The media plays a vital role in informing, enlightening and guiding citizens to make correct decisions regarding a variety of matters. Thus whoever has more power over the media also as the ability to impact the way an entire society functions and thinks. By using the Marxist theory that the ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas in a society, in my essay I will be analyzing the role media plays as a ‘watchdog’ in society by drawing together examples from North Korea.
“…the individuals comprising the ruling class…rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age.” (Strinati, 2004, p. 117) Thus it can be said that irrespective of how the ruling class obtains their power or whether they were fair in obtaining it, their ideas, theories and principles will inevitably be regarded as the most important or ‘dominant’ ideas in a particular society
the functioning of the media in North Korea is another example of how the ruling class can have a strong hold over the media. North Korea has one of the lowest Media Freedom Rankings in the world, an alarming 177 out of 178. (Reporters Without Borders) The North Korean Government controls the press to such an extent that the only news and information accessed by citizens is that which is produced by the country’s communist rulers.
It is a common belief that the capitalist class and their ideas have a big hold on society. But in fact, by reflecting on my own experiences in my country I have shown that the state can play an equal if not bigger role in acting as the ruling class of a society. I have shown how the existence of ruling class ideology in the media goes against democracy as well as how it can worsen the effects of communist rule.
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