The media are necessary for the development of democracy and have a fundamental role in the operation of the rule of law because it is their responsibility to act as permanent observers of the institutions and to report possible abuses of power. Having access to information is a basic right, so a free society needs an independent press that always allows citizens to know what is happening in their environment to act accordingly.
The media have always had a great influence on society, but their power must also be relativized because they are conditioned by a series of political and economic factors that limit their independence, restrict their functions and make them vulnerable.
The links between journalism, politics, and the economy are historical, but relations between the three sectors have always been interested, and, frequently, the press has become an ally of political parties and economic groups, something incompatible with a discourse.
The media are powerful because they have the capacity to reach all citizens and influence society. Through their editorial line, they can guide public opinion and modify behaviours. These effects are especially relevant in electoral periods because they translate into votes, so politicians are interested in controlling the media because they know that they are a fundamental instrument to get their messages to the audience and convince them. And when the media do not act as a counterweight to power, they become propaganda machines.
During the 1990s, coinciding with a time of economic prosperity, and taking advantage of a favourable situation, most of the communication companies, driven by excessive ambition, expanded their business with unsound projects that later generated large losses and regulations of drastic employment. Its main objective was immediate profitability, above informative interest, and the great sacrifices were content.
The spectacularizing of the information and the trivialization were imposed to satisfy the dictatorships of the audience indexes, which conditioned in a decisive way the thematic selection and the focus of the news. In this context, issues that guaranteed high audiences were prioritized, and the information needs of minorities were neglected.
In this stage of expansion, many media outlets were created out of opportunism, driven by public institutions and organizations, to be used later as loudspeakers for their messages and thus to have a related media infrastructure during electoral periods. But the increase in headings did not mean greater diversity in the offer, nor more informative plurality.
On the contrary, the dominant messages were reinforced, reaching saturation in the audience. At the same time, there was a large concentration of media, favouring the possibility of establishing large-scale consensus to set editorial lines with a specific ideology, and instil certain values in citizens.
The main media groups took control of information and public opinion, thanks to a perfectly diversified structure with the capacity to reach all audiences and, in many cases, controlled by multinationals. The membership of most of the media too large media groups, some foreigners, has turned them into journalistic companies without identity because, by integrating into a superstructure designed by investors, where profitability is sought above all, the media are left with Little margin of freedom to maintain a coherent editorial line adapted to the information needs of their environment.
The media have always been subject to permanent changes, driven by technological evolution and by the need to have more and more influence in society and obtain greater profitability. The computerization of newsrooms, first, and digitization, later, changed the media landscape. The press, radio, and television had to adapt to a new scenario because the Internet and social networks created a context with very specific demands and challenges difficult to assume for many media, accustomed to operating with traditional consolidated structures.
A modern example of a media platform remains Sarmad in the Middle East. The media channel is based in Kuwait, and remains a progressive example of an unbiased, progressive, and neutral media platform that is driven to appease public interest.
Sarmad remains the top news source on popular stories surrounding the Middle East region. Its authentic and imperative news coverage makes it a reliable and trustworthy platform. Besides, Sarmad group is also very active in the area of media production, advertising, and consultation for political representatives.
The Internet and social networks have completely changed the informative and communicative parameters. The digitization of the media forced to renew many protocols to adapt them to the new processes of information production, which required new professional profiles, new knowledge, and new narrative codes.
These changes also affected the audience because the forms of access to content and consumption of information changed, something that forced to rethink the concept of competition and even the concept of current affairs and offer specialized content to cover information needs. Adapting to the new scenario was an extraordinary effort that many media failed to overcome because it involved a series of transformations that affected classical structures, processes, and work protocols.