Government and the Media
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The media has been part of the government in many occasions around our history. If the media did not exist, then it would be hard for the people to know what’s going on in their country.
The First Amendment states that we have the right of freedom of speech, which it may not be 100% positive in some situations. Having a free press may complicate the people’s point of view in politics. For example, in a recent article published by the Tulane Law Review, it states “all ideas should be available to the community—including false ones—because a restriction on speech of any kind might incidentally restrict the truth.34 Tt holds that without government interference, truth and falsity will compete in the marketplace, and truth will emerge victorious” (Hundley 502). If we say that media influence in a democratic society, we have to say that we are wrong because to be a democratic society we need to change the way that the media is going right now. For example, there are news channels being controlled by the government, and they show what the government wants the people to know. It’s impossible to have democracy if the media is controlling us and makes us believe what they want us to believe.
One of the democratic responsibilities of the media is to educated the American viewers of the current events of the nation. Sometimes the media does not respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others and it could be for different reasons like to get more views, or they don’t want to keep giving neutral speech, and they used persuasive speech, so the viewers can think the same as them. The article published by the Tulane Law Review, states that “False speech that is libelous or defamatory is unprotected by the First Amendment, false statements generally are protected, as they are seen as inevitable if the First Amendment is to promote free and open discussion” (Hundley 507 – 508). That statement is an example of everything is related to the First Amendment, and that’s why false statements are allowed and it complicates the viewers decision because at this point, with the media, we cannot know what the truth is and which ones are lies.
Evolution is the keyword if we want to talk about government actions and the media ability in the past 50 years. If we have to think about it, 50 years ago the media did not have the technology that we have now, people were involved in politics but now is easier to get the information that we want using different types of electronic devices.
In a recent article published by the Government Information Quarterly, the author says “Social media applications have become acceptable information and communication channels in the U.S. federal government during the last three or four years” (Mergel 123). We know that the technologies that we have now is not the same as before, now many news channels are asking for their viewers opinions on live television, and they can get those results in minutes. Unfortunately, nowadays we can’t fully trust what the technology says. There being many situations that one comment on social media creates a protest. Using another example, our Presidents is very active on social media, and in my opinion is not the best idea for the government to have a President so active on his point of view, positive or negative, because is affecting his credibility.
The federal government manage to regulated the different types of media by using these three agencies: Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FTC, as its name says, an agency created to investigate and observe the different trades or exchange of our country. The FRC is an agency that works specific on complicated times, sending radio messages to the population to calm us an explain us what the situation is. The FCC, on the other hand, is more complex than the FRC, because it does not only include radio, it also includes television and internet, and also has more interactions than just an emergency message.
Finally, to give a brief explanation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, is when they accepted the internet as a communication, the impact was mostly positive. The Communications Decency Act is the protection online of websites that have pornography or same material online, but according to some people, it went against the free speech for adults, who wanted to have the liberty of watching those websites without doing any harm. The FCC has many regulations, and three of them are emergency alert system, satellite communications and wireless emergency alerts.