The main objective of media regulation is to enhance the benefits of media while reducing any harmful effects. Media practises who have large audiences are viewed as beneficial to society and are promoted by regulation. Media regulation is the control or guidance of mass media by governments and other regulatory bodies. This regulation is implemented through laws, rules or procedures and can have various goals. An example of this is to protect ‘public interest’, or encourage competition. .The main targets of media regulation are the press, radio and television, film, music, the internet, mobile phones etc.
Governments around the world have set their views on the role of media in society. Their aim is to maximise the benefits of the media. For example, some governments provide funding for film production to boost the nation’s film culture. On the other hand, the Government may restrict the circulation of ‘extremist’ political views and reduce illegal pirate radio stations.
There is a lot of controversy and disagreement surrounding how the media should be regulated. People have different views on how the media impacts people, whether it is harmful or beneficial. For example, some people claim that porngraphy should not be regulated because people should be free to explore their sexuality. Other people claim that pornography degrades and exploits women and should be censored.
Main forms of media regulation:
A form of media regulation is Direct government control. It is unusual for governments to take complete control of the media, however, countries with governments who enforce strict laws at the expense of personal freedom, often directly intervene in the practises of the media industries. For example, the Chinese government closely supervise forms of media and the Chinese media regulations allows the government to stop particular news stories by claiming that they expose state secrets and endanger the country. However, in democratic countries, the government may take direct action to eliminate news stories that could threaten national security.
The most popular form of media regulation in Europe are Independent statutory regulators.
The independent regulators are given the right to enact legislation on specific aspects of media regulation. In the UK, Ofcom regulates the communications industry. So if a member of the public makes a complaint about a television programme, Ofcom will conduct an investigation and take appropriate action. In the US, the Federal Communications Commision oversees the communications industry. Another form of media regulation is audience pressure. If consumer’s find news material offensive or potentially dangerous, they may campaign against it. To avoid campaigns against forms of media, some record labels put parental advisory stickers on their albums.
Factors that make a news event worthy:
There are different factors that make a news event newsworthy. If an event occurs near the consumer, it will have a greater impact on their lives. Likewise, if the event includes someone well-known such as a celebrity or Politician, it can have a larger impact on people’s lives and will get more media coverage. It can also depend where the news event occured. Although most people use the internet to get news coverage, we are still more likely to care more about something down the street than across the world. Also, when the news contains topics and events which are current, it is considered desirable news. Consumers are used to receiving the latest updates through different devices such as Mobile phones, and there is so much news about that old news quickly becomes irrelevant.