Critically analyse the role and power of the Australian media. Its influence and potential impact on culturally safe health care in multicultural Australian society. Please use two media articles.
The role of media and its outreach is a discussion that has surfaced the society based on the advance in Information and communication technology. Media plays an important role in shaping up the views of the public. Television, print, radio are now the traditional medium that is used for mass communication, the introduction of digital media has changed the ways in which media is consumed all over the world. Entertainment, news, educational content etc are some of the facets that these platforms offer the customers and with the help of the message that is sent through these contents the perspective of the society are shaped. In the domain of culturally safe healthcare service, media also plays a determining role (Germov & Freij, 2014). Germov and Freij (2014) state that portrayal of the health care perspective by the Australian media is important in terms of establishing cultural competence and change in perspective of the Australian population regarding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s. The change in perspective towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population will help to reduce the level of biased approach and social exclusion and thus helping to develop culturally competent care plan.
The following assignment aims to analyse how the media plays a positive and negative role in shaping-up the thought process or the perspective of the population under the Australian context. In order to carry out the analysis, two media articles have been selected and the tone of writing the media article will be analysed from the journalistic point of view. The impact of these articles on the cultural safety in the health care sector of Australia will be analysed.
Critical Analysis of Role and Power of Australian Media
Australia has a versatile media industry, which includes traditional and digital formats and mainly caters the needs of the English-speaking population (Landing.deloitte.com.au, 2017). Different types of Australian media include audiovisual media which are television news, print media (news papers), visual media (website news from esteemed daily) and radio news (Statista.com, 2015). The converged regulator of different types of Australian media includes The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) (Deloitte.com, 2018).It is an independent statutory authority whose aim is to ensure communication legislation related to regulations and other derived standards and codes and practice issued in relation to public interest. The control of the media ownership in Australia is undertaken by Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which is administered by the ACMA.
The ownership of national and newspaper of each of the capital cities in Australia is dominated by two different corporations, namely John Fairfax Holdings and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. News Corporation (New Corp) and Fairfax work in association with Western Australian Newspapers and Harris Group to create an Australian Associated Press (AAP) in order to sell and distribute news (The Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2018).The media and especially news are significant in shaping the perspective of the people. Hence the media of the country is responsible for how the people perceive the societal as well as political scenario, the presentation and the content or the message is used to modify the perspective of the people regarding various aspects. Media can select which information to be published or reported and thus regarded as gatekeepers of information. This ability to select the nature or the type of information provides the media a power of monopoly either economically or commercially. The news, which is published in the media, is not guided by governmental regulations and thus they can publish as per their will and relevancy or urgency. The role of media has changed over time and it has become stronger day-by-day for their monopolies and increase in competition among different media groups (Saez-Trumper, Castillo & Lalmas, 2013).
Media influences the choice of people in terms of the life they lead and the perception that they from regarding an aspect. For example: A book about the cultural aspects and the heritage of the Aboriginals and Torres Strait islanders will enlighten the readers regarding the traditions and the origin of the culture. This would give perspective of the strengths of the people who are form this background. A book or a media article can be considered as a means of communication that helps to harness information and knowledge on a particular topic or issue of the society (Germov & Freij, 2014). These media are in fact a global symbol and have the capability to target the right group of people.
Influence of Media in Relation to Culturally Safe Care
In relation to culturally safe care and the influence of media, it can be said that the media is able to publicize the benefits of culturally safe care for the public health workers. However, Daniel (2013) is of the opinion that this is era of constant competition, where each and every media house (mainly the audio-visual media) are fighting to get hold high viewership or TRP ratings. Media caters to a 24*7 audience and thus the intensity of competition has increased. In order to beat this competition media houses tend to sensationalise the content to grab the attention of the consumers. These sensational stories might not have pure content. This misleading content leads or creates a false believe, hope or assumption over the public and thus generating biased response. In order to avoid such biased responses, it is important the audiences have the correct media knowledge and can interpret the message or the news given by the media houses. However, it is equally important that the piece of article that is being published is written in a proper language so that there is lesser chance of manipulating the audiences or the readers.
