The Influence of the Media


News is essential to everyone. It is the media that connects us to the society. The philosophy that arises from this is that fact that we are all socially conditioned to be a certain way through the media. Through the news, we have a window to the world that allows us to see what is happening in other places aside from our own. One can know what happened around the world. Also, news is a convenient tool to our daily lives. If you want to know the weather, the accidents, the traffic, the political situation and so on, turn on the TV, and you can get all those information you need. According to Postman and Powers states in a book, “How to watch TV news?” TV news is not a media only. Newscasts can also serve and promote the democratic society if we have the freedom of speech and freedom of press, allowing us to believe and see a whole different aspect of life and the way things are presented to us. This allows us to be exposed to a different sector in life, and through this develop our own philosophical beliefs.


The news should exist in order to lead the society become democratic. According to Postman and Powers, “News is not entertainment. It is a necessity in a democratic Society.” (TV news 9) I totally agree with what they said. The dictionary states that democracy refers to government ruled by the representatives who are elected by the public. It means that we have the right to choose the way of our lives. For instance, we have the freedom of religious, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and so on. Election is one of the examples to show that how important the news is to a democratic society. When people want to make a decision of choosing their government, they should know the political institution of all the candidates. News is the easiest way to get all the information they need. If news does not exist in the society, people cannot make an ideal decision of what they want because they have no knowledge of it. Eventually, the democracy would be destroyed.


News broadcasts can promote the growth of democracy because they exercise some of the most important and basic rights in the constitution. In the Bill of rights, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are expressed, showing the importance of these basic rights. News broadcasts take use of these two basic guarantees to deliver information to the public. “For them, the news is determined by what the news director thinks is important, including of course, his judgment of what stories will draw audiences.” (TV news 75) Just as Postman and Powers had observed TV news could sometimes be misleading. I agree with Postman and Powers,” American television is an unsleeping money machine.” (TV news 9) It is there fore understandable that they might report news in a way that sways from reality. This is not exactly a bad thing from the viewpoints of the authors of the constitution. Although American news broadcasts might not be able to deliver reality to their viewers, their actions are still constitutional. It is up to the viewers to decide whether to trust television or not since news agencies have done nothing illegal. Taking full advantage of the U.S. constitution, therefore, can promote democracy. The extreme opposite case to freedom of the press is the Tianamen square incident. During the incident tanks rolled out to suppress the crowd, a protestor bravely stood in the way of the tanks to stop their movement. The footage was caught on tape live during the protest. However, there were two versions of the incident. One of them was the version caught on tape by bystanders. This version showed how brave the man was to such opposition. The tanks were unable to move on because of him. The other version to this incident was put on the Chinese TV news program. It showed the man that tried to stop the tanks arrested and the tanks moving on. Although this is also misleading news, the Chinese government has abridged the difference here is that the freedom of the press. In contrast to this,