The Role Of The Media In Democracy Essay
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How much does your vote really count? As a voter, does your choice really matter? How much influence does the media have on your vote? How many choices does the media actually make when it comes to our nation's leadership? These are questions pondered by both political scientists and the average American citizen each year as the second Tuesday in November approaches. Though we know that the framers founded this nation on the principles of representing it's citizens, and on the ideals of a nation for the people and by the people; it is obvious that the people feel that their vote doesn't always count. In this paper I plan to expand on these questions and the justifications behind asking them, and I plan to follow up with a specific…show more content…
Thousands of our nation's men and women were fighting for their country, yet the media limited the amount of information that they chose to pass on to the public. Each day the media is faced with the choice of making decisions of what news to pass on, when that news could make a significant difference in someone's life, or in the fate of our nation.
How much does the media effect your choices in voting? When we first ask this question, we think of the obvious. The media informs us of canidates, their personal backgrounds, their ideology, their stances on issues, things they do in the community they represent, and the platform on which they plan to run. However, once they get past the initial introduction, they "tend to be highly critical of politicians; they consider it their job to find inaccuracies in fact and weakness in argument." (Janda et al., 192) They force the faults of politicians on us, seldom speaking of the positive aspects from that point on. This, in turn, gives the voters a negative vision of their representatives as leaders. If faults are constantly being pointed out, voters begin to think that all politicians are incompetent and unable, and therefore see no need to vote. The media does not intentionally force these negative views upon the mass public; rather they point out the faults because it makes a better story. Although the media does not directly create or change opinions, it tells the public what to think about. By using priming
Introduction: The people of India elect their representatives and these representatives form a government. So, election in a democratic country like India is of utmost importance.
Meaning of ‘democracy’, ‘election’, and ‘voting’: The word democracy has its origin in two Greek words ‘demos’ and ‘krasis’. Demos means ‘the people, and Krasis means ‘power to rule’. So, democracy refers to the power of the common people of the land.
The word Election comes from the Latin word ‘eligere’. ‘Eligere’ means “to choose, select or pick” . To elect, or vote, means to select or to make a choice.
The word voting is derived from Latin word ‘votum’ meaning ‘to wish for’. Voting refers to the process of choosing or electing a candidate to run the government’s affairs, usually through a ballot.
Election in India: In Democratic India, general elections take place every five years. All those who are eighteen years of age have a right to vote. A number of candidates seek the election. They move from door to door. They hold public meetings and explain the programs of their parties. If they get majority of votes, they win; but if they do not, they lose. An election, therefore, is like a battle. But this battle is fought in a peaceful way. It is a battle of ballots, not a battle of bullets.
But in one sense an election is a kind of examination. Good students prepare hard for their examinations. Those who work hard get good marks. But those who never care for their books, fail. This is true of elections, too. There are good and honest leaders. They care for the welfare of the people. They never forget their voters. So, they get elected without much difficulty.
But there are also those who never care for these voters. Their only business is to earn as much as possible. They take bribe and help black-marketers. They never say ‘no’ to their voters but they never fulfill any promise. They remember their promises and their voters only when another election knocks at the door. Such leaders are like playful boys. Bad boys care for their examination only when it comes too near. How nervous they feel, then! They labor day and night for a month. But still they fail.
Importance of Voting: Voting is important because:
- It empowers the common people to choose their rulers.
- Common people have an indirect control over the functioning of the government.
- There remains no room for oppressive government. General public have power to change government in the upcoming elections, if they are not satisfied with the performance of the government.
- People have the power to raise voice against social evils and come together as a society.
- In a democracy like India, everyone’s vote is considered equal.
An examination, however, is not always a true test of merit. This is true of elections as well. Even bad persons very often win and good persons lose, why? Our voters do not know the importance of vote. A ballot paper we know is not just a piece of paper. It is a very powerful weapon. It changes a government without shedding even a drop of blood. But do the people always make a right use of their ballot paper? No, not always. They vote for a candidate in the name of some group or caste.
It is time to realize the true potential of the power of voting by every section of the society – the rich and the poor, the literate and the illiterate, the young and the old.
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