Tuesday, 8 May 2007

New Media – Power to the people or threat to stability?

In this day and age, information and news can spread very rapidly due to the advancement of technology. New media can both act to serve as a threat to stability and power to the people. Terrorism is a main concern in the world and terrorists are taking advantage of the new media to spread their ideas across the globe. Take for example, the al-Qaeda extremist movements, many of these militants have poisoned Muslim’s public view of the West, creating conflicts between the Western and Islamic world. Therefore, in order to curb such actions by the terrorists, countries around the world should co-operate to change such perception and hostility, since we all live in this world. Due to advancements in technology over the years, in this present world, the most basic form of media, the television is accessible to many poor countries, thus we should not underestimate the influence of media. The first step to countering the terrorists is to correct the wrong perception that the Islamic world has on the West. This requires the work of Islamic governments and western countries to portray good relationships between the West and the Islamic world.. For example, when the media focused on America’s commitment to aid them in the case of a natural disaster, they had changed views and attitudes of America. This evidently shows the power of media.

The media provides power to the people in such a way that it provides governments with views of how the public thinks of them and the areas for improvement that would be beneficial for the country. With blogging gaining popularity, people could write comments about what they feel about the policies of the government and any possible areas of improvement in their current living conditions. This is especially useful in large countries like Indonesia and China, where it is difficult to reach out to its entire population, blogs and related media sources would prove to be vital sources where the government can obtain feedback from the people. This is a healthy way of interaction between the people and the government.

I personally feel that in countries where there is internet censorship, it would not benefit the people. This is due to the fact that the people are unaware of the impression and ideas others have and this could lead to some misunderstandings. However, in order to gain the trust and confidence of these governments to do away with censorship, it requires the each and every individual to be responsible when making comments or suggestions.

1 comment:

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