Role & functions of media
Media (medium in Latin) is a channel of communication by which various types of news, entertainment and educational information, statistical data, advertisements and other content are transmitted. Instead of direct communication, information and various content are transmitted in several forms:
- Print – newspapers, magazines, bulletins, books, comics, et cetera;
- Visual – TV, films, photos , pictures;
- Audio – radio, music, CD, MP3 files;
- Digital – Internet, social media, e-mails, video games.
seven key functions of the media
- Inform. The key function of media is to provide citizens with the information they need to exercise self-government and civil liberties. In a democratic society people take decisions based on information and therefore, informed citizen is an important actor of a democratic process. Media, for its part, is key to providing society with diverse, reliable and accurate information.
- Educate. Media must provide society not only with information but also a context and explain how this or that policy decision or regulation affects their life.
- Monitor (watchdog). Media is also referred to as the fourth estate since one of its key functions is to monitor and control the activities of three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial. That’s why this function of the media is called a watchdog function. Media skeptically evaluates activities and messages of the government and ensures its accountability and transparency.
- Public forum. Media offers society a platform for public criticism and debates, which must ensure diversity of opinions and encourage pluralism. Public debates on important issues for society must be based on facts and in this process media must perform a role of moderator.
- Advocate. Media advocacy by means of media implies influencing a decision making process.
- Entertain. Entertainment is one of the functions of media. Consumers often expect relaxing and entertaining content from media. Through films, series, sports programs and various entertainment shows media performs a recreational function.
- Sell. Media is a space for promotion and sales of products, services and ideas, i.e. a key means of transmitting advertisements and offering certain services to audience.