I believe that the availability of public media is extremely necessary for a community to be properly informed and in fact is one of the hallmarks of American culture. As Silver states, because the people are now the center of media, it is important that they have accurate media at their disposal. To understand the necessity of public media, it may be helpful to have a framework for what public media is. Public media is the forums used to let the public know what is going on around them. They are usually free, and can be found on public-access television stations (like PBS) or on community radio stations. Public media can be used to inform us the about the news, education, healthcare, our government, local happenings, and even entertainment. In a sense, public media help us become informed citizens that are involved in our communities.
Going off of this information, I believe that public media being available to communities is centrally important to creating informed citizens. Public media creates a sense of community connectedness, along with community awareness. Both help communities thrive and remain successful. When looking at a community such as North Korea where public media is censored and controlled, this provides a prime example for what happens when public media is not available to citizens. They only have one main news source, the Korean Central News Agency, and it is heavily controlled by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il.
It creates a situation where freedom of speech is only an illusion, and where information is tainted and manipulated by a select few government officials. To resist a situation like this occurring in America, free public media available to the masses is our best shot.
I personally believe that the availability of public media
is necessary or at least highly important for a community to be properly
informed. The media is a very powerful tool on its own, as a source of important
information it is even more powerful. The media alone generates loads of
information for a wide range of audiences so that a person can usually use the media to find whatever they want or need. Having the access to such forms of diverse information is great to begin with because of all the more information it can generate or at least spread amongst citizens. Using this type of informational pool for the community to keep citizens informed makes sense because
everyone in the community can get information that they personally are interested in. I believe this would create more interest in community information for citizens and could even cause citizens to become more involved in the community because people would be more interested in the information available to them. Of course the media has its pros and cons which should always be considered when doing anything with the media in a community. However I personally believe that the benefits can outweigh the conflicts.
Over the past few weeks I have been collecting survey
information from Columbia MO residents. This survey information included topics
like how Columbia residents obtain information about what is going on inside the
city of Columbia. My personal experience with collecting these surveys from
Columbia residents has been very interesting and so far very helpful in gaining
insight on this subject. I believe collecting these surveys myself will help me
understand how people gain information on Columbia better than simply being
handed this information from someone else or just looking up census information somewhere. I believe this is because I was actually able to see the information first hand especially when I had to re-enter it into Survey Monkey and actually talk to people in person about what exactly we are trying to do with this study. To collect my survey information I decided to go after people I knew who are Columbia residents first. This made collecting the information easier I think since I could always leave the survey with the person to do in their own free time and then come back to get from them later. Since I work at a semi-big corporation I was able to get over half of my surveys completed at my workplace. I believe this made obtaining the survey information a lot easier for me because of the fact that I was surveying people I knew. I believe this made people more
comfortable and more willing to give out personal information about themselves.
Over all collecting the survey information was not as much of a hassle as I
thought it would be and finding the information myself was actually pretty
Although I did not particularly enjoy collecting the community information surveys, it was not the worst thing that I’ve ever had to do for a class project. I have never done anything like this before so it was sort of a learning experience for me. No one actually LIKES taking surveys, so I was forced to learn how to convince people to do something they had no desire in doing. Being rejected numerous times only gave me more confidence in asking more and more people. Most of the people on campus were very willing to take the survey so that was not a problem.
While entering in the results of the surveys, it was interesting to see the variety of different answers, and the similarities in answers from certain age groups. I noticed that almost every young person that took the survey got most of their information from the internet. Several older individuals got most of their information from newspapers and television.
I hope I never have to make someone take another survey, or take one myself ever again, but I guess I’m glad I had the experience.
At first, I had an easy time finding people to fill out the Community Information Survey. I went to the September 19th City Council meeting for an assignment in another class. The pre-council meeting was closed off to the public so I had a great supply of citizens waiting for the regularly scheduled meeting to start. The most responsive people to take the survey were four disabled citizens. They seemed to like the idea of mapping information in Columbia. I had about 9 other people take the survey that night. The next group I targeted were my teachers and teaching assistants. All of them gladly took the survey since it was for a capstone project.
They were easy to gain as well as my employers at the Journalism Library and College Avenue Residence Hall. The rest of the surveys were time consuming but not difficult to collect. People were willing but not unwilling.
When trying to get people on the conventional places like downtown, people were less likely than if I asked someone on campus. They are more sympathetic because they have gone through similar processes. I wouldn’t call it a hassle but it definitely wasn’t a cake walk.