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Role of Media in Good Governance – Essay for UPSC Preparation

October 11, 2019 by Sandeep

500+ Words Essay on Role of Media in Good Governance

As a citizen of the world’s largest democracy, we are entitled to rights and are bound by laws to maintain peace and stability in the nation. The essence of democracy was beautifully worded by Abraham Lincoln. Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The populace of the Republic of India have the power to make as well as break the government, both in the state and the centre. But what is the basis on which they act? Information, as stated under Article 19, is a fundamental right that empowers us with knowledge to mould our opinion and take a decision.

But unless the information is being relayed to each and every person residing across the country, it will be worthless. Here is where media comes into the picture. The most efficient mode of delivering information to the common man and enable him to make an educated choice for the betterment of his own life, his family, his society and ultimately, his nation.

Media is the pluralised form of the term ‘medium’, which in this context, is defined as a tool of communication that is used to archive as well as deliver data or information. The industry which deals with this is known as mass media communication industry and it utilises a variety of platforms like printing and publishing, advertising, broadcasting, cinema and photography, to execute its operation.

An ideal media, be it private or government funded, functions independent of influence, providing the people with honest and impartial information. While non-influence and impartiality are two key factors that govern the quality of media, it itself has the power of influencing its consumers and forming a crowd mentality.

That is the authority that this industry has had a monopoly on ever since its conception. This capability definitely makes them a strong factor that can play multiple roles in upholding the standard of governance in our country.

Governance in India

On 26th of November 1949, India had adopted its constitution , and had emerged as a Democratic Republic on 26th January 1950 . Ever since then, our nation has grown into being the largest democracy. Our country follows the federal parliamentary system of government. Following the trias politica model, the government has divided its powers into three independent bodies.

Legislative power rests with the Parliament, executive power is vested upon the President and the judicial power is the responsibility of the Supreme Court. While imperatively, these three function in their own limits, they have special authorities to check each other to keep a balance in powers. Prime focus of the political scenario in India is always the legislative bodies.

After all, it is the politicians whom the people have chosen as their representatives and all the schemes, policies, laws and acts are being evaluated and passed under their supervision. The development of our nation as an economy is extensively dependent upon their decisions.

But ever since India has started out as an independent nation, its political timeline has been riddled with scams, corruptions and controversies. Our development has been hindered to such an extent, that contemporary nations like Israel and China which were formed in 1948 and 1949 respectively are well ahead of India in terms of development. Israel has even attained the tag of a developed country.

Corruption in India has been so deep-rooted that it had further worsened the situations that we faced as a young country in the previous century, that were and still are major obstacles in the growth of India namely- poverty, unemployment and lack of education.

While the parliament did roll out schemes and acts to improve upon these aspects, but had the government been more transparent with its governance, corruption would not have damaged the growth of our nation. There were established watchdogs to keep a vigilant eye upon the activity of the government.

The Directorate of Enforcement in 1956 and the Central Vigilance Commission in 1964 were formed for the sole purpose of curbing corruption in the country. But it is substantially evident that even these organisations have not been able to live up to their names.

But on the brighter side, we are developing. Our country is the 7th largest economy and the fastest growing one too, beating China. There do exist policies that encourage start-ups and empower the underprivileged. Inflation rates have gone down along with the fiscal deficit.

The amount of FDI that our country received, as per the budget estimates exceed US$200 billion. Tax reforms and Bankruptcy reforms are working in the favour of banks that have been scammed by corporate vultures. Military stands amongst the best in the world and the new budget allocates US$44 billion for its modernization and upgradation. Life expectancy has boosted up with decrease in IMR and MMR.

There are more dams, nuclear power plants, roads, bridges, railways, airports, etc. today than what there were seventy years ago. Our country is on the road to become a world power by 2030. Hence, even though corruption has slowed us down, development still has not stagnated. But it is an evil that needs to be eradicated.

Merits and Demerits of Media in India

With a population of 1.3 billion, it is not an easy task to make any piece of news or data available to each and every individual resident of our nation. But with the advancement of technology in journalism and digitalisation of the country has made it feasible for them to traverse the 3.28 million square kilometres of geographical area across which India is spread and scoop up information from even the most isolated of the regions.

The Indian media has built a well-connected system across the country. News channels, newspapers, radios, magazines, social media platforms, they have been able to present regional facts and figures in front of the entire nation to assess. This brings the whole country together in a sense of shared sentiment.

An Assamese citizen who has experienced floods will definitely relate to a resident of Kerala when he was exposed to the wrath of the nature earlier 2018, as long as the media is reporting it to him. More importantly, with the variation of culture and ethnicity from one state to another, mass media has helped in indulging tolerance and reducing culture shock.

This has promoted integrity amongst the people from different states living in the same city. Other than that, it usually acts as a platform to promote talent, advertise products and services, entertain and exchange of global ideas and information.

But no matter how positive is may sound, Indian media has a tendency to promote news and information that has generally radiates negative vibes. Our former president, late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam had once poised a question that validates this observation: Why is the media here so negative? The industry focuses on three major aspects of news namely- Politics, sports and entertainment.

The first aspect, without any dissent, has crept into the other two facets. Hence, making majority of the information that is consumed feel politically motivated. In addition to that, an average Indian person has the capability to easily manipulate others as well as get manipulated himself.

Political leaders and famous personalities use this fact to their advantage and exploit the media. In the end, mass media is operated by human beings, who have time and again proven to be an inherently selfish species. With the greed of money and power, politicians are able to take over the mantle of media companies, virtually destroying its professionalism.

