Media control and censorship of programs shown on TV has been a common practice in the recent days. Media control simply means censorship of the information and ideas that are spread to the public through media outlets. Some of the ways through which media control is exercised include barring the display of obscene images and the use of obscene language.
Media control is exercised in almost every country to prevent these obscenities. It is the responsibility of governments with the help of selected bodies to exercise media control. This essay will discuss the types of controls imposed on the media and the parties involved in exercising the controls.
The first type of control imposed over the media is control of sexual content, content depicting violence, and content encouraging use of drugs. This is an important type of control that ensures children and families are not exposed to obscene material. Control of pornography material to avoid it being shown on TV is important because the material can be easily accessed through the internet.
It is important for control over display of such material to be exercised because it is harmful to children. Unless display of obscene content and other questionable material is controlled, children and families will be affected negatively by the content (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler 156).
The second type of control imposed on the media is the control of information that may put the security of a country at risk. Control of military information is used to guard information which should only be possessed by the military. The media may be used by politicians and other powerful personalities fighting the government to spread information which poses a threat to the security of a country.
For instance, cases have been witnessed where the media is used to spread information causing citizens to start fighting. It is important to have media control over spread of information that may put the security of a country at risk.
The third type of control imposed over the media is religious control. In most countries there are different religious groups who subscribe to different faiths. It is therefore important for all religious groups in a country to be respected. Religious control refers to the control of any information that is considered offensive to particular religious groups.
For example, cases may arise where the dominant religious groups start interfering with the freedom of minority religions. It is important to exercise media control to ensure that there is no spread of information that might cause religious animosity (Gaddy 289).
The controls that are imposed on the media are in the form of laws enacted by the government. Most governments control the content to be spread through the media by enacting laws that regulate it. The ministry of information and communication is then held responsible to ensure that media outlets adhere to the laws that have been enacted. The ministry issues broadcasting guidelines that should be followed by all media outlets. Media outlets that violate the set laws regarding the content they should broadcast risk losing their licenses.
Media control is also exercised through special bodies that are set by the government to regulate the content being spread through media outlets. Some of these bodies are commissions mandated to ensure that all regulations are followed by the media outlets. The commissions are also responsible for monitoring media outlets to ensure that they do not release questionable content. By so doing, the information spread through the media is controlled to ensure that only information suitable to the public is released.
Gaddy, Gary. The Power of the Religious Media: Religious Broadcast Use and the Role of Religious Organizations in Public Affairs.n.d . Web 21 Sep 2011.
O’Shaughnessy, Michael and Stadler,Jane. Media and Society: An Introduction. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2008.Print