Disadvantages Of Self Censorship

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A phrase oft reiterated by those wiser than us is; “with great power; comes great responsibility”. In media few statements are truer. The media possesses an unique influence on the wider society. In their position as something of ‘the people’s advocate’ they broadcast the views of the public but also have control of content in such a way that it can in turn create said views for those consuming these publications. Consequently there has to be procedures in place to prevent harmful information being disseminated. This is where self -censorship comes into play. Self-censorship refers to the censoring of one’s own intellectual property; usually out of fear publicizing information deemed as harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient.…show more content…
In this paper the advantages and disadvantages of media as the gatekeepers of society is discussed. Gatekeeping is the process of culling and crafting countless bits of information into the limited number of messages that reach people every day, and it is the center of the media's role in modern public life. […] This process determines not only which information is selected, but also what the content and nature of the messages, such as news, will be." In layman terms gatekeeping is the process by which the billions of messages that are available in the world get cut down and transformed into the hundreds of messages that reach a given person on a given day. In accordance with this truism then it can be argued how gatekeeping as a staple in media sorts of distorts reality. That is say when there are ‘stories’ out there not being told for one reason or another; that creates a contrary world view. This is especially true of authoritarian states where the government is in control of vast majority of media and decides what is disseminated to its people. One such case is that of…show more content…
In the extreme cases of the Burmese media and the US media one can begin to infer the damaging effects of oppressive gatekeeping as well as the fallout of a lack of gatekeeping (respectively). The positives however become most evident when the negatives are properly understood. Though gatekeeping may result in a distorted view on reality one way or the other, media’s role as the gatekeepers of society creates an informed society and equips its members with broad, diverse worldly views. Media serves vital roles in society; they act as: an informer, instructor/educator, interpreter, among other latent roles. Chief among (though under a separate from the components above) the media’s roles is that of a “watchdog”. Media’s role as gatekeeper is intertwined with its application as information disseminators of information. As informers they are charged with providing information for society thirsty for content. Molotch and Lester spoke on this obsession stating this inbred desire is “an invariant need for accounts of the unobserved”. The instructor role is fulfilled by the forms of media that pass on knowledge to the public on little known issues. This role goes hand-in-hand with the interpreting responsibility of media as they take foreign and ambiguous constructs and simplify them or put them in otherwise relatable terms for easier digestion. For example the

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