The media has and continues to play a comprehensive role in offering crucial information to the public. This has led to the emergence of notions that the media is perhaps a branch of government that advocates for the needs of the public. Even so, it is essential to note that the recent past has experienced cases whereby the media has disregarded its role of informing the public. This is evident by the persistent rise in the airing of violent and immoral content across various media platforms. This has led to the development of notions as to whether the government should control and censor the media (Korpe, 2004).
Those opposed to the notions that the Singaporean government should impose regulations and censorships on the media often articulate that such a move would jeopardize freedom of speech, which is succinctly enshrined in the constitution. While such notions are true, there is the need to weigh the negative repercussions emanating from violent and sexually explicit content showcased across various media platforms. Of essence is the fact that showcasing of explicit and violent content by the media poses colossal influence on children (Smith, 2005). Nonetheless, there are various advantages and disadvantages of media control by the Singaporean government.
Advantages of media control by the Singaporean government
The first advantage emanating from media control by the Singaporean government aligns with the fact that the imposition of regulations that control the media would allow for the moderation of any violent and explicit content that may be contained in various media such as songs and videos. Certainly, these regulations will not be placed with the selfish intent of down casting the creativity found in different media. As aforementioned herein, violent and explicit media content has a colossal influence on society. This is because it precipitates the occurrence of delinquent behaviours. Precisely, violent and explicit media content portray the notions that violence and immorality are acceptable (Schoening & Kasper, 2012). As such, societal members will adopt such behaviours thinking that they are beneficial while in the real sense, there are detrimental.
The second advantage of media control by the Singaporean government aligns with the fact that such controls would protect children from explicit and violent media content, which poses long-term effects on their lives. Evidently, children are not able to differentiate between real and imaginary issues. Many at times, the media portrays imaginary issues, which may not be possible in the real (Ferguson, 2013). Despite this, children will believe on what the media portrays. As an example, children who are exposed to violent video games are likely to grow up believing that violence is the solution to all life concerns. This will have a long-term effect on the children in that they will become adamantly violent later in life (Burton, 2010). Overall, children who hear or watch explicit and violent media such as songs are likely to develop notions that violence and explicit behaviours such as prostitution are allowed in the society.
The third reason as to why it is advantageous for the Singaporean government to regulate and censor the media is the fact that it will prevent the emergence of hate groups and such like organizations who spread propaganda across various media settings. There are cases where the internet offers a platform where hate groups can co-ordinate theirs activities, which can jeopardize the normal functioning of the society (Beattie, 2009). Facebook occurs as one of the primary media platform that breeds notorious groups that spread propaganda across various settings. Such groups call for censorships, which can only be attained by imposing government regulations on the media.
The fourth advantage of medial control by the Singaporean government relates with the fact that such controls will allow the Singaporean government to guard its secrets. Precisely, control of the media by the Singaporean government will hide secret information such as information regarding the Singaporean military, which should be guarded diligently. Such information could be used by enemy states to develop strategies on how to defeat our military.
Disadvantages of media control by the Singaporean government
Apart from the advantages of media control by the Singaporean government, it is of the essence to note that such controls would pose several disadvantages. Above all, control and censorship of the media by the Singaporean government will limit the freedom of expression of the people (Beattie, 2009). The media offer a platform where Singaporean citizens can express their views on pertinent matters affecting their lives. Imposing regulations would thus limit the means by which the Singaporean citizens express themselves.
The second disadvantage of imposing controls on the media is that it would limit access to information by the Singaporean populations. This is because Singaporeans often utilized various media platform such as the internet to access pertinent information that is useful to them (Shuger, 2006).
Beattie, S. (2009). Community, space and online censorship: Regulating pornotopia. Surrey, England: Ashgate.
Burton, G. (2010). Media and society: Critical perspectives. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Ferguson, C. J. (2013). Adolescents, crime, and the media: A critical analysis. New York, NY: Springer.
Fourie, P. J. (2007). Media studies. Cape Town: Juta.
Hassan, R., & Thomas, J. (2006). The new media theory reader. Maidenhead [u.a.: Open Univ. Press.
Korpe, M. (2004). Shoot the singer!: Music censorship today. London [u.a.: Zed Books.
Schoening, B. S., & Kasper, E. T. (2012). Don't stop thinking about the music: The politics of songs and musicians in Presidential campaigns. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books.
Shuger, D. K. (2006). Censorship and cultural sensibility: The regulation of language in Tudor-Stuart England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Smith, S. J. (2005). Children, cinema and censorship: From Dracula to the dead end kids. London [u.a.: Tauris.