2. Discussion of the media trends
3. The impact of these trends on the Emirati and Arab media
The media plays a very critical role in any country and the world at large. In any democracy, the media is such a critical tool towards the realization of the various countries’ development objectives. The media effectively overcomes the temptation by the government to dominate information and practice its monopoly. Moreover, there is the gradual fostering of the development of an effective and mature information culture throughout the globe. Transparency and corruption free work environments in the public and private sectors can only be realized through the watchful and critical eyes of the media at a global scale. Among others, the media performs the informing, entertaining and education roles in the society. Much as the entertaining aspect seems to be taking center-stage, the other two are equally important and critical. The society, more often than not depends on the media to be informed on the government development progress and further still keeping it accountable to the electorate. It is therefore important for the global media to be keenly regulated and all the barriers towards its development dealt with at the earliest available opportunities. Moreover, the media ownership should be fairly distributed as opposed to the government exercising monopoly in the media ownership (Doyle 2002:3).
2. Discussion of the media trends
The first media trend is regulation and deregulation of the media. Being the watchful eyes of the society, journalists and other media personalities should be given the freedom to carry out their own fair investigations and report the various matters of public concern, furnished with enough evidence. The public on the other hand, should develop trust in the media so as to submit the most accurate information when so needed. Regulatory bodies for both the print and broadcast media do receive thousands and thousands of unsatisfactory complaints each year. Some of the most submitted complaints include unfairness and inaccuracy of the information disseminated. This calls for professional handling of information to minimize such cases. Laws that restrict the publication of specific materials and not the behavior of the media personalities are slowly hampering the standards of the information that finds its way into the public. Moreover, parliamentary legislations and other regulations of the media are becoming more and more flexible, empowering the media to play its role in the most effective way possible. However, deregulation of the media is a terribly dangerous towards the development of any democracy. Some countries have embarked on dare-devil campaigns in the muzzling of the media. This is not only backward but also a slap on the face of the gigantic developments that have been made in the development of the media (Ghertman & Ménard 2009:123).
The second trend is the various barriers to the media development. Despite the many gains made in the media sector, various stumbling blocks still stand on the way of such developments. According to Schwartz (2009:34), these barriers include economic, political or legal, physical and socio- psychological ones. Economic challenges are as a result of the financial implications towards meeting the information demands of the modern society. Most media houses lack the financial muscles to embrace the latest technologies like video-conferencing and live-reporting, towards the accurate and effective reporting of facts. Political and legal barriers constitute political instabilities and interferences from the government. This is most common in developing countries where democracy is still in its infant stages. Moreover, the rigorous legal and statutory requirements tend to undermine the development of the media in general. The socio-psychological barriers arise from the society’s attitudes and associations towards given media houses. Biasness and unprofessionalism can make a given audience to prejudice specific media houses; which affects the overall development of the media.