Media And The Public Trust Case Study

1148 Words 5 Pages
Media and the Public Trust
Introduction
Mass media can play an immense role in setting a nation’s agenda and help to focus public attention on a few key public issues. It provides factual information about public affairs from the news media which people need to know on the daily basis (Jempson, 2004). It’s also known to be the constitution of the backbone of democracy, serving as the medium between the government and the people, supplying political information that the citizen can base their decisions on, which can significantly affect the political aspect of the nation (Fog, 2013). Because of the abundance of information the media gives out each day, people become extremely reliant upon the media to provide them information and knowledge,
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(Jempson, 2004). The public interest in this context refers to the topic that involves the commonwealth and welfare of the public such as health issue, political transparency, political movement, and national projects (Linden, 2009). Claimed by Shmykova (2007), one reason that may cause shrinkage in media is how the mass media fail to serve the needs of the citizen due to double product which consist of content for people and the satisfaction of advertisers. She has claimed that the media are “under pressures for maximizing profits” for these advertisers and the powerful people as these groups of people are the main income of the organisation, resulting in biased information of the public interest.
In order to understand and identify the issues if the media must serve the public interest to maintain credibility and make profits, opinions of ‘ordinary people’ are required. According to Wahl-Jorgensen (2004), citizens who write to Mass Observation Archive mention that they are turning to other alternative sources due to the increasingly distrust of information of journalism, leading to a “crisis of public communication” where the media agencies may shrink, lose both of their profit and
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An example was given when many media have tried to suppress information about the health hazards of smoking as the result of the financial pressure received from advertisers, also disregarding the public interest and the right to know of the people. Another claim is that certain mass media are constantly promoting futile health products for the sake of profit, which results in defrauding of consumers of billions of dollars every year. Similarly, the study of Pjesivac (2014) of the Serbian citizens reveals that the people are skeptic and believe that the news they received were chosen among the big pile of other important information. The findings show that in order for the media agency to keep both of its profit and credibility, it has to focus on important facts of public interest that the citizen wants to know, be unbiased, fair, and provide different point of views and opinions. Her previous study of American and Chinese also reveals similar result that the credibility of the media decrease within each year due to lack of reporting what the people really wants to know.
Liu and Bates (2009) also argue that for news media, credibility and public trust is the most critical components in the long term survival of the media. They claimed that news formats should focus on credibility over circulation; to do otherwise would leads to degradation

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