The Instigator
Derf123
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
GenuineLiar
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The media have a greater role than government in shaping society.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 255 times Debate No: 85366
Debate Rounds (3)
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Derf123

Pro

The media play a significant role in shaping public discourse on a wide range of issues affecting the lives of ordinary people. Ultimately, the public's attitude to and beliefs about the way they are being governed can be both gauged and shaped by the media. As a point of reference, therefore, it is used by governments for the purposes of remaining in office. As the media can inform and play around with the public's collective conscience, it's no wonder that numerous attempts have been made historically, right up to the present day in communist countries, to control the manipulation of the written word and dissemination of facts and ideas.
It is my contention that, in countries that allow freedom of expression and political dissent, the media has a relatively greater role in engaging with the public and generating the discussion needed for social change, especially with the emergence of social media, compared with the government. The media are highlighting the refugee crisis from both human-cost and practical perspectives: according to many governments, it is morally wrong to ask serious questions about whether or not we should be allowing a steady flow of refugees into Europe rather than dealing with the root cause of the strife.
Governments are elected to protect the safety of their people. We have a political landscape in Europe that detests hard answers to difficult questions, and politicians that lack self-awareness and understanding of the needs of their people. The media will highlight day-to-day realities, talking to people on the ground and carrying out surveys. The harmony that can exist between people in the right circumstances should not be foisted upon them without proper planning and consideration of their respective needs. Governments compose their own narrative of events but are elected based on the success or failure of their own key decisions in the eyes of the people. The media play their part in creating that narrative, and can quickly turn with public sentiment in one direction or another.
In conclusion, the media as a whole have a wide-ranging influence on public opinion. The use of information to support an argument for.or against one aspect of social change in society can have a domino effect and lead to other changes. Social media captures public feeling and knee-jerk responses to events, and governments would be well-advised to start listening to the key spokespeople for the people within these realms of public life.
GenuineLiar

Con

I'm going to go ahead and ignore what Pro has said for now since I believe I can disprove the resolution in two clear-cut ways.

The first way the resolution is flawed, and thus impossible to uphold, is that free press nations are only permitted to do so by government in the first place. If the government wanted to, they could control far more of the media than they currently do. The main reason they don't do it is because the party who wouldn't control the media would end up being voted in and free press nations are not corrupt enough to miscount ballots to stay in power.

This leads me onto my second point which is that it is not the media that shapes society but the society of the time which has certain demands on media. If you run a media company, you are not thinking about converting them to think skinny is better or that photoshopped girls are the thing to be, you are simply connecting the dots and noticing that when you post slim models on your magazine, more teens buy it and since teens are your niche market your magazine will print more of this. Furthermore, if society is having an issue with the president or such it is actually the government who has come to fear the media and it is the government who society shapes via the media.

The Media does not shape society, it is moulded by society to go on to shape the government. This resolution has the chain of events all wrong and puts government and media at odds with one another when in actually they are part and parcel of the same food chain, not rival predators of the prey that is society.
Debate Round No. 1
Derf123

Pro

Derf123 forfeited this round.
GenuineLiar

Con

I win, thanks.
Debate Round No. 2
Derf123

Pro

Derf123 forfeited this round.
GenuineLiar

Con

GenuineLiar forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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