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How Much Power Does Media Have?

, media, powerIf at all you are wondering why a blog is specially dedicated to the interdependance of media and society, lets start on understanding my perception of our society and media.

Our Society…

What society am I talking about? Groups, communities, states, country?our society, to me is not restricted to a selective number of people, or merely some people sharing common interests. Our society in this context referes to all the set of people who come in contact with the media in some way or the other. It can be you, me, our friends, relatives or even a certain set of people of whose existence we are unaware of. The groups, segments and communities and like the target audience of every media, there are various fragments who get affected in some or the other way.
Let us now figure out our mediums and the powers that we have already vested in them…

Our Media…

When I say media- I mean television, mobile, internet, radio, newspapers, cinema, hoardings, SMS, pamphlets, magazines, everything that is conveys information or messages through a medium.
Which naturally means, our news channels, news paper, reality shows, telly soaps, travellogues, social networking sites- orkut, facebook, twitter, radio bakwaas, cinema, journalists, actors and page 3 people become our media.
So instead of bragging about the amount of power that we’ve vested in them, lets see what has happened with all that power?

– Anna Hazare became a mass revolution! Newschannel stats claimed a support of over 10lakh indians (as a voice of 1.2billion Indians) such that we couldn’t see them beyond a mere 10000 in number. Ironically, once the media stopped supporting Anna, there was a turnout of merely 1000 odd people for the same!

– Obama became the first afro-american to become the President of the United States of America. His first term campaign was highlighted with his connect with the commoners of America through Facebook. His second term saw him take over the platform of twitter. Narendra Modi also began reaching out to the youth before the Gujarat Polls 2012 through twitter.

– After his infamous stint with Deshdrohi, Kamaal R Khan is now a twitter celeb, as he continues to make a negative statements about anybody possible. Just another publicity stunt? Yeah! A long running one…

– Talking of glitz, gossip and glamour, all that you possibly know about your favorite celebrities be Shahrukh-Salmaan-Aamir, PC, Yuvi, Brangelina, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Rihana, JLO, George Clooney, Oprah, or any celebrity through magazines, newspapers, tv channels and internet to an extent that you start judging them as people, or talk of them like you personally know them?

– Projects, assignments, jobs are unthikable minus the services of google, wikipedia and youtube!

– How would you ever know of Sachin’s records and retirements and brand value?and watch the legend treat your time with his excellence?

And then you say, is media really that powerful?
Or do we really have the power?
There have been two instances within the last one month that shall evoke a thought and yet explain my point!

First one, is that of the two girls from Palghar who made a statement against the Bandh post Shiv Sena supremo’s demise. Within 48 hours there was a viral support for the 2 young ladies, with over thousands of known faces and commoners speaking in their support and questioning our guaranteed “Freedom of Expression”. The overturn of proceedings screamt aloud the power of media!
Talking of the next example, a rather stirring one, is that of the Delhi Gang Rape that happened a week ago. Not that this incident has happened for the first time, but it caught the nation’s attention due to proper media coverage. The news channels have been brilliantly keeping the fire of angst and anger alive. With the spread of the news on social media, more and more people became aware and also took up to reacting to this heinous crime, expressing their discontent.
Many questioned, what could happen by merely signing petitions? Bragging statuses and updates online? Is this any contribution?

And I would say yes it is! We’re keeping the fire alive, we’re being heard by those who didn’t care, but have now begun to care… yes! With all those nasty comments and outrage we have built a pressure…

While many took their virtual expressions to protest proteston the streets, we all found ways to vent our disbelief and concern for safety and freedom of women!
Media has sure not been the only element that has kept the fire alive! But it has done for us, what was highly difficult or rather impossible too for us to do it on our own…
It has questioned our leaders, our protectors and has pressurized them to commit.
It has given us a platform to be aware of all that is cooking up, going wrong and needs help and justice.

Media has taken our expressions to our policy makers!
And what it needs to remember is, “Power Comes With Great Responsibilty!”
With many a goof ups and faltering acts, it has majorly served our society.
So do you still have a doubt regarding the fourth pillar of democracy- “the media?”

– Parampara

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