The platforms are used by the political factions to spread their propaganda and secure a greater vote bank for themselves. This is in fact, one of the most despondent news in itself, the other being the huge issue of lack of credibility, which has been plaguing the industry, especially social media, one of the most trending arms of the industry. Such issues lead to distrust of the people in the media, which in their eyes was supposed to be free and fair.

Media and Governance

It must be very clear by now that corruption is coursing through the veins of both the media industry as well as the government. Yet the two are in no possible way connected to each other. Media has no defined role in governance. It is not a part of any of the three branches of our democracy. Yet, it plays a vital role of empowering the voices of the citizens and gives them a platform from where they can be heard by their political representatives and lawmakers.

The first Press Commission in India had emphasized on the subject of freedom of press under which, it had clearly defined, that the Press can have its own opinions and receive and deliver information without any interference of the government.

This enables the media to be able to access any information they want, publish it in whatever format they desire to, and circulate in whatever manner they see fit. These rights liberate the industry from any kind of pressure from any individual or factions involved in governance of our country, and thus are collectively considered as Freedom of Press.

Freedom of press allows people to build their own opinions and decisions. It helps them make an educated choice based upon extensive knowledge about the topic rather than ignorant guesswork or misinformation. Our first Prime Minister had called the Indian Media ‘the watchdog of our democracy’, this gives the industry an important duty to perform- being a raconteur of our nation. But this communicator has been time and again suppressed by the political Goonda’s.

Yet, we still have hope in the form of the new generation. Digital India policy has exceptionally boosted journalism and outreach of media. The youth of our country is visibly agitated by the inconsistency of the law enforcement departments to curb corruption.

Many independent projects have surfaced using various platforms ranging from internet, newspapers and magazines have come up, fearlessly exposing the incompetence of the personalities in power. They go the distance to provide insightful information about the state of affairs in a citizen’s immediate society as well as the country in general.

They understand the importance of educating the masses, making the people think critically and arrive at a logical conclusion. Their efforts are working in favour of reshaping our democracy into what Lincoln had defined it as. By enlightening the average Indian, we will be able to returning the leash of power back in their hands, making India not just the largest, but also the most efficient democracy in the world.

Achieving a complete ideal governance is a very far-fetched idea. With mass poverty, unemployment and low living conditions still being a huge bother, we can say that our government can still do a better job. This implies that we can improve our governance as long as we can correct the wrong doings, and media plays a very important role in making it possible.

It is this entity which can throw light upon what really matters to the people of our country so that the policy makers realise which direction they have to work upon. At the same time it acts as the fourth, unofficial pillar of democracy, keeping in check the other three- legislation, judiciary and executive.

But its impact will only be felt if it distances itself from the influence of the government. The final aim that media is intended to achieve is to serve the public interest, by utilising multiple outlets and voicing the diverse views that range across the country. Hence if exercised in the proper way, the mass media industry has massive potential to accelerate the growth of India.

“If it were left on me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”  ~Thomas Jefferson.

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Essay on Role of Media in Good Governance

Students are often asked to write an essay on Role of Media in Good Governance in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Role of Media in Good Governance


Media plays a crucial role in good governance. It’s like a mirror reflecting the actions of the government. It keeps the public informed, ensuring transparency and accountability in the government’s work.

Information Dissemination

Media spreads information about the government’s plans and policies. It helps people understand what the government is doing for them. This way, media aids in bridging the gap between the government and the public.


Media acts as a watchdog. It keeps an eye on the government’s actions. If the government does something wrong, the media reports it. This makes the government accountable for its actions.

Public Opinion

Media plays a big role in shaping public opinion. It highlights the issues that matter to the people. This helps the government understand what the public needs and wants.


Media ensures transparency in the government’s work. It reports on the government’s actions, making sure the public knows what’s happening. This helps build trust between the government and the people.

In conclusion, media plays a vital role in good governance. It ensures transparency, accountability, and helps shape public opinion. Without the media, good governance would be hard to achieve.

250 Words Essay on Role of Media in Good Governance

Media plays a significant role in promoting good governance. It is a tool that ensures transparency, accountability, and fairness in the functioning of the government.

Media as a Watchdog

One of the main roles of the media in governance is acting as a watchdog. It keeps a close eye on the actions of the government. If any unfair practices are happening, the media reports them to the public. This way, it helps in controlling corruption and misuse of power.

Media as a Bridge

Media also acts as a bridge between the government and the public. It conveys the plans and policies of the government to the people. At the same time, it brings the issues and concerns of the public to the attention of the government.

Media as a Platform for Debate

Media provides a platform for public debate and discussion. It allows people to express their views on government policies. These debates can lead to better decision-making by the government.

Media as an Educator

Media educates people about their rights and duties. It makes them aware of the functioning of the government. An informed public can make better choices and contribute positively to good governance.

In conclusion, media plays a crucial role in ensuring good governance. It acts as a watchdog, a bridge, a platform for debate, and an educator. It helps in making the government transparent, accountable, and fair. Thus, a free and responsible media is vital for the functioning of a democratic society.

500 Words Essay on Role of Media in Good Governance

Media plays a crucial role in our lives. It is like a mirror that reflects the truth and reality of our society. It is not just about sharing news or information, but also about being a platform for the public to express their views and ideas. In the context of good governance, media’s role is very significant.

Media as a Source of Information

One of the primary roles of media is to provide information. It is through the media that people learn about the actions and decisions of their government. This information helps people to understand the work of the government, its policies and plans. With this knowledge, people can make informed decisions and participate in the governance of their country.

Media also acts as a watchdog, keeping an eye on the actions of the government. It exposes any wrongdoings or corruption in the government. This helps to keep the government accountable and ensure that it is working for the welfare of the people. Without the media, it would be easy for those in power to misuse their authority without being noticed.

