Media in International Politics and Diplomatic Affairs
Media has played a significant role in shaping the international politics and resolving diplomatic issues. However, it is quite problematic to define the responsibilities and influence of mass media in international relations and politics (Peter and Hugill 17). In fact, the press always explains how the flow of information is managed daily by journalists. Therefore, media inform other key players in politics on what is happening in other parts of the world. In essence, the discussion looks into the roles of media in international relations and communication in the technology advancement age. In addition, the analysis avails how the international political battles have shifted from physical and geographical levels to communication and cultural platform where the modern media is a major weapon.
It is worth noting that diplomacy began a long time ago when people realized that they could solve collisions through constructive discussions rather than fighting. Notably, the political dialogue paved the way for the modern diplomacy. In fact, whenever there is a conflict in the modern world, most countries tend to sit down and settle their differences diplomatically rather than engaging in conflicts. Consequently, diplomacy has resulted to a more peaceful coexistence amongst nations. Interestingly, the media have since played the role of herald in diplomacy and spreading the news on international politics. Long ago, warring communities or nations used to send messengers who would deliver the news to the other party and solve their issue through the personal interaction. Later as technology evolved, people started using telegraph where the message were written down and sent to the other party (Peter and Hugill 27). However, this means of communication was faster but less effective way of resolving conflicts since people would not experience a face to face encounter. In fact, some thoughts existed that such an approach might have put an end of diplomacy. Consequently, the technology age grew much faster, and there were the new ways in which people could communicate. First, the use of the phones was developed, and people could communicate when they were far away from each other. Thereafter, television and radio came in and made information accessible to many people. Later, the internet age took over which made the world a global village, and people could connect with each other easily at any time.
There has been substantial growth in the information world since the establishment of the international news agency in the nineteenth century which led to faster ways of delivering information, thereby revolutionizing the way we view our daily lives. Indeed, media play the role of delivering news from all over the world in print or through television. Therefore, whenever something happens in any part of the world, the information is spread through media outlets within minutes. It is worth noting that after the news is delivered, there is always a feedback from the concerned parties urging people to do something to help those affected. For instance, if there is a war between two countries, the press highlights the story where the international community reacts by prompting the nations involved to cease the fire and come to the discussion table (Stein 33). Hence, it is evident that the media acts as a mediator in stopping these conflicts or disasters in the situation that promotes international diplomacy.
In recent years, global media have continued to prove its importance. As such, most nations competitively engage in a war of public diplomacy through the media in a bid to make their countries look friendly and attractive to other nations. Through the media channels, these countries set a stage for other nations to proclaim their positions on the international arena. In fact, the failures and success of diplomacy can only be judged by the audience intended. In addition, the credibility of the media can only be achieved by ensuring that it is independent unbiased when reporting the news. However, we have seen videos, pictures, cartoons that can damage the international relations between nations due to the carelessness and negligence of the media. Therefore, to avert these kinds of incidences, the public and the parties involved should be educated to create awareness and understanding of diplomatic ethics (Taylor, Philip, and Cohen 47). Additionally, the international press continues to play a major role in expanding a common ground to promote peace and harmony.
The advancement of technology in communication enables the media to reach almost every part of the world. Hence, the global news agencies have demonstrated their relevance in promoting international relations since most policymakers depend on the media outlets for live news coverage. Therefore, the phenomenon provided by the media provides positive effects since it introduces humanitarian and democratic aspects in making the policies. On the other hand, when journalists work under pressure, they may report what they see without scrutinizing the situation; hence, making politicians and policy makers respond without carefully analyzing the state of affairs.
Nevertheless, media is the most used platform by governments to convey and conduct diplomatic programs. Indeed, the major news agencies have significantly contributed to the process of foreign policy making. In addition, the press are now turning its attention to the special groups of people who have less sense of denial to ensure that information reaches them too (Taylor, Philip, and Cohen 61).
Due to the growth of mass media, policy makers continue to utilize the broadcasting for their gains. In fact, the political promoters make the politicians’ stands and positions known on certain issues and publicize their policies. However, some nations refrain from involving some media houses due to their hard and unfavorable positions against them. Particularly, the United States representatives have declined to attend any interviews with Aljazeera, but after the State Departments have started to engage actively with Aljazeera, they realized it was more beneficial than harmful to them.
Nevertheless, the international media is not the remedy for diplomacy. However, without a reliable global media sources, it would be very difficult to expect positive and effective results. Indeed, to have a reliable news channels, there is a need to have a great strategy that will yield the required outcomes. Furthermore, it is worth to improve the credibility of the press since it also increases the trust and attracts more audiences.
Limited global media is another challenge that needs to be examined because some parts of the world do not have access to information. Hence, they are usually left in the dark on what is happening in the outside world. local governments do not know what kind of relations or policies other nations have since they do not have access to information. Therefore, it is important to encourage the diplomats to work with local media outlets to come to the agreement on informing the public and government departments about world issues and changes in the political world (Melissen 39). Hence, the information will go a long way in helping the diplomats participate in TV debates. Therefore, it is imperative for governments to invest heavily in training their diplomats, especially in learning the local languages and political structures.
Ordinarily, the governments all over the world use the media to achieve their diplomatic goals. Importantly, issues of journalist’s integrity need to be addressed. Notably, during the World War II, almost all nations contacted with the BBC to get information on what was happening in certain regions since their journalists were famous for delivering credible news. Ultimately, the BBC still continues to enjoy a high-level audience due to its integrity in reporting, especially on international arena (Melissen 88).
Globally, both private and government-owned broadcasting companies have greatly increased the number of viewers all over the world. Therefore, the international media have a responsibility and goals on highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of what is happening all over the world. Initially, the government broadcasts have only been allowed to promote the interests of their host nations. However, as time goes by, the global media have an obligation of ensuring that their reports are based on the values that apply to everyone irrespective of their nationality. Some of these principles are human rights, peace, the general wellbeing of individuals, and the features that promote international relations, as well as the aspect of peaceful co-existence between nations (Jacquie 617).
As it is evident from the above analysis, it may be difficult for the global media to have a program that serves a common goal for all nations as they have different religion, cultures, and history. But, politicians should appreciate the role of the news agencies in informing and most importantly promoting the international relations and helping quelling conflicts amongst nations. Clearly, there exists room for the media to alleviate the resentment that has been established on the international arena amongst communities and nations all around the world. In essence, local or international issues may not end overnight, but the press may bring the nations closer in resolving these collisions without even starting the military actions (Jacquie 622). Finally, it is clear that the on-going growth of the media has positively impacted the relations between nations and unofficially became the influential power in the intentional affairs.