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In the past, governments have put on restrictions and sanctions that prevented the press’s reports on sensitive and controversial topics such as corruption, embarrassing moments of dignitaries, political and bureaucratic malfeasance among others. The trend has however changed since the press has been given more freedom. Whilst this development has sparked a lot of discord among various members of the society.
It is undeniable that it has also led to a clearer perspective on democracy and development as well as increased accountability, not only in the government and various government agencies, but also in the society at large (Sadurski, n.d.). This research paper has employed a comparison approach in order to ascertain the fact that freedom of the press in such changing times does better than harm in the society and should, therefore, be embraced.
The research paper will focus on the pros of freedom of the press, more so the coverage by the press of sensitive and controversial topics. This research should appeal to readers because ignorance is no longer bliss (Hebert, 2005). It is, in fact, catastrophic for anyone to go lead a life without knowledge, and consequently feel contented about their lack of information. It is about time individuals started thirsting for the blind spots, that portion that is not known to us. Otherwise, the gullibility in the society will continue escalating.
Freedom of the press increases accountability in the various government departments. A major sensitive topic is the area of corruption especially in the highest levels of the government. In most developing countries, the press's voice has been muffled concerning the topic and their journalists even threatened if they as much as breathe a word of such dealings. Consequently, most developing countries have had to suffer underdevelopment and receding economic growth as most of the wealth goes to the hands of the minority and powerful (Sadurski, n.d.).
As such, the press can change such a situation. Journalists always believe that their work is meant to deliver change and as cliché as that sounds, it happens to be true (Hebert, 2005). Journalist’s coverage of corruption enhances accountability in the government as it keeps government officials under scrutiny and hence they cannot act in manners that are only self-serving as they will have to answer to the public.
Secondly, the press caters for the information asymmetry that exists between the government and the public. The government usually has more information than the public and as such, it is upon the press to provide such information to the public regardless of how sensitive or controversial the topic may be (Sadurski, n.d.). This has the effect of increasing the quality of decisions made. This is beneficial especially where such decisions involve investments. A true account of the current state of a country’s economic conditions enables investors, both domestic and foreign, to make informed investment decisions. This has the tendency to foster global peace as investors, especially foreign ones, sustain their confidence in such a country.
Finally, freedom of the press can have a bearing on conflict resolution. Of importance is the neutrality of the press when reporting on the existence of conflict between parties. They should cover the conflict in a discrete, and sensitive manner in order to provide both sides with sufficient information to resolve their issues. This will result in fostering peaceful coexistence between individuals and even states.
The ability of the press to cover instances of discord among the members of the society creates the real picture of the problems creating the conducive environment for the conflict resolution. Coverage of the conflicts calls for the application of tact in that the failure of the press to be objective can lead to the development of spillover effects of the conflict (Hebert, 2005). The conflict management approach has to be covered in an open manner to increase the value of the decision. It also increases the candidness of the interventions.
The press should be able to maintain independence and objectivity. It is these, after all, that gives their work the credibility needed to shape and form the opinion of individuals. Objective reporting refers to the presentation of the information as it should be without having to favor one side. The development of the right reporting approach leads to the development of trust among the respective consumers of the content presented to the public. It also creates the reliability and consistency that is important in the creation for future references. When the press is incapable of working in an objective manner, there are chances of loss to the public in terms of the derailment in development (Sadurski, n.d.).
In conclusion, economies should emphasize on the freedom of the press if sustainable economic development is to be achieved. The press is currently better trained than traditionally to cover sensitive issues, especially those that are likely to result in conflicts. Journalists nowadays understand the significance of maintaining ethics and professionalism in reporting sensitive topics and they have also been trained to exercise discretion in reporting such issues especially those pertaining to matters of national security whereby an enemy of the state can use the information to cause disruption to the stability of the country.
Hebert, D. (2005). Freedom of the press. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Sadurski, W. Freedom of the Press and General Theory of Freedom of Speech. SSRN Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1923486
Media literacy is a repertoire of several competencies that often enable persons to effectively analyze, create and evaluate messages in a wide variety of media formats, genres and modes. The America’s correctional facilities can be described as the costliest public institutions that are often fueled by billions of tax dollars and operate largely without scrutiny (Storrie 18). The media has been giving reports on the different victims of domestic violence and their journey towards correction. This is an important feature in that it shows the different paths of rehabilitation of the persons that commit domestic violence. It is no secret that in the American Media, stories of slain children or families often take the headlines. The reports on the perpetrators are not focused on effectively and efficiently. It is often said that bad news often sells and therefore, most people in the media often focus on the victims but never on the perpetrators. This especially occurs when the perpetrator is not of sound mind, and is found to have mental troubles. There is a need for the media to report more objectively especially when the situation is in relation to a person that is insane or is not of a sound mind. The classical story of Hercules can be said to represent the contemporary issue of domestic violence that is perpetrated by persons that are not of sound mind. The media’s portrayal of such stories has been vague at its best and denies the audience a follow up of the situation and conditions that exist in regards to the correction of the perpetrator.