Media as a Platform for Dialogue

Media provides a platform for dialogue and discussion. It allows people to express their views and opinions on various issues. This encourages public participation in governance. Through discussions and debates, people can contribute their ideas and solutions for the betterment of the society.

Media and Democracy

Media plays a vital role in promoting democracy. It ensures that the power of the government is not concentrated in a few hands. By giving voice to the people, it promotes democratic values such as freedom of speech and expression. It also ensures that the government respects the rights and freedoms of the people.

In conclusion, media plays a key role in good governance. It provides information, acts as a watchdog, provides a platform for dialogue, and promotes democracy. It helps to ensure that the government is accountable, transparent, and responsive to the needs of the people. It is important for us to support and protect the freedom of the media, as it is crucial for the health of our democracy.

Remember, a responsible and free media is not just a need, but a right of every citizen in a democratic country. So, let’s respect and cherish this right for the betterment of our society and nation.

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Role of Media in Promoting Good Governance

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One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand the popular feeling and give expression to it, another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects"-Mahatma Gandhi.

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Short Communication

Year: 2018 | Month: October | Volume: 5 | Issue: 10 | Pages: 451-456

Role of Media in Ensuring Good Governance: An Analysis

Dr. pallav mukhopadhyay.

Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, West Bengal State University, West Bengal, India

Development Journalists feel that greater stress on `development oriented politics' and greater media attention for such development are absolutely essential. The media should act as partners in various developmental programmes and should perform the role of watchdog on the governance. The media are not only a framework through which news about developmental initiatives is passed on to the larger field of the common man but also a filter through which the common man's perception of government policies and their implementation is brought to the attention of the government. One of its principal objectives may be to gather people's reactions to the programmes and policies of the government and their implementation and to report them back for appropriate and corrective action by the government. But the government, in the present set-up, lacks an organized and effective system to find out and disseminate the perceptions of the common man about various government programmes and initiatives. The media can be made the main channel for collecting and collating the feedback from the people. It is essential to have research wings in academic institutions developing media personnel in reporting news, event analysis and highlights that may help the Government to perform more transparently. This will enable our journalists to carry out original research on issues related with the functioning of the Government at Centre and at various States. Indian newspapers and news agencies should encourage research being carried out by journalists within India in academic research institutions, which will definitely improve the quality of reporting and enhance the participation of journalists in building good governance.

Key words: Role, Media, Ensuring, Good, Governance, Analysis.

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The Role of Media in Good Governance

  • Author: arsalan
  • Posted on: 20 Jan 2020
  • Paper Type: Free Essay
  • Subject: English
  • Wordcount: 1378 words
  • Published: 20th Jan 2020


The word “Media” comes from the Medium that means the transmission of information from one part of a state to another part (Dyck & Zingales, 2002). Even the ball pen is faster in comparison to the sword- In today’s world time this ancient aphorism appears to be right because the media gives the impression of significant advancement in our modish society. Media contains mass media including television, Newscast, stations, the press, Radio sets, journals, and utmost important the online Network and electronic mail. In these days, the scope of media has become huge day by day because they do the report on a small news in a very widely manner and moreover, media appears to act as an expediter towards the growth in this advanced culture, serve as an excellent source of information and also the mediator of revolution. In today’s time, the media is determined as the Fourth pillar of the nation from all over the Globe, and it is most likely to be true in the situation of the largest republic such as India (Dyck & Zingales, 2002).

In today world media plays an active character by enhancing the nation’s consciousness and gathers their opinions, information, and approaches to the particular issue. Media provides an excellent source of valid information by emerging the world to boost the nation’s awareness and expresses the real face of the society.

The primary purpose of this research paper is to describe the role of media in good governance.

The Role of Media in Good Governance:

In old times, the good governance was considered to be very important, but in today’s time, media took its place in comparison to a new production (Dyck & Zingales, 2002). The old Empire of Roman that was created about 2000 years before was only set up in the smaller context using the good corporate governance, diverse nations. Meanwhile regardless of that whether the government is democratic or despotism, good governance is a fundamental need to operate the civilization. Leaders have a highest and a considerable level of power and have a responsibility to make the proper corporate governance. But if the right governance is worst in quality and not fulfill the requirements of the nation than the countries can challenge these authorities using gaining trustful management (Castka, Castka, Corbett, & Corbett, 2016).

Media commonly represents to the Mass media by any medium to provide the information about all the present matters of any region at a large gauge and media is free from biased facts of reporting by the Internet, print, and TV.

Conventionally, there is no defined role for media in governance because it does not have any powers to influence or change the decisions made by different authorities of government i.e. the governing bodies, policy makers, and the courts. But the media appears to play a great role to operate the civilization by providing assistance to the expressions of the nation to transfer their views to the legislators (Liu & McConnell, 2013). The Pundit Nehru described media as the watchdog of our republic, and their sayings gave media a significant duty to make the society efficient through their functioning (Liu & McConnell, 2013).

The Nehru’s perceptions are correct about the media in the world context because previously, The “Protector” and the “New York Times” were discovering the secret communications of the USA regulators using tapping of their communications from other states and in this way, the media violated the privacy laws. Alike in India, It is a primary responsibility of media to reveal corruption in the telecommunication sector, Coal industries, and the environmental sectors. Hence the media adopts unlawful practices to take in the notice of the people. The vital element for the press is to ensure the good governance (Peters, 2016).

