Independent media is a word that is used for any kind of media (weather it is Newspaper, television or internet) that is not influenced the government or its agents. The application of this term is different in different countries for example in a country like United States the term is used as a synonym for alternative media. Alternative media refers to media that is not part of the mainstream media. In the subject of international development, the term is utilized for the development of media outlets essentially in locations where there is no media available.
Alternative Media: A Brief look
In most of the developed countries, the term alternative media is predominantly used for the media that is independent and is not influenced by Government forces. The people who support alternative media argue that most of the mainstream media is not neutral and is hence biased. Alternative media can also turn out to be biased however this biasness is not same as mainstream media. The basis of alternative or independent media lies in the fact that nobody can influence its news and coverage.
The Situation in the Developing Countries
Most of the countries that fall under the developing category have media that is in most of the cases influenced by the government. Though the media may not be under full control of the government however the outlets may develop strong ties with the state. If such kind of situation develops, then it becomes really hard to know which particular outlet is independent which is under the influence of the government. Let’s take an example of a TV channel which may provide unbiased information about issues like health and economy, however there are high chances that such a media may simply avoid reporting on the government and its applied policies.
The concept of Self-Censorship
The concept of self-censorship is very much there in countries where the idea of police state exists and where the government is authoritarian. The concept of self-censorship is often practiced by news anchors, musicians, film producers and artist. They basically avoid presenting anything that may lead to government action.
The Concept of Soft censorship
This concept is also very much their as far as media goes. By using this concept, the government pressurizes all those media outlets that may be critical on its policies. The application of this concept also means that government will reward all those institutes that supportits policy.
Development of Independent Media
There are various organizations in different countries that actually work for the strengthening and establishment of Independent Media. These organizations help independent media through various ways such as funding, developing media outlets and enhancing the professional capacity of the outlet that already exists.
The concept of Independent Media has gained a lot of importance in recent years however according to many experts the establishment of this kind of media is nothing more than a utopia and nothing like this can happen in the real world.