I believe that the role of mass media is to provide fact-based news to the masses. Too often mass media presents opinion pieces in which they discuss what is right and wrong. Typically, these pieces are presented as opinion pieces, but their prevalence leads many to assume it's the stance of the news organization. At the very least, it can influence the public's opinion too easily. Mass media should report the news without opinions and let the public make up their own mind.
Mass Media carries some social responsibility, it should enable communication informing people responsibly with the factual knowledge without any kind of bias. These days, sometimes we can find many instances where in mass media had exceeded its boundaries providing information based on rumor or too much information or sometimes irrelevant information as well.
To see how the media oversteps its boundaries, you only need to look at the fatal car crash caused by paparazzi photographers when Princess Diana died, or the tasteless photos of Michael Jackson's corpse. Every single detail about someone's personal life is parlayed into a two-page spread of photos - who they're sleeping with, who they're cheating with, a nudity slip, even articles judging celebrities' toddlers/children and their dress sense or weight! I am far too young for this, but there was a time period where actors didn't have a camera or a microphone in their face every minute of every day, and that mystery made them almost chameleon-like in their roles. At a premiere or awards show there are thousands of photographers clamoring to get a photo with large, oversized, frightening-looking cameras. That would be terrifying for small children, and it should be scaled back.
I have personally witnessed outright lies from the media just to make a better story. Case in point- my best friend died December 25th, 2007. She fell off of a roof on Christmas morning. The media made her out to be an alcoholic and tried to use her story to scare young people not to drink. The truth was, there was no alcohol in her system. She was cold and had a blanket wrapped around her. She fell asleep looking at the stars and when she woke up, her feet got tangled in the sheets. The media outright lied to push their own personal agenda and tarnished her name forever.
The role of today’s media is to either increase its print circulation or to win as many TRP points as possible. And it does so by giving their audience what it wants not what they need. While this ensures a certain level of public accountability it also has a negative side. The downside 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 gossips and scandals about public figures. Even the more so called “responsible” media can give an overly localised or even parochial view of events , ignoring wider issues of greater importance which are well let’s just say “boring”.
Yes it actually oversteps its boundries,
1. Paid Media - These days media are paid by corporates who want effective shield against their wrongdoings. Corporates many time purchase media to restrict news against them.
2.Spoiling Culture - Media spoils culture in various countries as they just go after TRP and fall to any extent to sell their news. They just publish reports to disrupt society and sell their news. They sell more and more controversial news.
3. Fake News :- Few times news are even fake which is created by media itself to earn TRP and sell their news. All news channels fall in race to get more news regarding hot topic and in the bid to grab something new, they end up creating fake news.
4. Profit Motive :- Media carries social responsibility and they should not be for profit motive. Media is a protector of democracy and how can media be transparent if it carries profit motive.
5. Autocratic :- We talk of autocracy in the past. What if media itself turn into autocratic and is blackmailing rich people and celebrities who don't want to speak about their personal lives. Ranbir Kapoor, a bollywood star hesitated to talk to media about his personal life and then all media turned against him and started negative propoganda about his film. Salman Khan, bollywood superstar scolded a reported when asked about his ex lover, but in turn media published some negative reports immediately after this incident about his current lover and the relationship ended . So who is to blame? Cant celebraties have their personal lives.
The media cannot assume that all viewers are responsible for the content they consume. This is especially true when there is a large portion of the population with mental and physical disabilities. As well as immature audiences and advertisements directed at children. Even a mature audience has to question if they are being manipulated by the media.
The media releases stories without knowing the entire story, or if there is any truth to it. Persons arrested for a crime have the opportunity to defend themselves in court. Once the media takes control of the story, the accused person is depicted as guilty in the eyes of the community.
News Media tends to manipulate truths and facts to cause an uproar in communities or pray on the vulnerable. Journalism has its place but it does not have to manipulate the First Amendment and do not hide behind it. Journalists and directors look for a good story without consideration of others.
Even though people like the gossip and stuff.. It invades peoples privacy-which we have a right to. Yes, We may have free speech, but that doesn't mean that we have to snoop around in peoples personal lives.. Like when they tried to take pictures of Princess Diana and killed her. They really dont need to know who she was dating. Finding out was too much anyway.
I do not think the mass media oversteps their boundaries, for many reasons. First off, there is the freedom of speech factor. Mass media is usually run by citizens who want to portray their side of an issue or product. Second, people, in general, crave knowledge. This is where the mass media produces the knowledge and news coverage we need right away.
America is a democracy. Democracies require a well-informed populace. The people are the masters of the machine, in a true democracy. The founders understood this. Therefore, they gave our press (i.e. mass media) privileges. They have the responsibility (i.e. a duty) to live up to the special power and privilege that has been allotted to them. Our media does not live up to their mandate. A recent example is the health care debate. We had numerous articles and broadcasts that worked to enrage us or to pull on our heart strings. It was nearly impossible to find an article or a news story that detailed any of the proposals in any of the bills. We were being asked our feelings about bills, without ever being told what was in them. It should not be necessary, in a real democracy, for the populace to sit in on every legislative act, sit in every court room in this country, or personally audit every government official. This is the duty of the mass media. They are given the power to investigate and report, in order to provide us with the information we need. They do not go far enough.
Public figures who argue that the "lame stream" media oversteps its bounds are the same people whose actions most need to be publicised. For instance, Sarah Palin often accuses the media of being overly invasive, but the media's job is to expose potential leaders and other public figures for what and who they really are.
I don't believe that mass media oversteps their boundaries, because the demand is so high for constant coverage of everything. We have become so used to having 24-hour news channels and access to things once considered private, that mass media has become a demand and an expectation. If people begin to stop watching and buying into it, then the demand will go away. But, for now, we are so used to being able to get information about anything we want at any time of the day, and that is due to the efforts of the mass media. And, I actually see it getting bigger and bigger, as our thirst for information grows.
While it's easy to hate the way mass media covers events and non-events, celebs and otherwise, I still wouldn't advocate censorship. The best way to censor media is for the public to stop paying attention. I wouldn't want limits imposed on reporters beyond the Constitutional prohibition on libel.
As long as people are allowed to make decisions of whether to subject themselves to mass media or not, then mass media will never overstep its boundaries. Mass media targets those who it wishes to reach in most cases, and those groups are generally the same people who wish to be reached. Regardless, if the viewer has a choice to listen or not, then freedom of speech is in effect.
Mass media is the true face of the society.It shows the fact or backwardness of our society which is bitter for us.It show us the way to progress. It is important to show us our mistakes. It also help us to know what our leaders are doing, about their scamps.
Many people think that media is overreacting, but to a great extent it is false. If media does not expose inefficiencies and other information, a great section of public could remain unaware of the surroundings. One instance is that of Delhi gang rape case. If the media had not broadcast the issue heavily, the police would not have acted effectively.
Whenever one sees himself in mirror,he founds himself that whether he is beautiful or dull,and one characteristic of mirror is to always speak truth.And one characteristic of truth is that it is always bitter.Same is the case with media,whatever it shows,it proclaims is just the image of our own society.So one who are hoping media to be good,should be first the same and talk later!!!
I don't think that the mass media overstepped its boundaries, we all have our limits. Though, there are some media practitioners that has "too much freedom" of the press. The JOURNALIST'S code of ethics should be their foundation or basis whenever they feel like insulting or mocking someone else's reputation or dignity.