What are the primary roles of media delivering news to the public?


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Shane Richardson Profile
A brief outline of the primary roles of media delivering news to the public is as follows:

• To inform
• To educate
• To explain
• To entertain
• To update

The media has always played a key role in spreading news to a wider audience. Newspapers and TV news have been the staple informers for decades with most of the public trusting a certain newspaper or news channel to give them all the latest news.

Therefore one of the major roles of the media is to inform the public. This can be giving them information about wars, murders or other criminal activity or it can be more light-hearted such as celebrity or sports news.

Another primary role of the media is to educate the public when delivering them news. This means that they not only tell the audience what is going on but actually explain the fundamental reasons why something has happened and what they may expect to happen in the future.

Explaining is another role the media provides to the public. Similar to educating, the media will go into more depth about a story and will explain exactly what has happened and the repercussions this may have.

The media also needs to entertain their audience when providing news. Therefore you will usually find a few 'soft news' stories that are there to titillate the audience. This can be a funny story or may include animals or celebrities.

With the introduction of rolling 24 hour news channels and websites, the media also has the role of constantly updating the public. Whereas in the past the public had to wait until the newspaper was printed before getting an update on a story now it is almost instant as the media can update their websites and news channels any minute of any day.

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