The power of media

24 March 2020 | Opinion

Tanya Mubonda

My opinion on the 'mediatization' of local culture and Namibian youth receptions of media power.

While media culture today appears to be instrumental in Namibian identity formation and cultural change, social tensions and conflict over matters of culture and power are evident. Mediatization is defined as individualisation or globalisation. Western media is a key aspect of international communications which has been defined as the flow of norms, values, culture, information and effects between nations and people.

Today "power is everywhere; not because it embraces everything, because it comes from everywhere". The youth are central to processes of change. People on social media often feel or unpleasant concerning the responses which they receive. For too long we ignored the fact that people are emotional beings who express in their lives love, hate, desire, joy, worry and so on. The youth have the ability to sense media power agendas, but only when it has a bad effect on their values and cultural sensibilities. When such usually occurs, resistance emerges, and some participants directly attack what they see as effective effects of Western media.

In the past Namibians used internet resources to promote or improve business or general skills, however things have changed. Nowadays, students read widely from the internet and often limit local libraries. The youth’s attitude is so much giving in to the seduction of media power.

The problem on social media is when we interact with people of different cultures and the dominating culture being the Western culture. We as the youth tend to forget our traditions and values that we are taught at home. As a result, we get out of hand and use social media as a weapon.

Media is a very powerful tool. I suggest that the youth should be very cautious about the media and use social media wisely.

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