Principles story usually has two sides. Although media houses

Principles
are defined as an accepted conduct. This means that they are guidelines on how
things should be done. Individuals involved in media are expected to uphold
five principles. These include truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and
impartiality, humanity and accountability. It is important to note that these
principles have their strengths and weaknesses. They are culture specific and
journalists have anthropic spaces influenced by bias.

The
principle of truth and accuracy demands that personnel involved in media tell
the truth always. Often media organisations cannot always guarantee that they
will tell the ‘truth’, however, accuracy is a cardinal principle of reporting
information. Media organisations and their employees are expected to always
provide accurate information. All the important facts should be reported and
verified before being released to the audience. Information which has not been
verified and has no substancial evidence should not be released. The challenge
with application of this principle is that journalists and other individuals
involved in media are expected to follow a certain story angle favoured by the
media house which they are employed by in the interest of profit making and
political or social interests. Often this forces journalists and reporters to
sometimes provide inaccurate information or information which cannot be
corroborated. This means that the interests of the media house has an influence
on the truthfulness and accuracy of information released.

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Journalists
and media houses are expected to be independent. They must be free from
political, corporate or cultural interest of countries in which they are based.
Media organisations are expected to declare to editors or the audience any
political affiliations, financial arrangements or any other personal
information which might present a challenge in terms of conflict of interest. A
weakness of this principle is that journalists have got anthropic  spaces which are influenced by bias. Bias can
be political, corporate or cultural .Bias can result in presentation of
inaccurate information.

Fairness
and impartiality are expected in media work. Information can usually be
presented on two different sides, that is, a story usually has two sides. Although
media houses ad their personnel are not obliged to present every side,
information presented should be balanced. It is not always possible to achieve
objectivity. Furthermore, objectivity is not always desirable especially in
cases to do with brutality or inhumanity. However, reporting information
impartially helps to build trust and confidence in the audience. Journalists
are human beings and as such can be influenced by bias. In addition media
organisations usually follow a particular story angle and are thus inclined to
focus more on one side of the story. As a result unbalanced information can be
released to the audience.

Humanity
is an important aspect expected of media personnel. Media personnel are
expected to do no harm. Information which can be broadcasted may be hurtful to
particular groups of the audience. Therefore it is important to consider the
impact of what is broadcasted on the lives of particular groups of the
audience. Since this principle is also culture specific it means that at times
a media organisation or individual involved in media may not consider certain
information, images or words hurtful or degrading. Therefore  such information may go on to be published or
broadcasted even though it  might degrade
the dignity and hurt certain groups of people.

Accountability
is assign of professionalism in media work. Media organisations must be able to
apologise for reporting incorrect information. Expressions of regret must be
truthful and not cynical. Media houses have a big responsibility to listen to
feedback from the audience. Media houses and their reports may not be able to
change  negative feedback from the
audience but they should be able to admit when they were unfair or inaccurate.
The weakness associated with this principle is that not all media personnel and
media houses appreciate the significance of being accountable as they are more
inclined to consider profit making and other interests.

 

 

Question: Compare and
contrast advantages and disadvantages of using newspapers and radio in
humanitarian work

 Printed media consists of newspapers, posters and
magazines. These have always been an important part of communication .As
communities grew local print media publisehd more stories, business products
and services. The significance of using print media in humanitarian work is
undeniable. The use of print media  has
several advantages  which include its
ability to be stored easily and high coverage .The disadvantage of using print media is its dependency on literacy rates, also
limited circulation to particular location or country
and also the fact that one should
be literate to use print media. As the world evolved and advancements in
science continued, electronic media became popular. Electronic media
encompasses radio, television and internet. Today, electronic media is playing
an important role in humanitarian work. Its advantages include high coverage and
no dependency on literacy rates.

Newspapers make use of written text and images to
communicate certain messages to the audience. It therefore limits the audience
to those who are literate. The circulation of a particular newspaper is usually
limited to a particular area especially in the case of local newspapers thereby
affecting the coverage. However, print media is affordable and easily accessed
by the audience. Another disadvantage of using newspapers is that it depends on
manual distribution also lowering the coverage. Posters on the other hand, make
use of images as well as a little written text. Just like newspapers they
therefore limit the target audience to those who are literate. In addition Posters
can be used without any written text. The process of producing such posters is
complex and it requires a unique kind of literacy skill which most people do
not possess. Posters are also limited to a certain location.

Radio uses sound that is music and spoken words. The radio
programmes come in different formats such as talks, debates and advertisements.
Radio is a popular type of media all over the world and it can be interactive
or non-interactive. Messages are usually sent in one direction that is from the
radio transmitter to the audience. In this case the radio transmitter has no feedback
on the impact of the programme. In other
situations it has been
observed that there is a possibility of having lively interactions with the audience
in the community thereby offering some feedback. Television uses sound, moving
images and written text. Therein lies its strength. However, it is less
accessible than radio. Both radio and television rely on signal strength. In
areas where there is no signal or the signal is poor , radio and television
cannot be accessed thereby affecting the coverage. In addition radio and
television coverage may also be affected by the language being used. If the
transmitter’s language differs from the audience’s language, then the audience
may not understand. Furthermore radio and television shows or programmes are
transitional and the audience who are not tuned in at a particular time will be
skipped by the information.

