Media theory refers to the complex of social-political-philosophical principles which organize ideas about the relationship between media and society. Within this is a type of theory called `normative theory’, which is concerned with what the media ought to be doing in society rather than what they actually do. In general, the dominant ideas about the obligations of mass media will be consistent with other values and arrangements in a given society.
Conceptualizing Media Development
Theory according to different scholars
• According to Siebert et al (1956) in their book Four Theories of the Press, “the press takes on the form and coloration of the social and political structures within which it operates”. The press and other media, in their view, will reflect the “basic beliefs and assumptions that the society holds”. In the western liberal tradition, this refers to matters such as freedom, equality before the law, social solidarity and cohesion, cultural diversity, active participation, and social responsibility. Different cultures may have different principles and priorities.
• Although normative theory of the press is now in a considerable state of uncertainty, not least because of changes in the media and the rise of new media forms, we can still identify certain broad traditions of thought about the rights and responsibilities of media in society and the degree to which a “society” may legitimately intervene to protect the public interest.
• Development media theory is applying in countries at lower levels of economic development and with limited resources that takes various forms but essentially proposes
• Media freedom under desirable conditions favoring the ones in power
• It demands that most institutes should be subordinated of necessity to the requirements of
The need for introducing
Media Development Theory
Goals of development media theory
It emphasizes the following goals:
• The primacy of the national development task.
• The pursuit of cultural and informational autonomy.
• Support for democracy
• Solidarity with other developing countries.
• Government agencies.
• Monitor training and licensing of media practitioners.
• Control development of media institutions.
• Regularly censor-media content before distribution.
• Issue regular guidelines for day-to-day operation of media Although different degree of self regulation is encouraged, media practitioners are not trusted by government officials to carry out their responsibilities without guidance and constant monitoring.
The need of Media Development Theory
• The underlying fact behind the genesis of this theory was that there can be no development without communication. Under the four classical theories, capitalism was legitimized, but under the Development communication theory, or Development Support Communication as it is otherwise called, the media undertook the role of carrying out positive developmental programmes, accepting restrictions and instructions from the State. • The media subordinated themselves to political, economic, social and cultural needs. Hence the stress on “development communication” and “development journalism” There was tacit support from the UNESCO for this theory. The weakness of this theory is that “development” is often equated with government propaganda.