necessity) to the requirements of economic, social and po-litical development.
Source: http://www.le.ac.uk/oerresources/media/ms7501/mod2unit11/page_07.htm

Background of the goals of development media theory
Development media theory was intended to recognize the fact that societies undergoing a transition from underdevelopment and colonialism to independence. Often they lack proper infrastructure, the capital and also people remain in an occupied state of mind. Media development intends to develop people mind as a result of which people will change their environment, social and economic environment. Through Development communication the stake holders are engaged in to a dialogue. It’s the way through which the voice of the voiceless is heard. They themselves define the way they are to live. This empowers them to select whatever  development plan mass media design for them.
Task in Focus
Q. Keeping in view the given goals of development media theory critically evaluate the  conformity of Pakistani media in regard to these goals. Give examples in support to your answer.

1. The primacy of the national development task
2. The pursuit of cultural and informational autonomy
3. Support for democracy
4. Solidarity with other developing countries
(4+4+4+3)
Learning Outcomes:
• Students will develop the sense that how a theory explains the working of media.
• This will establish a sense of responsible journalism as many journalists in Pakistan  work without conforming to the theoretical concepts

Idea Solution:

The media is a vital source of important information for people, primarily in the form of news that may affect them. People can be forewarned of problems and issues, so they can make better choices about their future.

Journalists can investigate stories, and reveal wrongs that should be righted or issues that should be addressed. The role of government is vital in a democracy, and it is the media that not just inform us of their actions, but analyse and give opinions on their significance. Abuses by governments and others can be revealed, so the media becomes an important balancing factor to enable good government.

Hence there is often a spectrum of the news media, including different ‘camps’ that generally reflect the different political points of view of politicians and the electorate. Many issues lack an absolute ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but instead have a range of opinions catered for by the media. The down side of this is that objectivity can be submerged under a slant.

However, most of these news outlets are commercial operations; they are there to make money. They have to give their audience what it wants, or they will fail to attract revenue to survive. While this ensures a certain level of public accountability, it also has a negative side.

Arguably the down side of the news media is that it caters to the ‘baser’ side of human interest. Some media tend to concentrate on entertainment, such as news, gossip and scandals about celebrities and public figures. Even the more ‘responsible’ news media can give an overly localised or even parochial view of events, ignoring wider issues of greater importance that are more ‘boring’.

The non-news media tends to concentrate on entertainment and popular interests. Entertainment is a major part of modern people’s existence, and the media is a major route to cater for this. Movies, sitcoms, dramas, lifestyle interests are all popular. Documentaries and analyses also have a niche, though perhaps suffer somewhat by being out-competed by more popular public tastes.

So, the media is vitally important, often desirable, and sometimes bad for us.

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