Hercules has been exhibited in classical literature as a strong immortal being. He is seen as a god stronger than other gods and his strength is a deciding factor in his heroic motif. Hercules was immeasurable to any other and is considered the strongest to ever exist. He has a supreme confidence in himself and showed his strength and brutal force from an early age. He for example battles a snake that slithered into his cradle as a baby. Hercules however lacked some wisdom or intelligence and for example when he became too hot he tried to cool by pulling out his bow and threatening the sun to shoot it with his bow. The great deeds of Hercules were portrayed in instances of cruelty and stupidity or even carelessness. Another example is when he takes the life of his own children while in a state of insanity.
This is a sad bit about the life Hercules during the period when he had three children with Princess Megara. The wife to Zeus is very jealous and she sends Hercules to a state of insanity. As a result of his insanity, Hercules kills his three children unwittingly and once he realizes what he has done he almost takes his own life. He is angry for what he has done and he cannot forgive himself for doing that to his own children.
When Theseus persuades him to keep on living and not take his own life, he portrays heroic motif by doing so. It is very hard to live life knowing you are responsible for taking the life of the people most dear to you and it is even impossible to forgive yourself for it. When Hercules kills his three children with Princess Megara, he is so angry with himself he could take his own life.in order to cleanse himself of this grave sin that he has committed he visits the Oracle that is at Delphi. The reason for his visit is to see what he has to do to be cleansed. The Oracle directs him to go and meet with Eurystheus. He sends him to do some challenges that are almost impossible to accomplish. He has to do twelve labors and he completes them.
The heroic motif of Hercules has been told to the world over the years with generations passing it on to other generations. Hercules has stood out as a heroic figure to many groups of people from the Greeks to the Romans and in modern times all over the world based on his recognition as a heroic figure. Hercules heroic motifs have had an appeal that is undeniable and continue to have the same appeal to the modern public as well as the contemporary public. This appeal has made it possible for the myth and the stories of this god to remain at the forefront when it comes to matters of social knowledge even in cases where many of these classical archetypes that are contemporary are not popular to the modern public in masses. If for instance one was to ask someone randomly about Thyestes and even go ahead to explain who they are, there is a very high chance that not many in the mass public would know who that is. However, if it was Hercules and his heroic motif, then the chances of people have this knowledge is very high since most people in the world have an idea who he is (Haslem 45). He has an appeal that is undeniable both as a man and as a god. The tales about him and his actions have been retold in many different formats all over.
Hercules took on the challenge of the 12 labors in order to seek pardon for his sin. He did not really take on the challenge to show case his qualities as a hero. He had to go through with the challenging labors to be at peace with what he had done to his children (Geringer 16). The first labor required him to go to Tiryn and there he was to face off with a lion in nearby Nemea. The lion had been ravaging the lands in the area and no one had been able to kill it because its hides had proven to be impenetrable (Potter 83). He thus had to kill this lion and present the hide of the lion to Eurystheus. He managed to kill the lion using his club that was made of wood from olive and he swung the club and smashed the lions head. He blocked one of the two entrances to the cave and the lion only had one entrance that it could use and he finished off the lion using his own might and strength to kill it. This is the first labor he had to do to seek pardon for what he had done to his children (York 84). The second labor was the Lernaen hydra. The hydra lived in the city of Tiryns and it had nine head. This was a monster that was terrorizing the people who lived in the city’s town of Lerna. Hercules was able to tackle this beast whose breath was strong enough to kill. He faced this challenge with his whole strength and he used his tricks to go through this mission.
He had the help of Lolaus and according to Eurystheus, this did not count. For him to cleanse himself, he had to do the labors by himself with no one’s help in fulfilling the labors. The third labor that Hercules had to do was the Ceryan Hind. This involved hunting for the elusive swift footed deer with horns that were golden. The deer belonged to the Olympic deity and for this reason Hercules did not intend to harm it. He chased it for many months. The fourth labor of Hercules involved capturing the Erymanthian Boar (Geringer 63). The boar had been elusive and also ferocious and Hercules had to find it and capture it. The other labor, the fifth labor required Hercules to clean the Augean stables. These stable were filthy and they had to be cleaned in one day. These stables housed the largest number of animals. The sixth labor was increasingly difficult. Hercules was to remove birds that were ferocious with beaks made of bronze and bronze claws. The seven involved the capturing of the Cretan Bull followed by the horses of Diomedes, then there was the Hippolytes Belt, the cattle of Geryon, Golden apples of Hesperides and the final labor was the capturing of Cerberus. All these labors had to be fulfilled so as to to make sure that Hercules was cleansed. For what he had done he had to be cleansed and to be clean of his mistakes.
In conclusion, following the classical story of Hercules, there is a need for the media to show the audience real information about the perpetrators especially those that are not of sound mind. These people are not liable for their actions and the media should show this to the audience. Media literacy involves them being responsible in their reporting and giving accurate information including follow up stories that give more information.
Potter, W J. Media Literacy. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2011. Print.
Storrie, Paul D, Steve Kurth, and Barbara Schulz. Hercules: The Twelve Labors. Minneapolis: Graphic Universe, 2007. Internet resource.
Geringer, Laura, and Peter Bollinger. Hercules: The Strong Man. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Print.
Haslem, Wendy, Angela Ndalianis, and C J. Mackie. Super/heroes: From Hercules to Superman. Washington, DC: New Academia Pub, 2007. Print.
York, M J, and J T. Morrow. The Constellation Hercules: The Story of the Hero. , 2013. Print.
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