Independent media not only inform the public, but also give readers and viewers the opportunity to form their opinions on various topics. Therefore, the role of civil society and the media are interdependent, because media allow to convey information so that everyone can use it for making their decisions. Recently, more and more objective assessment of events, the position of all parties and views can be learned from open sources of the fourth estate. Everyone would like to have a reliable source resonant to their beliefs and values, so that`s where they could read the news without puff pieces and hidden advertising. Unfortunately, a variety of quality media in Ukraine remains a dream. That`s why new independent media startups are becoming increasingly popular.
How does the media affect us and what is the role of the media in building civil society?
Quite often publications have a subtext, for example, political. The main thing we as readers need to understand is that the media is a tool for influencing civil society. Therefore, it is critical to filter the information, choose what products we “consume” from TV or news sites and always question them. And with the development of social networks the share of people who search and learn news from these sources is growing rapidly. But you should be mindful, because while the media is trying to keep the balance, social networks are biased and often fall for “leaking” fake news. So, it’s important to remember that while searching on social media we risk to be influenced by opinion leaders or bloggers.
We must also understand that the positive image of the country and public authorities are supported by the so-called “communal” media, which are financed from the governmental budget. For modern Ukrainians it is important to know who owns media. In Ukraine quite often they are the city councils, businessmen and sometimes even MPs. Understanding who is “behind” this or that media allows you to find the answer to a simple but extremely important question: “Why are they showing me that thing?”. Moreover, you can understand how the broadcast of certain news is beneficial for the owner of the TV channel, website or radio station.
Well, as we see the participation of the media in shaping public opinion and civil society is extremely important. The media not only help concerned citizens to unite, influence some resonating cases and monitor events in the country and the world, but they can also cover news that does not reflect reality at all. It is important to take each publication critically and ask yourself one simple question: “Is it really so or does someone want me to think so?”.