 

The Internet is another type of electronic media which
is  unique among  mass media in hat it allows communication
through e-mail, instant messaging, newsgroups, and discussion boards.The  internet is a network of all computer networks
worldwide.It The allows for instantaneous exchange of information.It is not
limited to a particular location thus its very wide coverage. The internet
allows its audience to access ,upload, download and send extremely large
volumes of information available on the World Wide Web in a matter of seconds.
A recent development is that of social networks such as Whatsapp ,Facebook,
Twitter  and Instagram. These are very
good in enhancing the interactional and socialization dimensions of mass communication.
 A type of medium has a good reach or
coverage if it can expose a large number of people to a message in a certain
period. Internet, the online version has no boundaries. The Internet has the potential
to reach everyone connected to the Internet and the internet can be accessed
anywhere where the network is available

Anonymity offered by the internet is both an advantage
and a disadvantage. Users can select a username to use while on the internet
allowing free, unbiased feedback on any news shared without fear of victimization.
On the other hand, any individual can share information on the internet and the
issue of anonymity makes it difficult to differentiate between true facts and
inaccurate information as one would not know the true identity, academic
qualifications, citizenship and other details about the individual who shared
the information. The internet is also heterogeneous. It allows interaction of
groups that differ in sex, age, location, status, class, race and culture. The
internet allows for Dual Outreach that is information can be crafted to reach a
segmented audience or to reach everyone. The internet can also be changed from one
language to another, thereby breaking the language barrier.

Its barriers include technological illiteracy. One has
to be able to use a computer or smartphone for them to access the internet. Both
computers and smartphones are relatively expensive and cannot be accessed by
all. Some areas have poor network reception leading to inaccessibility of the
internet in the area. Furthermore, the internet leads to dilution of culture.It
is also not possible to verify all the information shared on the internet.

 

Question:Discuss
factors which may affect media coverage

 Globalization, which we are all witnessing in
this era is closely linked to  media coverage
processes. Mass communication allows for sharing of information worldwide or
locally. Ideally, information shared through mass media is intended to reach
everyone or at least a large number of people. However, several challenges may
be faced that hinder coverage.  These
range from political interference, culture differences, ethical codes and censorship
as well as lack of resources.

Presentation of
events ,  whether real or fictitious
events and the issue of selection of topics to be covered in the mass media, is
expected to follow set  norms and
criteria. These set norms and criteria are always changing, depending on social
and cultural values, time and location and the level of globalization. This
implies that at a specific moment in time, certain type of news may be
considered to be of great value as compared to other news. The news value will
therefore determine whether the news will be published or broadcasted. News
which is predicted to be of low value and expected to only capture the interest
of a few people will not be published or broadcasted.

                                                

 

 

Media
organizations are expected to abide by the legislation of a country and the
regulations of an organisation with respect to publishing information about the
country or the organisation. If certain information is censored, then the media
organization is not allowed to release it. Censorship is an extreme way of regulating
content released by media houses. State authorities or religious organisations
engaging or involved in activities considered by others to be inhuman or taking
part in atrocities may censor the type of information to be released by media personnel
to the public concerning the state authority or the religious organisation.

 

Ownership of
media house and profit making

Media houses
mainly focus on profit- making and favour stories that promise large profits. This
means that stories which do not capture the audience’s interests may not be
covered. In addition media houses follow the interests of the country in which
they are based. Therefore stories which are not associated with the country or
may bring the country’s name into disrepute may not be covered.

 

Culture and
cultural values including language as well as religion can also affect media
coverage .If a story is reported in a foreign language then the affected people
may not understand .Furthermore, media houses may not be interested in stories
occurring in foreign lands to people with a different language, culture or religion
from theirs.

 

Political interference
and gatekeeping also affect media coverage of humanitarian crises. In any
situation there are influential individuals .Media houses are required to
follow guidelines and specific instructions given by such individuals so that
they are allowed to cover the crisis. It is imperative for media organisations
to acknowledge the leadership of a particular area and the regulations and
protocols to be followed if they are to be successful in their desire to cover
the disaster.

 

 Lack of resources and abuse of resources is
also another factor which affects coverage of humanitarian crises. Lack of resources
such as human resources, money, vehicles and other equipment can greatly affect
coverage of a disaster. In most cases disasters occur unexpectedly and media
organisations may not have the resources required for them to reach the disaster
and cover it in time. They may get there late or may not be able to get there
at all. In other cases it may be an issue of misuse of the available resources.
Resources may be stolen, diverged to other activities or inadequate resources
may be allocated for the coverage of the disaster.

 

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