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The Role of Media in Influencing Government and the Public

  • Collecting the public’s views on social issues.
  • Highlighting critical issues in society.
  • Amplifying public interest issues.

The media plays a constructive and influential role in collecting the views, opinions, and attitudes of the public towards various social issues. They disseminate, report, and deliver such information about critical public affairs, which helps in helping draw the attention of government and policymakers to the pressing issues of the society. Additionally, the media provides exposure to a wide array of stories to the public, effectively boosting and amplifying their awareness.

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  • Educating the general public and ensuring they make informed choices and decisions.
  • Providing a platform through which the public can relay their concerns to the government.
  • Facilitating the exchange of ideas through debates.

The media educates the public through its reporting and commentaries, which enables the people to make informed decisions and choices (Mwangi, 2018). For instance, newspapers and televisions explain the consequences of the political and economic policies so that the audience is enlightened and makes the appropriate adjustments. It is also an influential platform through which citizens express their concerns to the government. Additionally, the press facilitates the exchange of information and ideas between the general public and policymakers.

  • Shaping the perceptions and opinions of citizens.
  • Redirecting the focus of government to salient issues.
  • Stimulating more significant involvement of the public in governance.

By assigning differential prominence to diverse topical issues, the press enhances and shapes the perceptions and opinions of the public. It also redirects the focus of government officers and policymakers to the significant issues within the society. Moreover, the amplification of the peoples’ voices and the resultant influence on policy formulation stimulates the public’s involvement in directing the government to their most pressing concerns.

  • Promoting good governance.
  • Fostering accountability.
  • Encouraging transparency and responsiveness of government.

Media supports good governance, fosters accountability, and encourages transparent and responsive government operations. The press helps the public to know the events and occurrences around them, mainly through investigative journalism (Ojenike et al., 2016). For instance, the media is obligated to expose unethical practices of government officers, which hampers their continued perpetration of such conduct.

  • Act as an institution of checks and balances.
  • Setting the social and public agenda.

The press monitors the operations of the government and exposes incidences of officials’ excesses to the audience. Additionally, the media establishes a hierarchy of news, assigning prominence to topical issues they would want the public, government, and society to focus on specific issues (Starke et al., 2016). For instance, the media gives importance to economic and political issues, which directly affect the public.

  • Watchdog
  • Surveillance instrument.

The press is an effective tool for enlightening the public about the wrongdoings of government officials and monitoring the authority’s operations and activities, such as the development of projects which address the peoples’ concerns.

  • Fostering cultures, norms, and cultural values.
  • Promoting interconnectedness of the people.

The media propagates culture, cultural values, and diversity in society as well as promoting the interconnectedness of the public. This implies that the press is morally obligated to encourage the entrenchment of social values and inclusion.

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  • Increasing public awareness.
  • Supporting the government.

The media relays information to the public about events and activities taking place in their country, thereby promoting public awareness. For instance, the press informs the audience about their civic rights and duties, which is critical in empowering citizens. The media also supports the government by broadcasting its development agenda, providing access to relevant information, and highlighting the planned activities and their benefits to the public.


Mwangi, C. (2018). Media influence on public policy in Kenya: The case of illicit brew consumption. SAGE Open, 8(2), 1–13.

Ojenike, B., Adedokun, S. O., Odugbeni, J. B., & Ojeniko, J. O. (2016). The media, good governance, and sustainable development: A critical nexus. Journal of Political Science and Leadership Research, 2(2), 35–42. Web.

Starke, C., Naab, T. K., & Scherer, H. (2016). Free to expose corruption: The impact of media freedom, internet access, and governmental online service delivery on corruption. International Journal of Communication, 10, 4702–4722.

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