OPINION SOCIAL ISSUE

THE IMPORTANCE OF MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION IN ACHIEVING AND BUILDING PEACE

The media has always been influential in shaping one democratic nation’s future. That is definite and unarguable. There are reasons why the press component of media has been dubbed as the 4th estate. The term 4th estate was coined because the common democratic European states practice the separation of power of the 3 branches of government: the executive, legislative and the judiciary. And the capability of the media to shape a country’s future by influencing the popular opinion is considered to be powerful enough that their effect can topple government leaders. That is why there is no doubt that the media is very important in building and achieving peace. It is just a matter of how they will utilize the immense power that they hold.

As I’ve said, they possess immense power to influence people. If they will use that power to transform citizens into a law-abiding, responsible community, I think peace will be achieved. As we all know, people would most likely believe the media than the government because they are more accessible, readily available for the masses. As such, the transmitted opinion and messages of the media personalities will be as good as the popular opinion believed by the public. For that matter, I cannot stress enough that the media should exercise extremely responsible journalism. A simple but deliberate omission of fact/s or addition of false information will have a great impact on the perception and/or understanding of the public of any issues. If we can only harness the full potential of the immense power that the media hold, we will be able to communicate with the people.


It is a fact that there are various forms of communication and communication tools. In the old times, media is limited only to print. Later, radio and television started to sprout like a mushroom, to the point that it was once considered a status symbol if you own one. But with the advent of newer technologies such as the internet, newer forms of media came into being. Social media is seen as a very powerful tool now. In can make or break a person. It can influence people and their history. US president Donald Trump won the American election but not without various accusations hurled towards him. One that he is facing is how he collaborated with the Russians to influence the American voters. Massive Facebook ads promoting fake news were later unveiled and traced to be coming from Russian IP addresses, some were identified to be from computers from government facilities. As we can see, these forms of media can really shape a nation’s future taking the example of the United States.

While we were thinking about their importance in achieving and building peace, we should also think about how the media and the different communication tools destroy peace if they are being irresponsibly utilized. I always believe that media personalities are committed to their ethics, but let’s also remember that they are still human, capable of committing mistakes and susceptible to temptations. Needless to say, the media, when used responsibly, can be very important to the achievement and building of peace.

Author’s note: For the next few months, I’ll be posting a series of random essays and opinion pieces I made on schooling which I am currently taking up.



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