Media and Information Literacy | Chapter 5: Media Organizations and Stakeholders

          It was said by Pertierra (2012, 13) that “while the media is free, it is also highly partisan”. Partisan means an adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, especially a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance. Basically, it’s not only free, it’s biased. Although we would hear from professional teachers that a news reporter shouldn’t be biased, it is never guaranteed that the government-controlled journalists are not biased, especially by the fact that it is government-controlled.

          The free expression in media may be a very honorable privilege given to the citizens from the government, but it also has its downfall. Free expression in media is not entirely free, it is constrained and limited to give respect and safety to others. There are just people who abuse the freedom and use it as a means of destroying reputations and images, even if the issues are just very petty. And the fact that it’s petty had resulted to tolerance by the government.

          Aside from the freedom of expression, the continuous development of media constructed two perspectives on how they view the relationship of the media industry to society.

          Market Model. It is a model where the content is seen as a product and the audiences are viewed as consumers. It operates with the use of the logic of supply and demand and where profit is their ultimate motive. They care about promoting their “profit” by increasing their demand from selling their supply in the best quality at the least quantity. They adjust to the change of interest of their audiences to stay at the peak of their profit, regardless of the influence it may bring.

          Public Sphere Model. This model opposes the norms of the Market Model. As the Market Model seeks to satisfy the interest of the audience, the Public Sphere Model let the audience come to them. Building and influencing good democracy is their objective and where profit and demands are unnecessary.

          The Public Sphere Model also believes that the Market Model is amoral, where it does not consider products that my harm, even indirectly, the audiences. They also believe that the Market Model do not meet the democratic needs of the society, which is based on the rights of individuals such as food, water, home, education, clean environment, etc. The Market Model’s drive for profit takes away those rights, as, for example, the once government-owned public utilities were turned over to the private monopolistic companies where they can increase prices as they want without considering the poor.

          It is true when it is said that the Market Model is the dominant perspective within the media industry. From is stated above, although the media cares more about what they can profit than the good and need of the people, it is still the mostly used perspective by the media producers.

          There is also what is called the Alternative Media. Its goal is to provide information and creative expression that the mainstream media (traditional media) will not report or feature. Basically, they go against the usual bias of the dominant media and give the opposing opinion with the hope of influencing the people against the crowd. It is somehow seen as the propaganda of the media. Usually, this happens during elections and political issues. Many people would express their opinions through videos or posts, may it be unpopular or not.

          Media is a free accessed tool for expression that is usually abused for selfish profits. Even though this is true, most people cannot afford to have that freedom of expression taken away from them. Even the government cannot probably consider taking that freedom away. When media is owned by government groups or political clans, there is always a possibility of a biased information. And the fact that it mostly fools people had shown how people are generally illogical.