It is the responsibility of the media to protect the rights of the nation, particularly those whose are poor and whose voices always disregarded and in this media helps out the different countries to bring different sorts of incidents that were ignored previously to the notice of law makers where judiciary is exploited

As in the India, The incident of the IAS officer Durga Nagpal that was suspended without any reason and the Jessica Lall’s murder case appears to show us how the media provide an active role to protect the nation to ensure that fairness is done in the republic. Radio set and Reporters also assist India’s independence fight and continue to perform a significant role in the government and community movements that were considered after the benefit of the different populations and subgroups. The Narmada Andolan (social movement of India) is the ideal or prime example of his role (Camaj, 2013).

To perform efficiently, the organization needs some mechanism due to that they obtain positive feedback same as like that media also represents the mechanism of feedback for each country running society by rating the performance of these nations and his opponent to all rules shaped and laws passed. It is the responsibility of the media to bring resistance for all adverse established societies and also responsible for assisting the zones affected by natural disasters such as it occurred after the tsunami of 2004 that distressed zones nearby the Ocean of Indian (Dyck & Zingales, 2002; Peters, 2016).

The apparent and real character of media is to provide the information only regarding the matter under concern. In this way, they also ensure the efficient running of the society to inspire the people that are responsible for good governance. Those societies who haven’t media seems to visualize hardly and will also limit from good governance Therefore Media is not an ordinary production, but it is mandatory for the efficient running of the society and good governance. In practically, the media do a sound check on the governance however they have been blamed of not accomplishing its duties (Liu & McConnell, 2013).

Nowadays, It is observable that media is biased by some national parties and runs some promotion campaigns to overcome this problem. There is another issue that the Media corporations were taking money for publishing wrong articles resulted in the news become hide from the nation’s people. In short, in India wealthy companies is running the media in that direction that they want. All above-discussed problems raise questions about the ability of media and contribution to running the society efficiently.

If we consider the Kargil war 1999, the media news channels will be suspected to reveal the strategic facts about the expiry of Indian soldiers. So the media must be responsible for inducing real or ethical statements about their jurisdiction (Castka et al., 2016).


The role of media does not only limited to the functioning of the society, but they also have principles or beliefs, figure or norms, and fields of importance in particular matters regarding regionalization for the formation of culturally diversified community. The establishment of those countries that have an extensive poverty and unethical governance as India, media has a unique responsibility to contribute to it positively.

As in the India, There is a lot of issues regarding the media worthiness as at some regions of India the media only works for the influential political parties rather than for good governance due to their pressures resulted in fake news widely spread among the world. So, therefore, problems need to be addressed so that media play a sound role at every place in order to make the country a multi diverse cultural society, and it is also our responsibility to contribute positively to our society to become it a prosperous and wealthy country and this role also brought a positive effect on the media to fulfill their objectives and goals.


Camaj, L. (2013). The media’s role in fighting corruption: Media effects on governmental accountability. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 18(1), 21–42.

Castka, P., Castka, P., Corbett, C., & Corbett, C. (2016). Adoption and diffusion of environmental and social standards: The effect of stringency, governance, and media coverage. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36(11), 1504–1529.

Dyck, A., & Zingales, L. (2002). The corporate governance role of the media. The Right to Tell: The Role of Mass Media in Economic Development, 107–37.

Liu, B., & McConnell, J. J. (2013). The role of the media in corporate governance: Do the media influence managers’ capital allocation decisions? Journal of Financial Economics, 110(1), 1–17.

Peters, B. G. (2016). Governance and the media: Exploring the linkages. Policy & Politics, 44(1), 9–22.


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The role of media in good governance

role of media in good governance essay

It is not a strange thing that my passion for “making head or tail” of issues surrounding development keeps escalating, for I am reading development at the Gambia’s highest academic institution, University of The Gambia (UTG).

I attended an hour-long lecture at the American Corner on Kairaba Avenue with Gibairu Janneh, a development and communications specialist on the topic: The Role of The Media in Good Governance. At the end of the lecture, I said to myself that it would be very unprofessional, that I let go all what I have learned during this “period of enlightenment” from one of my favourite development scholars in the academic world, without putting it on paper. It was on the basis of this that I had to do a recollection of the jottings I was taking during the lecture, and develop this short and substantial essay.

The whole essay comprises quotes and recordings from his lengthy speech, coupled with my one-butut contribution from empirical knowledge. I only hope and pray that I do justice to this paper. In addition, the reader of this essay may find, herein, some academic terminologies, especially of the development discipline. I wish to apologise for any difficulty that may cause, for some of them might not be explained.

However, I would not mind much about the content and arrangement of this essay, for any error seen herein remains mine. Dear reader, I now ask for your permission to present this piece in two parts: one & two. The first part ought to explain and contextualise the concept of MEDIA (Gambian Media) and its role in good governance. The second part seeks to explore and explain: What is good governance? And finally tries to explicitly relate the two and see how they are interconnected.

The Media is a tool like any other tool, depending on who uses the tool, and for what reason it is used for. It is a tool that needs to empower society. Empowerment in development discourse, is about creating that space and the enabling environment for people to be able exercise choice and agency. It is about making sure that people take ownership of development programmes; it is about people being able to decide, for themselves, what they want, and how they want that thing to be.

The Media is to ensure that it provides the platform for people to freely express their opinions. It is supposed to be a platform that connects the right-holders to the duty-bearers. In essence, it needs to connect the governors to the governed because it deals with information.

