Media pluralism: Divisive or democratic?

Throughout the world, media pluralism is considered essential to democracy. A pluralistic media -- marked by a variety of outlets with diverse ownership and viewpoints, independence and transparency -- is generally believed to contribute to a press that honors the ideals of democracy and reflects diversity within society.

Some, however, have argued against media pluralism, holding that diverse viewpoints in the media may actually serve to divide rather than unite a people.

In Iraq, for instance, where sectarian and religious divisions have fueled violence and war in recent years, media pluralism is dangerous, according to journalist Gary Gambill, whose recent article in the University of Missouri magazine Global Journalist debates the merits of the media pluralism that flourished with the democratization of Iraq.

What do you think? Is media pluralism necessary even if it reinforces divisions in society? Can media pluralism be a factor in destabilizing a country divided by sect, religion or ethnicity? What are the costs of a media climate lacking pluralism?

media is not divisive

media is actually not divisive the work of the media is actually to present facts as they are and leave the final judgments to the is through media that people can maintain peace in a country because when a country is facing whether external or internal aggressions,media will always stop that by using all kinds of ways to see to it that a country is peaceful such as preaching peace.....if there are maybe two worrying sides where one side does not buy the ideas of the other side,or both sides sometimes respond to each other in a hostile way, media will not come out in a divisive way instead media will give a chance to both the sides.... media is not unfair at all because it will always present facts which are true,accurate and a well written statement of accounts.. it does not favor anyone even if there are favorites but media will always give a chance to both sides,such that when there is a controversy then the other side is always given a chance to respond to their opponent... so even if there are different cultures in a country,media will always bring a nation together making them to start thinking about whatever is in their best interest....

Different aspect

First of all, how may you say that media brings the nation together? What we are facing in every day situations is that media is under words of presenting the facts objectively indirectly forcing a people to think in the way the text is written. What happens the most is that media is covering usually one side of the issue, thus giving a step back in making people to approach an article critically. The media sources won't ever give chance to both sides if they are in a conflict what's so ever it they will favorise one side so that people think they are objective.

What exactly do you mean by: Media will bring a nation together? How can press or television bring people together. Regarding this issue it might be true but it's only one aspect that I find possible to match with this statement. The power of press is unforrtunately manipulated. Your text stands for an ideal situation which I admire but as I stated we are not living in the world where media truly stands for objeectivity and maintaing peace.

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this has helped me a lot with

this has helped me a lot with my A2 Media Studies work and has informed me well about Media Pluralism. Thankyou =]

It is those who are always

It is those who are always anti democractic who feels, the media is divisive, otherwise, journalists are the mirror of the society they are reporting from.

Many journalists and media houses are lebeled 'anti-government' because of always being independent from the government and the society they are serving.

Across the globe, countries that look at the media houses as divisive are depostic in nature, they don't want the truth be brought foward yet people need to know.

That is why journalists are always dragged to courts of law, tortured and sometimes killed. The role of media cannot be underestimated in promoting democracy and any government that looks at medai as an enemy, is just making fan of democracy.

Dradenya Stephen Amazia, Arua- Uganda.

I don't agree with any

I don't agree with any attempt to demonize media pluralism as a canon of journalism. Media Pluralism is as important as media freedom itself. The fact that there are different people with different cultures, divergent views and ideals means they should all be reflected in public channels of communication-the media. Like food, no one would choose to always be served with even the most nutritious food type or your favourite meal. Even science tells us to have a balanced diet. Variety is thus very important. The media should always bring different view points on any issue, however unpopular some views might sound. Let us remember that some of the most popular views we have today like democracy, human rights etc were once unpopular. They evolved through exposures and debate in the public channels of communication. We should therefore not at any point doubt the importance of media pluralism.

While i appreciate the issue of divisiveness that might result from exposing both sides, it is more important that the media remains a free forum for all views and issues at any time. If we present all these views following all other journalistic principles like accuracy, fairness, objectivity, verification etc, they will not likely result in division. Sometimes we need to understand our differences in order to appreciate each other or even see our similarities...for example the passion with which we love what we love. Media pluralism should thus be a bedrock of any credible and useful media/ journalistic practice. Any talk disregarding the importance of media pluralism is to me 'journalistically' speaking- a criminal idea.

Gerald Businge, Uganda

Uganda Multimedia Journalist and Digital Media Trainer.

Whoever said divisiveness was

Whoever said divisiveness was undemocratic? In fact, divisiveness is the essence of democracy; it is the very question it considers.

Moreover, who said it was the job of the media to unite public opinion? That is the job of propaganda not journalism!

The job of journalism is to report the facts and nothing else, if the facts are pluralistic then so be it.

Lastly, who left amongst us still even considers there is pluralism in the ownership of (western) mainstream media? If so getting ones head out of the sand is advisable.

The primary question posed is itself flawed because it fails to recognize the true nature of the trade.

The price of media pluralism

The price of media pluralism is the wide space of public debate and expression of opinion on a variety of issues from governance, to basic rights. If people are not free to determine how they are governed, there is no respect for one's opinion no matter how opposite it is to someone else's then, where is our humanity, where is our tolerance and where are our freedoms. You know expressing one's thoughts is a freedom and silence is not, worse still forced silence. I am convinced that without pluralism in the media society degenerates into lawlessness and there is an abuse of fundamental rights which governments are mandated to uphold. When people fear to criticise their leaders, choose their leaders or express themselves in all manner possible, you are as good as dead. While people can be divided as a result of their exposure to various media outputs, let there be many voices and from those many voices we agree to disagree. To me that is democracy and not division.

Busani Bafana, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

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