In the generation of the biased response, the media are accused of publishing negative stories in a melodramatic ways. Matosin, Frank, Engel, Lum and Newell (2014) stated that human psychology is designed in such a way that it gets attracted towards negative or pessimistic news like something related to scandal or scam. Media, publishers use this psychological weak point of the public just to increase their viewers or reader base. Though the numbers of readers or viewers get increased, but the perception of the viewers is misguided due to their melodramatic news presentation. Matosin, Frank, Engel, Lum and Newell (2014) highlighted that in order to attract the viewers they mainly publish the consequences of health issues in Aboriginals and this generate fear among the population. There are very few media houses that make attempts to highlight success stories in CSC.
Analysis of the article
Media can have both positive as well as negative, for this assignment the focus will be on news articles. This positivism or pessimism of the articles is associated with not only the content of the article but also the impact that article has on the people. For example: if a news story enrages a population to vandalise and inflict violence then it can be said to be a negative article, on the other hand if an article has facts and unbiased reportage of an incident it can be called as a positive articles as it helps in providing the consumer with correct facts.
The article that has been chosen for analysis in this segment is the digital media segment in a website called News.com. The author of the article is Rohan Smith and deals with the code of conduct of nursing. This article is chosen as negative as it highlights the white privilege word. Since the phrase is associated with discrimination and racism it should be restricted to use in the media, the prevalence of such phrases are one of the facts that discrimination is still prevalent in the society. The content of the news story is regarding how the code of conduct in nursing is getting negative review for encouraging discrimination, it is clear from the heading however, the words used to describe the same could have been different. The phrases that have been used in the article are mostly enraging and most of the information is in direct quotes (Smith, 2018).
The language and the flow of information are not in the inverted pyramid style where the facts are stated by the write in the introduction and then it goes on to report the aspects of both the parties who are involved in the matter. Rather it just states the reaction of the people who are impacted by the code of conduct. Corroboration from the chairman of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia regarding the issue would have made a better impact on the issue that the author is trying to highlight.
This article has a negative approach of an already negative aspect of the society, rather than highlighting the negativity of the reactions, it should have focused on the ways in which these issues can be tackled (Smith, 2018).
For this section the article that has been chosen is published in the official website of The Guardian, it is written by Calla Wahlquist. This is a news report that has a very appropriate headline, it is a human interest story however and it reports the facts accurately.
It is selected to be a positive article as the facts and the information that has been shared by the author in the article is appropriate and the issue that the author wanted to highlight is properly addressed in the article. The headline is no traditional as it has a quote however it has been explained below in the sub headline the goes straight in to the issue.
The article also begins with the quote from the victim’s mother invoking a human interest angle to the article. It is a small article that speaks of the issue that has been faced by the people it highlights the statistics of the condition that the victim was going through and the way it has been ignored (Wahlquist, 2018).
The article focuses on the corroboration of the victim’s mother and states her perspective and how she has tried to share her information with the authorities and they have not heard her plea. The article also says that the Ord Valley Aboriginal Medical Service had also backed up the victim’s mother by informing the prison authorities regarding the condition of the victim and the attention that he requires (Wahlquist, 2018).
The ignorance of the authorities of the Western Australian prison service is clear from the article however, it cannot be said that the tone of the article is biased as all the information is backed with corroboration from the people who are involved in the incident. Such ignorance towards health of a prisoner is a significant issue.
However, what the article lacks is a perspective of the prison authority. The articles leads the reader to be curious about what the authorities of the prison have to say regarding the incident and what are the steps that they are taking or are willing to take regarding such cases (Wahlquist, 2018). Therefore, it can be said that it completely depends on the reader who read the article and create a perspective on the same. In such cases, the importance of the media literacy increases and it solely depend on the one who reads on the way the write up will be interpreted. This way, the article can create both positive and negative impact on the thinking of a person.
It can be concluded that in the current time with the advancement of technology, people are exposed to so much information regarding products, services, lifestyle choices or current affairs in general it is also a challenge for the consumers to focus upon the correct choice of consumption. Platforms like blog and YouTube have given the common people the power to communicate with the mass; however this has reduced the authenticity of the information that is available. Therefore, it is the duty of the media organisations to provide the consumers with facts that are supported by authentic sources in Australia this is especially for current affairs and news stories.
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