JCMR Articles 10.2

Media and Politics: Are Journalists Watchdogs or Symbiotic Partners?

February 21, 2020
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Abstract Mass media have a number of roles to play in the political process of a country. One of these roles is what Edmund Burke described as The F...

Abstract

Mass media have a number of roles to play in the political process of a country. One of these roles is what Edmund Burke described as The Fourth Estate owing to media importance in the society. The media have also been said to play the watchdog role by keeping politicians in check on behalf of the citizens. This article examines the relationship between media and politics with a view to establishing whether journalists are true watchdogs or symbiotic partners with political actors. The political system of a country shapes the media landscape of that particular country; it is therefore imperative to narrow down to media behavior in a specific political system. The article therefore looks at the relationship between media and politics in a Liberal Democracy. We start by looking at the watchdog role of the media in an ideal situation and then examine situations under which media operate as they try to play the watchdog role and finally assess if media are actually able to play the said role or they end up being symbiotic partners of political actors.

Key Words: Watchdog, Mediatization, Political Actors, Symbiotic Relationship, Spin Doctors

*Samuel Kahura Ndung’u is a Lecturer in the School of Business, Department of Human Resource Development, Karatina University, Karatina, Kenya

AMCRON Journal of Communication and Media Research, Vol. 10, No. 2, October 2018:   38 – 46

 

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