For us to be able to nurture democracy, we should be able to transform information into knowledge and knowledge into culture. So the Gambian Media, particularly, should be able to provide unfiltered information to The Gambian people. The Media should provide information regarding the conduct of the state; information regarding the responsibilities of the citizenship, and information regarding the obligations of the market, and the civil society. So essentially, the Media must serve the general public both as citizens and as consumers. Our civic obligations; our civic rights; our civic responsibilities must become the primary focus of our Media. It should also serve us as consumers in the sense that it should enable us determine choice from both the political and the economic sphere.

Additionally, to better understand the role of the Media, we need to understand the significance of freedom of expression in building, sustaining and expanding the democratic space of this country. J .S. Mills argues that freedom of expression is about allowing opinions contrary to your own to be equally heard. What is freedom of expression? The whole objective of every state or government is to deliver development to its people. Development today is a contest of ideas. It is about each individual expressing what he/she feels is the right approach to achieve a particular goal, and at the end of the day, we select the most appropriate idea and apply it.

Development is all about improving the lives of people. We cannot improve the lives of people ordinarily. What we can do is to erect and evolve institutions that will adequately respond to the needs and aspirations of the people. So for us to be able to usher in development, the people need to have the space to talk about what they see, feel and/or think. For example, if you want to turn off your AC in your office while sitting with colleagues the best approach is to ask: Hello guys can I turn off this AC? Then you may start seeing different opinions. Now you have to weigh and prioritise the most crucial idea. That is why we said, in the beginning, that development speaks the language of priorities. This could be further understood when we remember that resources are always scarce, thus the need to be used wisely.

Moreover, it is very important to note that citizens or people in a given country need to get their voices heard; they need to be given a voice. In literature, when we say people are voiceless, it does not mean they do not have anything to say; it simply means they are not listened to! So the Media should provide that platform for people to be heard, but that cannot happen if people are not given the space to talk about matters that affect their lives, directly or indirectly.

Essentially, when people are free to express themselves, that enables the Government to understand the needs and aspirations of the people. This enables the Government to formulate policies and programmes that are well informed by the desires and aspirations of the citizenry. This too enables the state to avoid rumours and false information because when you attempt to curtail information, then you are allowing rumour and speculations to become the norm.

More importantly when a government fails to provide the space for people to freely express themselves, such conduct kills the creative instinct of the people, particularly the youths. Expression does not only stop at writing on the newspaper or speaking over the radio. People can express themselves in different forms. Even music is a form of expression.

The Media has to be understood as a tool for information, and it should be used rightly. The Media should not be monopolised or controlled with the establishment of draconian laws. We need to understand that the Media should serve as an empowerment tool. It should be used to inculcate citizenship, and the ideals of One Nation; One People; One Voice. Our Media should be used to engage those in positions of authority. It is clear that the Media should be used to engage people to freely express themselves, but it is also our duty and responsibility as citizens to inject some level of civility, maturity, purpose and direction in our civic engagement. The growth, development, sustenance and expansion of our democratic space of our country mainly lies in the hands of a responsible and interested press. A media that understand the challenge at hand; a media that understand issues confronting people; a media that seek to empower people to become objects of sovereignty.

So that they can understand circumstances that surround their environment. If only we are able to use the media in this context, we will be able to curb corruption, and keep the Government, especially the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary on their toes. We will be able to enhance youth participation in development. JP’s famous argument in the Media, that “the Media and the Republic will rise and fall together”, clearly portrays the role of the Media in Good Governance. The role of the Media is not a minor issue. It is about promoting accountability, transparency, and keeping democracy alive. And keeping democracy alive is about citizen voices; it is about citizen participation. No Government can claim legitimacy when its people are disinterested in the affairs of the state!

Democracy comes with responsibility. So the Media may be able to nurture and promote democracy, but it should be guided by the walls of resposibility and maturity. There should be no avenues for hate speech; there should be no avenues for violence. The Media and its people should endeavour to have a broad mind. The future of our country lies in knowledge! Citizenship itself requires knowledge. Everyone should be aware of their rights and responsibilities. In the final analysis, understanding the very nature of human existence requires knowledge. Once we are able to have knowledge of citizenship, and knowledge of governance, we will come to realise that emotions will give way to objective reality; sentiments will give way to constructive reasoning, and this is what The Gambia needs.

So the Media plays an integral role in informing people of their rights and responsibilities; thus instilling knowledge of citizenship. Silence kill democracy, and that is why we should be speaking. What is good? Essentially, ‘good’ connotes something progressive; something meaningful; something useful. So there is a positive image attach to the word ‘good’. What is governance? Governance is different from Government. While there can be governance without Government, there may not be Government without governance. There is a narrow distinction between the two concepts. Government is about the institution of state responsible for governance. In literature, when we talk about governance, we mean the capacity of the state, the market, and the civil society. These are the three actors of the polity. They should be able to sustain themselves under the constitutional setting to achieve the desired goals. They should be able to formulate sound policies, and mobilise resources to that effect.

What is the state? The state is obviously the primary duty-bearer. It includes the government and its institutions. The Market? This is the economy. It includes the trading systems, the GDP and the production of goods and services. Every economy is sustained by its economy base. So the state cannot achieve anything without the economy.

The civil society: The civil society is that component of the polity that is neither the state nor the market. In fact in development practice, they are called non-state state actors. They include organisations like youth groups; women “Kafoolu” or “Kompins” as locally called in Wolof and Mandinka languages respectively; the NGOs; the Faith-Based organisation like the Gambia Christian Council, The Supreme Islamic Council etc. Together these three actors of society should be able to sustain themselves within a Constitutional setting. This means these three actors of the polity should be able to coordinate, cooperate and organise themselves so that society lives in peace and harmony. They should also have the capacity to formulate policies that are geared towards achieving the ultimate goal (i.e. the collective welfare of people). They need to be able to mobilise resources to be able to achieve that goal because at the end of the day, every nation wants to be judged by the quality of improvements it has ushered to its people.

