Impact of Media on Security


Today’s media is no longer limited to newspaper, television or radio but modern media, in written or audio-video form, has become fast, effective and accessible as it can share information worldwide in no time. Everything can be saved electronically in computers, mobiles or other digital devices. Digital media has great impact on states and societies with some good and bad sides....

1. Introduction

Today’s media is no longer limited to newspaper, television or radio but modern media, in written or audio-video form, has become fast, effective and accessible as it can share information worldwide in no time. Everything can be saved electronically in computers, mobiles or other digital devices. Digital media has great impact on states and societies with some good and bad sides. In recent years, academicians from the discipline of International Relations (IR) and Mass Communication have observed the media’s positive and negative effects on national and international security and its point of reference in the foreign policy making. However, some studies overlooked the fact that modern technical advances have transformed the media in many ways. Media in all forms, press, radio, TV (audio and video) and internet, had been influencing national and global politics. The present study intends to fill the gap in existing literature on the linkage of media and national security. Hence students and scholars in the discipline of International Relations and Security Studies can use this paper as a source of information for further related topics. Its policy function is that nations should know the threats engendered by electronic media on their security and frame policies that will set the way out to deal with harmful information or half-truths coming through media.

This paper revolves around the idea of ensuring peace and security through mainstream media and social media as majority of today’s world rely on the media for most of the information including politics. Whatsoever the media picks to focus, is the primary information that people receive and if media ignores something to cover or disseminate information related to oneissue then people remain uninformed. This process, agenda setting and agenda cutting respectively, forms various streams of narratives. So the received information entails power of construction and destruction. In this scenario, national security takes in conversations and content shared on media, it also responds propaganda of adversaries and external interferences.

The dilemma is that people are exposed to intricate information through media but information become useless rather dangerous without appropriate education, attitude, context and creative abilities. Certainty, developing countries have adopted technology but could not develop scientific thinking and it is more inimical rather constructive in development and preserving national interests of states. Media sells messages of branding and improper information to the public which concerns national security activities and such coverage builds views of people and their behaviors are developed up to their understanding.

Keeping in view its above mentioned role, this study endeavors to find out the answer of these questions; how do media on the name of freedom of expression, creating social problems? How can media bring positive change in societies, crumbling with terrorism? How do media cover security related issue such as acts of terrorism and how does it cause societal rift. The objectives of this study are to figure out linkage media (conventional and new electronic) and national security threats, the use of social media by the governmental institutes in limiting or removing threats to national security and to examine how media is making threats to national security of underdeveloped states worse. This study is analytical and based on various documents, reports, reviews, articles of journals, newspapers and books. Discussing a framework of media, tied up with solutions, will help in mitigating threats emanating from new media as it can be used other way round to create national cohesion and responding external threats.

2. Linkages of Security and Media

In history press played a vital role in social connectivity, and learning of cultures, socio-political norms were also exchanged. Nowadays, healthy competition between print and electronic media has compelled publishers and media houses to carve out new kind of readership or viewership. Hence, newtrends of media cater the demands of viewers and readers.1 In retrospect, media was used as means for controlling and monitoring societal norms and it was the carrier of cultural, political, social and economic values of a society which transferred legal and value aspects from one generation to another so as to help the survival of system, prevention of generation interruption and covering sociability process. Thus Radio and television had been main source of information and communication; these technologies later converged with modern technology and revolutionized the information.

With the advent of electronic media, its crucial role has become novel as it appeared strong means of transformation of world public, their lifestyle, understanding and feelings are very much dependent on media. The emergence of new information and communication technologies marks a turning point in the history of communication.2 Therefore, states are facing hard-hitting encounters to monitor, track and limit the use and misuse of social media related to states’ security.

National security is the safekeeping of the nation as a whole; its requirement is to maintain the survival of the state through the use of all instruments of national power including media. Admittedly, comprehensive national security is based on internal security, domestic prosperity and protection from external threats. It makes role of media more crucial (in opinion making, creating heroes and enemies) as Media has become an important pillar of state. Present era of communication has revealed several irrelevant secrets, or half-truths, to general public.

It is taken from TASAM Publishing's book named "New Security Ecosystem and Multilateral Cost"
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