Media play the crucial role in determining which topics we
consider, discuss and talk about. By selecting and presenting
topics and speakers they influence our participation in public
debates and co-shape our decisions about matters that aff
ect our lives as members of the local community, country,
international community and the world in general. Media demonstrate
their power by choosing not to cover certain topics that might
initiate a public debate threatening to harm the interests
of media owners or advertisers.
In addition to determining the topics that will be discussed
and speakers who will discuss them, the media also explain
events and actors, attribute meanings to them and defi ne
these meanings. In this way they co- create the image of social
actors and contribute to the distribution of social roles
and shaping of power relations.
The media can encourage our understanding of the situation
of other people,
our empathy with the members of ethnic or religious groups,
or groups organized by gender, sexual orientation, age, education,
occupation and the like. On the other hand, a biased and stereotyped
presentation of the members of specific groups may incite
hatred or intolerance. In modern society, most media are owned
by private persons and are profi t-oriented. The media ownership
concentration infl uences media content and the quality of
journalistic work. In profit-oriented media, many types of
content are just a cover for the promotion of advertisers’
or sponsors’ products or services. Investments in the media
are frequently closely interrelated with other economic and
political interest of various centers of power.
Freedom to express ideas, opinion and viewpoints is a fundamental
right of every individual and does not belong to media owners
or individuals who produce media content.