What is Good Governance? A government is ‘good’ when it is decentralised, fiscally discipline and capable of formulating sound macro-economic policies. In saying macro-economics, we are looking at the overall economy, the bigger picture. We are looking at policies that promote investment; policies that promote an economic environment where business can strive. We mean policies that detach the state from the market so that the principle of free market economics can determine the order of demand and supply. It is about a market-led process where the government serve as a “policeman” and the market regulates itself. To borrow the words of Adam Smith, the market to be controlled by the “invisible hand”. Moreover, a fiscally disciplined government utilises the budget effectively and efficiently. In a fiscally discipline government, there is no “embezzlement” of funds or “resource misappropriation” or corruption. In this regard, the government that is financially discipline utilises its budget in a way that development speaks the language of priorities.

Decentralisation is when power and authority is shared within all actors in the development process, and not only to a caption. Power should be decentralised so that all actors within the development process will have control and voice over the process of governance. NOTE: As citizens, we should make sure that we do not settle for sub-standards. We should always demand and continue demanding for the best. To end, it is very vital that we understand the pivotal role the Media plays in nurturing and establishing good governance.

As clearly explained above, the Media is a tool that creates transparency, promotes accountability, and empower people. I would say if the government were a “warrior”, the media could be called his “praise singer” that boosts his morals to fight more furiously. So a good government empowers its citizens by giving them the space and allowing them to freely express themselves and participate in development programmes. A good government respects the fundamental human rights of people.

The author is a trained classroom teacher and a student at UTG For more information, contact him on 7897182/ 3121942 or Email @ [email protected]



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Good governance:

Building trust between people and their leaders

Institutional resources for overcoming Africa’s COVID-19 crisis and enhancing prospects for post-pandemic reconstruction

Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair, Afrobarometer

Popular explanations for Africa’s “lucky escape” from COVID-19’s most devastating effects have largely focused on the continent’s natural endowments, especially its youthful population and warm weather. When Africa’s own agency is recognized, observers tend to give credit to its governments’ early and aggressive lockdown measures and consistent messaging about wearing face masks . While such early government actions likely saved thousands of lives, Africa’s citizens, who largely complied with extremely inconvenient top-down measures even where governments’ administrative and enforcement capacities were weak, deserve praise as well.

“While early government actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 likely saved thousands of lives, Africa’s citizens, who largely complied with extremely inconvenient top-down measures even where governments’ administrative and enforcement capacities were weak, deserve praise as well.”

Importance of political capital in pandemic crisis management and recovery

Ordinary Africans’ contribution to the success of lockdown programs highlights the importance of state legitimacy and trust in government for securing compliance with necessary but arduous government orders, especially those vital to public health and safety. 1

An examination of recent COVID-related events and Afrobarometer surveys in 34 African countries can provide more insight into this phenomenon. For example, Ghana has relatively strong institutions, with free media, strong opposition parties, and independent judiciaries. Before the pandemic, in Afrobarometer’s 2016/2018 surveys, Ghana’s core state institutions enjoyed very high levels of perceived legitimacy (84 percent), and President Nana Akufo-Addo was trusted by 70 percent of citizens. In contrast, Malawi ranked lowest in perceived institutional legitimacy (53 percent), and its then-president, Peter Mutharika—before losing his bid for re-election in June 2020—enjoyed the trust of just 36 percent of Malawians (Figure 6.1).

As the pandemic set in, public responses to COVID lockdowns varied significantly: Ghanaians accepted the lockdown measures their president announced in March 2020 even before the subsequent unveiling of economic and social relief packages. Malawi’s government, on the other hand, has faced considerable public resistance to anti-pandemic measures , including a successful court case challenging a lockdown on the basis of undue economic harm. Other factors, such as Malawi’s relatively greater poverty, may also play a role in the two peoples’ divergent responses to COVID-19 measures, but it seems likely that perceptions of their leaders and institutions helped shape citizens’ willingness to follow their dictates.

Another pairing makes a similar point: In Senegal, where 73 percent of citizens expressed trust in the president, the COVID-19 response has drawn international praise , while Nigeria (where trust for the president hovers around 45 percent) has contended with widespread flouting of public health guidelines and the looting of government warehouses storing COVID-19 relief supplies.

Enhancing prospects for overcoming Africa’s COVID-19 crisis and post-pandemic reconstruction

“If political capital can aid in the management of a pandemic, then African leaders must aim to create an environment for its conversation or enhancement as they confront COVID-19 and the next crisis.”

If political capital can aid in the management of a pandemic, then African leaders must aim to create an environment for its conservation or enhancement as they confront COVID-19 and the next crisis.

But threats to public trust are often on the horizon, especially in times of crisis: Reports of irregularities and corruption in the management of COVID-19 funds and relief not only impede the effectiveness of those measures but also undermine trust and legitimacy in government leaders and core institutions. 2

Excessive reliance on coercion in the enforcement of COVID-19 measures can be detrimental as well. 3 Similarly, attempts by some governments to leverage the pandemic to introduce repressive legislation and curb media freedoms and other civil liberties will only erode the democratic governance gains of the past 20 years and likely face significant popular pushback. 4

“African governments can shore up their deficits and strengthen their responses to COVID-19 and other crises by tapping into the political capital of informal leaders, such as religious and traditional leaders.”

