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their with modes of production and subsistence belonging to those ages which have become parts of the natural history museums in the developed world. political . They have news papers. Almost all avenues of modern media are present in these societies. Another issue is about the independence of media. Here of course the fact can not be ignored that the available fast channels of communication and media are playing an important role in narrowing down these disparities to the maximum possible. And yet another issue will make us to focus about the quality. There are certain aspects about which . However despite such high levels of integration of the human societies in different parts of the world into one globalised society. When we refer to developing societies. internet and others. human life with all its avenues has become so much dependent upon communication as well as media at almost all levels of human activity ranging from interpersonal to high level global levels. It is here and in such regards that the media has an even more significant and better defined role to play in the developing societies. Bhogal* [Published in the souvenir released to mark the launch of Punjab Chapter of Indian Media Centre on July 7. electronic media.Role of Mass Media in Developing Societies: An Overview Prof. Most of their governments love to call themselves “democracies” but are actually nothing more than ‘oligarchies’ where in political elites conveniently manipulate periodic political legitimacy. developmental and others is still as good a fact as it used to be even several decades ago. S. Needless to say that the role and the responsibility of media is much more in such societies. I must quickly add here that it is also not that dismal. The development is lopsided and contains islands of development in certain selected areas or main cities. 2007] Contemporary world with its thoroughly globalised human society can not be imagined without a far reaching and a powerful media. Then where is the difference and where is the problem regarding its role? The first and fore most issue that one comes across here is the lack of easy accessibility to media. relevance and priority of information as well as feedback being respectively brought in and generated by such a media. This description can go on and on but we can conveniently have a cross way to consider about various media channels in such societies. However its actual role and impact is not very satisfactory. Parminder. the fact of tremendous disparities of all kinds including cultural. the picture that emerges before us is the one depicting societies with large sections of people living in poverty. that without it every thing almost ceases to be. The ramshackle institutions of politics are a queer mix of modernity and parochialism. In other words.
this all is not so. excessive stories and programmes based on Bollywood movies. people’s fortunes began take a turn for the better economically and politically. This is at least true about the accessibility aspect. or when self created ‘controversial kisses’ are repeatedly shown with high resolution focus on them. clichés and their other paraphernalia are some of the most common irritants on the contemporary electronic media in India. Real social concern and issues often get secondary treatment when controversial issues are raised or transmitted/televised live or recorded straight to the people. Sensationalizing. promiscuity in the name of liberalism. It is here that the very basic and elementary role of media begins. Electronic media even transcends the barriers of illiteracy which is galore in these societies. It all reaches highest levels of absurdity when some filmy hero convicted in some court is shown live for hours offering prayer in a temple. In various experiments in developing societies like in some states in India and places in Bangladesh as also in several other developing countries where community televisions. Only an independent media can be expected to correctly address itself to the problems and priorities of a society. It generates hope in hopeless minds by bringing ideas which are new and which may have been tested with good results elsewhere. or some marriage of similar personalities is shown live. I mean a responsible media as well. Rather it comes with the all important riders of responsibility and self restraint. Therefore the first concern is always about easy accessibility to the multiple channels of information to the people. Media is a very significant agent of development and socio-economic transformation in any society. I do not purport to write here an essay on freedom of media. In fact in many countries including the developing countries the greatest and perpetual threat to media’s independence arises from these two factors. What is the message that we want to convey to the young. the corporate houses those owe almost all the media channels ranging from print to electronic media are significantly lacking on this issue. the foremost being about the question of independence of media in these societies. glorification of crime and criminals in the garb of crime reporting. scandalizing.probably the societies or the governments will also have to understand their role. for real independence is never a fetterless freedom. Once all respected and powerful institution of ‘The Editor’ has undergone terrible erosion because of this factor. However. and who watch all this stuff in remote . If we see. But I will certainly make a reference to the all important clauses of ‘responsibility’ and ‘self restraint’. highly impressionable minds or the illiterate masses still living highly traditionally. personal freedom and woman empowerment. Here by the word ‘independence’. In itself all this paints a very rosy picture about the role of mass media. news papers and magazines or cyber café’s were provided by the NGO’s or the government. Mass media thus carries the message of economic and political empowerment and democracy to the multitude of depraved and deprived masses. There are indeed many hurdles. at least in India. Information stirs an individual and nudges him to think and act on its bases.
and showing them a hopeful future. Developing societies are. Of Political Sc. Therefore media also has to become savvy regarding other aspects of human life. thereby making their lives easier and more meaningful. an alumnus of the School of International Studies. positive change. lead us from darkness to light…. This is the area and the concern which the people. is currently HOD of the Post Graduate Deptt. prompt those people to take similar initiatives and devise local and relevant technologies or strategies to get over certain perennial problem. the leading lights of media empires. apart from other factors is always directly proportional to the priority and responsibility factor quotient.” will actually get realized. in a highly fluid state of transition. . Parminder S. However market is not the only place in a person’s life. Media is about information and entertainment and recreation. There are a good number of examples available which have establish an unquestionable role of mass media in economic and social development. However this role of media. culturally. Information which is relevant and prioritized. Arya College Ludhiana. It is true that the mass media in order to sell or to remain economically viable must remain relevant and market savvy.JNU and an Ex Programme Officer with All India Radio. Bhogal. as well as the intelligentsia and even the common masses have to address to. steering their movement without deflecting steps and shaking ground underneath. Indian Institute of advanced Study. when they are narrated on mass media and reach out to other people living else where. politically and even ethically speaking. these are either acquired for betterment as such or at least. * Prof. Many success stories of one community. and Associate. Hence the social balances and supports therein are very -2 precarious. They need inputs and information which must suggest them solutions or strategies for steady and pragmatic development. these. And entertainment which refreshes and enthralls tired minds and bodies without corrupting the heads.villages? There are a million questions here which can’t be raised for paucity of space and reference. Rashtrapati Niwas –Shimla. Only then our ancient prayer “….
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