The term media accountability refers to the concept that the mass media is supposed to operate in a manner which contributes to the general public good. This implies that both the print and the broadcast media should adhere to the standard societal ethical requirements. Because of this, they will become politically, socially and ethically directly answerable to all the people in the country including individuals, organizations and the government (McChesney, R.W. and Nichols, J., 2002).
If the media becomes accountable to the individual citizens, it will serve them diligently by disseminating important information that will appropriately inform, educate and sensitize them. However, this will only happen if they receive the right information. For instance, knowing about changes in weather will help them to make smart plans about their travelling and agricultural activities.
Meanwhile, if the media becomes accountable to the social institutions like churches, they will have to offer truthful information on the doctrines, beliefs and other cultural practices of the people. In such a situation, the media will help these institutions to nurture the youths who will obviously conform to these standards. Moreover, if the mass media becomes answerable to the government, they will help in sensitizing the population on the government policies and preach peace in the country (Hazen, D. and Julie, W., 2007). This is important in creating tranquility and order.
On the other hand, if media plays a democratic role in the country, they will positively transform the society. Through a proper execution of their duties, the media houses can empower people. Eventually, they will contribute in promoting democratic values in the country. Through acting as the government’s watch dog, the media will allow people to realize their contributions. Eventually, they will take the opportunity to play their roles (Hackett, R.A. & Carroll, W.K., 2006).
In conclusion, I would like to say that even if media has been accused of being the greatest enemy to development, a lot can still be done. Surely, the media houses should be empowered to be more accountable and democratic.