African governments can shore up their deficits and strengthen their responses to COVID-19 and other crises by tapping into the political capital of informal leaders, such as religious and traditional leaders. On average, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of Africans expressed trust in these non-elected leaders (69 percent for religious leaders and 57 percent for traditional leaders), although these trust levels, too, vary widely by country, from just 40 percent in Gabon to 85 percent in Senegal (Figure 6.1). Indeed, some African presidents have recognized this organic institutional resource and explicitly mobilized it in managing the pandemic through consultations with informal leaders ( South Africa ) and public acknowledgements of their important contributions in sensitizing and encouraging compliance in their communities ( Nigeria and Uganda ).

In conclusion, African governments will be in much better position to effectively overcome the COVID-19 crisis and enhance prospects for post-pandemic reconstruction if they show true commitment to conserving and deepening domestic political capital, strengthening the social contract with their citizens, and governing accountably.

  • 1. See also Robert A. Blair et al., “Public Health and Public Trust: Survey Evidence from the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic in Liberia,” Social Science & Medicine 172 (January 2017): 89-97, which highlights the extent to which trust in government was a critical resource for securing the public cooperation necessary to overcome the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
  • 2. For example, Pearson’s r for the correlation between trust in the president and perceived corruption in the office of the president for Afrobarometer Round 7 is -.387, significant at the 0.01 level. See Michael Bratton and E. Gyimah-Boadi, “Do Trustworthy Institutions Matter for Development? Corruption, Trust, and Government Performance in Africa,” Afrobarometer Dispatch 112 (August 2016)
  • 3. In April, Kenya and Nigeria reportedly had more citizens killed by security agents “enforcing” pandemic-related restrictions than by the coronavirus. See Alison Sargent, “Curfew Crackdowns in Several African Countries Kill More People than COVID-19,” France24 , April 17, 2020. “Coronavirus: What Does COVID-19 Mean for African Democracy?” BBC, May 15, 2020.
  • 4. Uganda, where the government has used COVID-19 regulations as a pretext for cracking down on the opposition and media (see “Authorities Weaponize COVID-19 for Repression,” Human Rights Watch , November 20, 2020), is just one of 80 countries where Freedom House says the state of democracy and human rights has deteriorated during the pandemic (Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz, Democracy Under Lockdown (Washington, D.C.: Freedom House, 2020)).

role of media in good governance essay

Biden, democracy, and Africa

President Joe Biden has committed to restoring American leadership globally. With the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, this task became immensely more challenging. For Africa, nevertheless, this will translate into an American policy that strives to respect the people and governments on the continent. Respect for democratic governance—which the president has called […]

role of media in good governance essay

All of us together: Governing Malawi

When I took the oath of office as Malawi’s newly elected president on June 29, 2020, I was fully aware that I may very well be the last member of my generation to hold the office of president in my country. I felt the unique burden that destiny had placed upon me of transferring the […]

role of media in good governance essay

Voting in a pandemic: Lessons for elections in Africa in 2021

Elections are large-scale community-based events that thrive on participation, as well as transparency and confidence to ensure their credibility. For this reason, in Africa, with limited provisions for early voting or alternatives to in-person voting in many countries, the COVID-19 pandemic is placing the integrity of elections at risk. While some countries have postponed their […]

role of media in good governance essay

Governance in Africa: Citizen dissatisfaction is growing, and COVID-19 is likely to reverse recent gains

The most recent release of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) indicates that, while progress has been made in overall governance performance on the continent over the last decade—as of 2019, over 6 in 10 of Africa’s citizens live in a country where governance is better than in 2010—this progress has slowed down in […]

role of media in good governance essay

Entrenching democracy in African countries: Policy imperatives for leaders in 2021

While African countries faced many challenges in 2020, the year 2021 is creating many opportunities for them to significantly improve their governance systems. For one thing, COVID-19 has forced many policymakers and civil society leaders to recognize the importance of technology to political and economic participation. For example, video conferencing platforms—now ubiquitous due to their […]

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01 | The Great Reset Relaunching African economies

role of media in good governance essay

By Aloysius Uche Ordu

Aloysius Uche Ordu asks what do you think should be the top priority for Africa in the year ahead?

role of media in good governance essay

Aloysius Uche Ordu introduces the 2021 edition of Foresight Africa.

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EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence in the EU will be regulated by the AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI law. Find out how it will protect you.

A man faces a computer generated figure with programming language in the background

As part of its digital strategy , the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits , such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.

In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

Learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how it is used

What Parliament wants in AI legislation

Parliament’s priority is to make sure that AI systems used in the EU are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly. AI systems should be overseen by people, rather than by automation, to prevent harmful outcomes.

Parliament also wants to establish a technology-neutral, uniform definition for AI that could be applied to future AI systems.

Learn more about Parliament’s work on AI and its vision for AI’s future

AI Act: different rules for different risk levels

The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

Unacceptable risk

Unacceptable risk AI systems are systems considered a threat to people and will be banned. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Biometric identification and categorisation of people
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition

Some exceptions may be allowed for law enforcement purposes. “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems will be allowed in a limited number of serious cases, while “post” remote biometric identification systems, where identification occurs after a significant delay, will be allowed to prosecute serious crimes and only after court approval.

AI systems that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights will be considered high risk and will be divided into two categories:

1) AI systems that are used in products falling under the EU’s product safety legislation . This includes toys, aviation, cars, medical devices and lifts.

2) AI systems falling into specific areas that will have to be registered in an EU database:

  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

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    In conclusion, media plays a crucial role in ensuring good governance. It acts as a watchdog, a bridge, a platform for debate, and an educator. It helps in making the government transparent, accountable, and fair. Thus, a free and responsible media is vital for the functioning of a democratic society. 500 Words Essay on Role of Media in Good ...

