Luciatriedyana’s Weblog











{October 18, 2009}   MEDIA DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA

For serving public interest, American press plays in democratic way. American press knows whether liberty and freedom of expressions is the important things to protect public interest (Patterson: 1990; Hachten: 2005). By civil liberties, America protects individuals’ rights. Freedom of expression is the most basic of democratic rights. Democracy requires a free flow of information. Communication enables a free people to keep in touch with another, with their leaders, and with important events. That American press plays a key role in democratic system. Early growth, media in United States, especially newspaper, media printed was a form of party propaganda. For surviving, media need support from party. So, it was not surprised whether in that era could be partisan press, publisher openly took sides of partisan issues. Moved to yellow journalism, reporting style changed to ‘trade’ and ‘sensational’ news. Yellow journalism emphasized of disasters, scandals, violence, sex, cruelty and sports. This journalism serves most only for private interest. Partisan press and yellow journalism doesn’t serves public interest as well yet. For full serving to public interest, media must be freedom, especially from political parties. Freedom press refers to open up to general public, opinions journals, public sphere and public space for media criticism. To protect the freedom in the U.S. media, government completed amendments to gives the press substantial protection and provide the news media with indirect economic support. For example Newspapers and Magazines have a special postal rate that helps them to keep their circulation cost low, and broadcasters pay only a few dollars annually in license fees. To be libertarian press could be watchdog and controlling the state. So, did public interest is finally full serving? I don’t know. Did media almost in freedom? I don’t know. As we known, press is freedom from government controlling, but I think they not yet in freedom from private interest. Not at all. Private media must have private and economic interest. Journalist not only works for public but they also work for media stake holders. Journalist independency is not in freedom at all. Serve for public based on private or economical gains for institutions and media industries. Journalist besides search and inform accurate, actual, and factual news, the news also must be ‘trade news’. Kovach, Bill and Tom Rosentiel (2003) explain a journalist must have independency and his loyalty concern to public interest. But economic interest turns the media industries being commercial which increasing competition in information and advertising marketplace for a public’s attention. At least, media as business about selling information, advertising, entertainment, etc. for stake holder’s profits. Thus, do not worry! U.S. media still concern about public interest as one way as concern private and economic interest. Try to conclude, democracy is not absolute. Not only about political views, have private / institution interested, but also economic interest. For protecting public interest, U.S. media gives place for public’s criticism. They gives place for share complains and opinions.

Democracy also draws on historical memory to challenge received assumptions, to highlight the contingent character of human history, and to appeal to the popular imagination.

While commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Democracy also exposes corporate media’s penchant for historical amnesia. As it has done for the past six years, Democracy reminded listeners of the historical significance of that date in other parts of the world: the September 11, 1973 US-backed coup of Salvador Allende, the democratically-elected president of Chile; the September 11, 1977 arrest, detention and fatal beating of Steven Biko, founder of the black consciousness movement in South Africa; and the September 11, 1990 murder of American anthropologist Myrna Mack by Guateleman security forces trained and supported by the United States. In this way, Democracy challenges the notion of “American exceptionalism” cultivated by the corporate media in the aftermath of 9/11 – and exploited with unnerving success by the Bush Administration to legitimate its assault on civil liberties at home and to justify its imperial ambitions abroad. Further, by placing the terrorist attacks on the United States in historical context, Democracy acknowledges the cultural significance of public memory in forging national identities and shaping collective destinies: for good or ill (Howley, Kevin: 2008).

American media influenced public life. Whatever it takes, public can’t life without media. They need information and consume the media in their daily.  Especially in this era, which transformation of technologies growing so fast, media business going profitable and prestigious. Democracy provides freedom and independency, always supported American media to growing up as far as possible. Today, American media still grows. For absolutely, liberties media in America have influenced to others countries included Indonesia (in many ways), for example Asian American press like “The New York Times”. American media  American media may be predicted will control all media in this world by globalization. American media ownership and consolidation are amazing and frightening. I can’t disagree whether the most biggest and popular media industries in this world well known as American, for example media corporations at Time Warner, Viacom, News Corporation, Disney, and Bertelsmann.



et cetera
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