According to Nordenstreng, Christians, Glasser and Mcquail, the role of the media can be argued within the frameworks of five paradigms (qtd. in Fourie 202). The five paradigms are; Liberal-individualistic paradigm, Social responsibility paradigm, Critical Paradigm, Administrative Paradigm and lastly Cultural Negotiation Paradigm (Fourie 202). Liberal-individualistic paradigm emphasises that the pertinent role of the media is to uphold democracy. This can be achieved through fighting for individual liberty and minimal media control by the state. Social Paradigm maintains that the media should strive towards societal development in terms of information and education. In other words, this paradigm emphasises the need for the media to inform the society and the individual at large. On the other hand, the media should express its contempt on oppressive deeds against the society’s plight. This is according to the argument of the third paradigm termed ‘Critical Paradigm’ (Fourie 202). Administrative paradigm is yet another framework via which the role of the media can be stipulated. According to this paradigm, media firms should carry out their objectives in a professional manner, a manner that embraces technological ideologies and advancements. Cultural negotiation paradigm is the last paradigm identified by Nordenstreng et al was Cultural negotiation with places emphasis on the need of the media to promote a society’s culture, values and norms (Fourie 202). From these paradigms, the role of the media can be outlined as follows: Collaborative, Surveillance, Facilitative and critical roles (Fourie 201:203).
The role of the media relating to the park story and the death of the celebrity can be looked upon with reference to the above mentioned roles. The TV station’s need to inform the public on the park issued can be deemed to be facilitative. This because when the station airs the park story it can attract public debate, a debate that conforms to the facilitative role of the media. Such a debate can help determine whether the move by the city council to close the park is oppressive (Critical Paradigm) to the general public or whether the move, since the city councils cites that the move aimed at saving money, will be beneficial to the public (Liberal-individualistic paradigm and Social Paradigm).
Concerning the celebrity's death, the celebrity had fans in the city and other cities that should be put into consideration. These fans have the right to be informed about the celebrity’s death and any other developments in news related to the death of this celebrity. This is because the issue of the park does not concern every citizen; the news coverage should have provisions for other citizen to be informed. The news transmission should, therefore, be done in a manner that displays professionalism (Administrative Paradigm). Therefore, it follows that the station should not only concentrate on the park even though it attracts much public interest, both the two stories should be aired. The only variable that can be varied is air time accorded to any one of the two stories and, in this case, it might be appropriate to give the 'park issue' more air play than the death story. This follows the consideration that the park story has more effect to the public than the celebrity’s story.
The cyberspace is fast growing avenues through which people can interact while at the same time have access to a plethora of information. While indulging in an online business, there are a number of ethical and legal considerations that a firm should put into consideration. Such include availability, reliability, security, integrity confidentiality and access of information by the right audience. Such morals are at times extremely hard to assess (Plaisance 127). This is because of the material and democratic nature of the information that is often posted on the cyberspace (Plaisance 127). This can also be attributed to the fact there is no distinct boundary between materials the publicly accessible and materials that are publicly distributed.
Compliance with the legal and ethical is of much importance to a firm offering online services. For instance, such compliance ensures that only the right material reaches the expected audience and creates a platform through which the employees of the firm can be told what the firm expects to them. Such compliance also ensures that the business operates within the prevailing legal environment.
Usually there are various ways of disseminating information to various audiences. The choice of an information pathway depends on the following; cost, audience, information to be disseminated and accessibility of the pathway (Ordoñez and Serrat 3). According to Ordoñez and Serrat the pathways can be Internet, textbook, journal, seminar, conferences, radio, television, handouts and demonstrations among others (3). Each of the information dissemination pathways has its own advantages and disadvantages. Among the pathways listed above, it is worth noting the fast growing of them all is the Internet whose prominence keep rising by the day. In most instances when talking about modern media delivery methods it usually takes the focal point.
Internet being the most modern pathway for disseminating information has pros and cons. Internet is decidedly cost-effective (Arthur 82). Internet enjoys economies of scale due to the large number of audience that can access the Internet. Another crucial advantage of the Internet is speed (Arthur 82). This is because job applicant in distant countries can upload their resumes through the Internet which can be access by the recipient almost immediately (Arthur 82). Also, news disseminated via the Internet reach the audience faster than the newspaper. Other advantages of the Internet are entertainment, and commerce. The major disadvantage of the Internet is that there is no restriction of there no appropriate measure to regulate the access of the information by the desired audience. Again, there are some people who have no Internet access; therefore, cannot reach the disseminated information. Other disadvantages of the Internet include pornography, fraud and virus threat.
Over the years, the use of computers as a communication media has shifted from being peripheral to being central (Hassan and Thomas 2). At round 1996, the use of the Internet was not widespread. Few people had access to the Internet compared to today where a large percentage of the world’s population has access to Internet connection. Mobile phones were still remarkably exotic (Hassan and Thomas 2). Prior to 1990, news was only transmitted through the radio whose receptions were not decidedly perfect. Gradually this has changed to a scenario where virtually everybody has a mobile phone and can, therefore, access the Internet through the phone if not through a personal computer.
Fourie, Pieter. Media Studies: Media History, Media and Society. Cape Town: Juta and Company Limited, 2008. 201-203.
Plaisance, Patrick. Media ethics: key principles for responsible practice. California: Sage Publication Inc., 2008. 126-128.
Ordoñez, Muriel and Serrat, Olivier. Disseminating Knowledge Products. Mandaluyong City: Asian Development Bank, 2009, 43. 1-6.
Arthur, Diane. Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, and orienting new employees. New York, NY: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, 1998. 82.
Hassan, Robert and Thomas, Julian. The new media theory reader. Bershire: Open university Press, 2006.