  4. PDF Media and communication in governance: It's time for a rethink

    2. The role of media in governance The role of the media and freedom of expression in relation to governance is difficult to summarise, with debates reaching back millennia. As Francis Fukuyama documents,Emperor Qin - the founder of the first unified Chinese state in the third century B.C. - saw control of ideas as

  5. PDF The Role of Media in Good Governance: Paid News Culture of Media and

    Introduction. The watchdog function of media is essential in a democratic society where people must know what their governments are doing. The primary democratic function of the media is to act as a check on the state. The media should observe the activities of the state, and fearlessly expose exploitations of official authority1.


    Karin Hasler. First published as a special issue of Policy & Politics, this updated volume explores the intersections between governance and media in western democracies, which have undergone ...

  7. "The Role Of Media In Promoting Good Governance And Building Public

    The media plays three key roles in promoting good governance: watchdog, civic forum and agenda-setter. Despite decades of scholarship, there is little systematic effort to examine the empirical relationship between the media and governance. Moreover, scholars conceptualized governance with their interests and scope of work. Regardless of political system, this dissertation puts forth a new ...

  8. The Role Of Media In Promoting Good Governance And Building Public


  9. PDF Role of Media in Ensuring Good Governance: An Analysis

    The media rightly enjoy considerable power in playing the role of a watchdog over government and the corporate world; in influencing decisions and setting trends, in transmitting ideas and information; and in giving voice to the poor and the deprived. The success of good governance depends, to a large extent, on the role of the media in

  10. Role of Media in Promoting Good Governance

    A governance that steers in normative order to achieve its goals-law and order, human and national security, voice and participation and the promotion of public goods is called good governance. The World Bank defines: " Good governance is epitomized by predictable and enlightened policy making; a bureaucracy imbued with a professional ethos; an ...

  11. Media Bias and Democracy

    The media is the fourth pillar in the conception of the State, and thus an integral component of democracy.A functional and healthy democracy must encourage the development of journalism as an institution that can ask difficult questions to the establishment — or as it is commonly known, "speak truth to power".. Article 19 of the Constitution of India guarantees the right to freedom of ...

  12. PDF The Role of Media Is Vital in Ensuring Democracy and Good Governance

    In fact the idea of good governance has been practicing since the Aristotle period. Now the concept of good governance has become a donor driven idea. Indeed, more and more importance is attached to the notion of good governance. At present context media can play an important role in ensuring good governance, especially, in developing

  13. Media and Good Governance

    The free, independent and plural media is fundamental to democratic governance. The media plays a key watch-dog role by keeping a check on government misuse of power, incompetence or corruption, provides access to information that enables citizens to make informed choices and opens up public spaces for debate (including on issues relating to ...

  14. Media and Good Governance: A DFID Practice Paper

    This practice note, from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), summarises the key global media trends which are leading to changes in country-level governance. It also explains some of the incentives and disincentives driving the sector which can lead the media to play either a positive or negative role in strengthening ...

  15. Media and governance

    For much of modern democratic history, media has been considered one of the most powerful agents of democratic accountability. Extensive empirical research has demonstrated the connection between a free press and good governance, including the association between access to balanced, independent programming and improved knowledge and political ...

  16. Role of Media in Ensuring Good Governance: An Analysis

    The media should act as partners in various developmental programmes and should perform the role of watchdog on the governance. The media are not only a framework through which news about developmental initiatives is passed on to the larger field of the common man but also a filter through which the common man's perception of government ...

  17. The Role of Media in Good Governance

    Alike in India, It is a primary responsibility of media to reveal corruption in the telecommunication sector, Coal industries, and the environmental sectors. Hence the media adopts unlawful practices to take in the notice of the people. The vital element for the press is to ensure the good governance (Peters, 2016).

  18. Role of Social Media in Democracy

    Around the world, social media is making it easier for people to have a voice in government — to discuss issues, organize around causes, and hold leaders accountable. However, due to its unregulated nature and its role in the spread of fake news, social media leads to spread of propaganda, targets minorities, destabilizes the elected ...

  19. The role of media in good governance

    JP's famous argument in the Media, that "the Media and the Republic will rise and fall together", clearly portrays the role of the Media in Good Governance. The role of the Media is not a minor issue. It is about promoting accountability, transparency, and keeping democracy alive. And keeping democracy alive is about citizen voices; it is ...

  20. The Role of Media in Good Governance: Paid News Culture of Media and

    The active and vigilant participation of mass media is essential in a democratic society. It is an important assumption that the Media speaks for the people, represents the interests of the society, and serves as a check on the government. This process holds government accountable and transparent. Through this function the media helps to ensure good governance. But in changed social milieu the ...

  21. Good governance: Building trust between people and their leaders

    Biden, democracy, and Africa. President Joe Biden has committed to restoring American leadership globally. With the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, this task became immensely more ...

  22. The role of Media in Good governance

    An important aspect of media's role in promoting good governance is the subject of its report. Conscience media reports on violence, tyranny and oppression of the masses. It voices the concern of the underprivileged. Media's role in expressing the misery of people of Joseph colony in Lahore is an example of media's role in good governance.

  23. Mass Media and Governance: Issues and Challenges in ...

    The paper is talking about the role of mass media in bringing good governance in Ethiopia. As Ethiopia is a developing country in Africa, the mass media is the forgotten discipline in the nation ...

  24. EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

    As part of its digital strategy, the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits, such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.. In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU ...

  25. MEC for Education Ntsetsao Viola Motsumi officially launches ...

    (Live from Victory Primary School) MEC for Education Ntsetsao Viola Motsumi officially launches 2024 SGB elections.