What Is the Importance of Electronic Media?
Electronic media allows information and ideas to travel almost instantly from its source to the public through the Internet. Because of the availability of the Internet, electronic media has given billions of people access to information that they previously would not have had access to.
In the past, it was easy for the state to censor and regulate what type of media was being passed around by the public. Paper media like magazines and newspapers took a substantial amount of time to be written, printed, assembled, sold and distributed. Because of this, the state was able to make sure the “wrong” type of information never got out. If the state had secrets that it did not want the public to know, it could stop newspapers and magazines from printing, and it could literally destroy the media so that it was not able to be read.
The importance of electronic media lies in its inability to be censored at will. Authoritarian regimes are losing power because of the instantaneous travel of information on Internet media sources. Where ideas in the past would be confined to only certain groups of people, these ideas are now able to be shared immediately. For example, leaders in the Middle East could not censor the information by Al Jazeera that was reaching the public, and many argue that this information led to the “Arab Spring” of 2010. Similar movements are happening in North Korea and all over the world.