Media can be defined as various means of communication used for keeping the public informed about the daily events occurring within the country and across the globe. These may include various techniques used by various channels.
As today, information reaches to every corner of the world easily and efficiently therefore we can say Mass media is aggregation of various means of communication and distribution of information. Media can be divided into two broad categories;
- Print media which includes Newspapers, Magazines, Journals and periodicals.
- Electronic media includes the Radio, Television, computer/Internet, smartphones etc.
The type of communication in which the sender wants to encourage, convince the receiver in his message to develop a positive attitude towards any issue for the cause of development on an issue is called development communication. E.g. the views of Engr. Shamsul Mulk on issue of Kalabagh Dam in Pakistan to convince the people on its construction in order to overcome energy crisis can be seen in various newspapers.
Development Media Theory:
Development media theory, also called agenda –setting theory esuggested by Mc. Combs and Shaw (1972), states that the media tells us not what to think but what to think about. It also refers to the intensity of discussion in various programs running on electronic media and the articles, columns in newspapers on various issues which helps in changing the perception about a particular issue like energy crises, corruption scandals, law and order situation etc.
National Development and Media:
The three basic functions of media across the world are information, education and entertainment. Through these three very important functions, the media can make its nation a civilized nation which knows about its very basic rights and knows about the various projects started for its welfare by the government. It also helps the nation in analyzing various issues that are important for the national development. It also helps people in making their opinion about a particular issue like drones, energy crisis, corruption, polio, HIV/AIDS, women rights, child labor, importance of education, law and order etc.
Formation of Attitude:
As discussed, media plays a very important role in formation of attitude of the general public. It is only through media programs, columns/articles in newspapers, social media that motivate the people to form an attitude and come out for their right. The best examples can be the Lawyers Movement and Long March for reinstatement of Chief Justice in Pakistan, corruption scandals of various governments across the globe, War on Terror, drone attacks in Pakistan, Arab Spring etc. All these issues caught great attention of people because they were discussed too much in media which persuaded the people to come in favor or against these issues. The media has developed into a vital political force. Opinions and talks by various anchors have a very strong influence on their viewers. Oprah Winfrey is rated as the most influential woman in the world. She is the undisputed “Queen of Talk” forming opinions on critical issues.
Protection of Social Justice:
Media can also play an important role in protection of social justice. It is expected to analyze issues independently and in line with the needs and interests of social Justice. If it does not discusses issues independently or give a biased approach on certain issue, it may lead to dangerous situations. E.g. Suicide of Shamaila Faheem, in Punjab, where she was convinced vis-à-vis media projection that justice will not be served.
Discouraging Social Evils:
Media also plays an important role in ensuring a national co-existence, peace and respect/tolerance for other person’s views. It can make such programs in which issues of ethnicity, dictatorship, corruption and all such evils are condemned, discouraged and propose a solution to eradicate these social evils. It can highlight various cases e.g. RPP case, Rekodiq case and all such cases can create problem for the accused. It was due to these highlighted issues of massive corruption, energy crises in media, due to which political parties like ANP, PPP faced a defeat in general elections of 2013.
Development Projects and Programs:
Another very important role in national development is that it keeps people informed about the various projects initiated for country’s development and nation’s development like programs in education sector, energy sector, social security sector, health sector etc.
Offering Solutions to Problems:
Media cannot just monger about problems but also offer solutions to the problems. It can initiate debates and invite experienced and honest people to suggest solutions to the problems.
One cannot claim that media is neutral throughout the world but one can surely not deny its role in national development. National development is not only the responsibility of government or leadership but also the media because it is only media which can act as public eye on government’s performance and show the reaction of public to government on its performance. The only sector which can act as a bridge between government and public is media which cannot only identify general problems of a nation but also show steps taken by the government to overcome those problems.