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Blog 4: Public Media

In a sense, if there was no available public media, there would be no community to share it with. Therefore, having public media readily available is crucial for a community to be properly informed. Through print, radio, television, Internet, etc. the options for citizens to become informed are endless. It also matters how these sources are used. 

Virtual communities can be created over the Internet so people can come together to talk about or share community information. These types of communities can be very useful because information can still be transferred even when people aren’t face to face. Print is a source that you can physcially hold in your hand and can physically pass along to others to help expand their knowledge of information as well. Newspapers and magazines help to further explain details of stories that might have been cut short in other mediums. With radio and television, these sources let you hear information (and see it in the case with television). Radio especially helps to make sure information is available even when you can’t hold it in your hand or see it with your eyes.

However, these forms of public media are not just present to inform the community…they are also here to connect the community. Through social networks, e-mail, and blogs people are able to communicate with friends, family, co-workers about what is going on in their life and the lifes of others. Social media is also a good source of relaying information to others. When information is available to citizens, it helps the community to establish a purpose and goal and to become unified. Citizens are able to get involved  and viewpoints/opinions can be shared. It is like the article “Public Media 2.0” states: allowing citizens to participate with information sharing creates a sort of citizen journalism.

Although, it’s hard to become a strong community when there are gaps and not everyone is on an even playing field when it comes to accesibility of media. For example, in order to to seek out most information, things like computers, automobiles, print subscriptions, televisions, and cell phones must be involved. Nowadays, it is more important to be able to access the Internet than any other medium because there is a shift to an online platform. But all these things cost money and the with the divide between lower, middle, and upper class makes it hard sometimes. Yes, all of these sources are available for free to a certain extent but can sometimes be hard to obtain depending on the resources. Those with limited resources need to be educated so they can maximize the knowledge of information available.

Overall, public media informs communities about a wide variety of events. Through different mediums, citizens are able to find out about more serious alerts such as crisis communication, government, and politics or about social events such as concerts and festivals. Not all news is important or breaking but knowing the information that is availble through public media helps a community grow. We want to close those gaps and have everyone access to all public media so we can learn together. 

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  1. November 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    But “public media” only means media that is supported by public dollars. Such as PBS or NPR. So even if there was no public media you could still have local TV (KOMU), local radio, web sites, etc.

    So what do you think about public media’s role in creating an informed community? Your post did not address this type of media specifically, but rather addressed media more generically.

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