Dual Role Of Journalism In Democracy

What have thirty years of democratic innovation yielded? What is the state of democracy? And once that state has been drawn up, isn’t it time to look at what kind of government our society needs?

In a democracy, everything revolves around the possibility for citizens to judge the policy or the actions, or the behavior of politicians. The representative of the people is the only one who has his boss below him: the voter. The voter and the elected are almost 100% dependent on the media for information about what is happening. If you look at the media production over a period of fifty years, you immediately see the changes in the selection of the subjects, the approach, and the shift in the valuation of news value. Entertainment value has become an increasingly important criterion. It can lie in the shocking or amusing or in the dramatic. News mainly lies in what is not working. What does work has no news value? Even if it is a wonder that something is going. This alone creates a skewed image.

Everything is translated in terms of winning and losing, slips, banana peels, moral indignation. Anything but personal drama. This is not only due to journalists, it is equally due to politicians. If you are one hundred percent dependent on the media to reach your voters, then you also have to meet the conditions to be communicated. That does not mean that journalists or politicians lie more than before. Not much lies in politics. That will be punished. That is why so much is played. It does mean that politicians tailor their message to the communication value. Not the facts, but their charge and the order can be edited. The story is true and it is not true. Adjectives do violate the truth but do not destroy it. So many adjectives. You are never disappointed, but very disappointed, never angry but furious, a difference of opinion is a quarrel.

In addition, no issue discussed in the public sector remains true to its size. Precisely because it has to be suitable for mass communication, and only to make it visible – and interesting – everything is magnified. This reduces the manageability of the problem and makes it more difficult to find an agreement for a solution This is a sharpened picture and there are, of course, many exceptions. But the core is this: where the organs of democracy – government, parliament, head of state, and the electorate – have defined their mandate, their rights and obligations constitutionally or constitutional and without which a democracy cannot exist: that is the free communication function of the media. That is also not possible, but that is the problem. The media has no responsibility for the functioning of the constitution, although they play a key role in it. Their motives lie in commerce and competition.

I have the feeling that the connotation of politics by the citizens is becoming increasingly negative because of the political culture within the triangle of government, parliament, and media. Moreover, that culture puts a lot of pressure on the administration itself. Ministers lack time to thoroughly think through and outline the main points of policy. Since the freedom of the press is inviolable within the limits of the law, the improvement of that culture will have to come from a change in the relationship between government and parliament.

A new fact is the stormy development of computer science, which will drastically change the relationship between citizens, but especially that between citizens and their community. Citizens’ greater self-reliance makes them much less dependent on the community or government in many areas. Is it not time that, in the light of these new facts and social developments, we took a look at what kind of governance our society needs, and what innovations must be introduced to prevent the word democracy from becoming an empty shell.

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