Media and Sovereignty

A state’s power has always been derived from how well it can control its people. The recent globalization of media, along with technological innovations, has had a serious impact on a state’s authority. The increased flow of ideas and information across borders threatens those states which have tried to retain a tight hold on the ideologies spread throughout their countries. Some countries regulate the flow of information in order to preserve a certain culture. However, ‘technologies of freedom’ are continually spreading ideas of democracy and freedom across the Internet, where virtually anyone can access them.
The revolutions in the Middle East are a great example of how media can spread these new ideas across states. Google, Twitter and Facebook all had a hand in promoting the democratic revolutions in the authoritarian countries of the Middle East. The youth of these countries were exposed to ideas of democracy and freedom, and finally took a stand to try to claim these rights for themselves. Egypt tried to assert its authority by shutting down its internet while these protests were occurring, but people still managed to find ways to broadcast news and individual stories. Al Jazeera was particularly effective in using satellite broadcasting to show the world what was happening in Arab countries.
We are entering a new era where the legitimacy of states and their power is being called into question. Media is having the biggest effect on this transition, allowing people to access all sorts of ideas that may not be promoted in their home country. Hopefully, the globalization of media brings about a more transparent world, based on equality and fairness.

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