The Role of Media in Our Lives

            "We cannot study the media apart from the context of their economic, political, historical, [technological] and cultural relationships.” (Grossberg et al 1998:7). .

             Today the media plays a massive role in our lives. Yet we do not often question the ideologies that are put forth. In studying the media it is imperative we take into account the political and economic relationships operating. As this essay will discuss, it is the relationships between these two, namely governments and media conglomerates that closely shape the media we receive. This inter relation is constantly influencing the media as they struggle for power and control. We cannot study the media today without taking into account both economics and politics. .

             As governments have privatised the media they have introduced laws and regulations in order for them to maintain some control over the industry. In the case of many television and radio stations, by ensuring licenses are needed to operate they are exercising power over media companies. These laws are a way for the government to regulate the industry and ensure that the messages disseminated through these media support their ideas. For example, television stations have to adhere to rules regarding offensive language. .

             ".The state is not only a regulator of communication institutions. It is itself a communicator of enormous power”. (Golding & Murdoch, 1988, p.23) So far in discussing politics I have been assuming the society was democratic. However it is important to note that in some countries the government goes to extreme measures in order to control the media. For example this was evident only recently in Zimbabwe's political election. President Robert Mugabe literally censored the media before the election, as he feared he would lose to the opposition. He did this by implementing laws that would punish those who spoke out against him. In doing this he abused his governmental power over the media.

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