Blog 4: Availabiliy of Public Media
In deciding how important availability of public media is, one would have to consider what public media means. To some public media would be only forums of media that are offered up for no charge to those using it. Still others would consider forums like facebook and twitter a public media source since they too reach the masses. For purposes of this post I will argue that public media are the sources of information that are disseminated to the public, free or not, that serve the sole purpose of delivering information. This includes newspapers, radio, tv news broadcast over public airwaves and through satellite and cable as well.
In answering the question of if these sources are needed for a community to be properly informed, I would say absolutely. My reasoning is quite simple actually. We as a free society depend heavily on public media to deliver news to us. Why the public media matter so much is mainly in relation to source origination. While it is impossible to receive news and information totally void of bias in opinion, it is widely acknowledged that in most instances (save a select few) these public media sources are our least biased forms of information.
While word of mouth and other forums of communication can effectively deliver information, sometimes more quickly than traditional forums, we rely upon and usually expect the public media to deliver our information as straightforward and with as little bias as possible. It is for this reason that I argue public media is absolutely needed in informing the community properly.
Aside from this obvious threat of incorrect information being circulated, imagine if you will a scenario in which tv radio and newspapers did not exist. Much the important information that we obtain on a daily basis would have to come from alternate sources. As much as we rely on public media to give us accurate information we also rely on them to give us relevant information. Left to our own devices using the internet to try to get through all information our there, more than likely we would miss a great deal of it. We depend on public media to give us the information we need and the information to make our communities and lives better. If you were to google search news and information for columbia mo, the results you would find are primarily the sources of public media we have spoken about. The only other source reliable enough to produce results consistent with public media would be through the government. The government is also an important source of information, but something inherent about democracy warns us to prevent such political power from being the only source of news and information.
It is for these reasons that I argue that public media availability is highly necessary for keeping the public properly informed.