Media as Society Watchdog – Is it?
My attention is drawn to the media’s role in the society as a watchdog. Who exactly is a watchdog? The main role of a watchdog is to provide protection for members of a household. The better a watchdog is trained and maintained, the better his protection is likely to be. This implies ‘for media practitioners to play the ‘watchdog’ role proficiently, they have to be well trained and financially sound. The number one dilemma is; who is to make this provision?
Modern technology and liberalization of the airwaves have resulted in cut throat competition for the available advertisers. In their pursuit of attracting advertisers, media practitioners have to provide content that appeal to their target audience. However, many media practitioners are more often than not, driven by the profit motive. Justification being: the media simply meet their audience taste or so they say. Could this be the contributive factor to divorce, incest and other subjects that were previously shunned and considered a taboo but are now glorified in the society? Does the media still qualify to be called the society’s watchdog? Or has it become a poor dog that greed has forced to wag its tale and greet the burglar with a wet kiss? One would argue that, in practical terms, economic transformation requires invigorated markets that generate substantial profits. But, what are the implications of the morality of profit to the cause of a journalist assigned to be a society watchdog in the midst of fierce claws of poverty?
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