What is political 3

Media policy

Mass media make an indispensable contribution to the functioning of democracy and fulfill certain functions for society. Which are they?

Functions of the media for society I. License: cc by-nc-nd / 3.0 / de / (bpb)


Functions of the media for society License: cc by-nc-nd / 3.0 / de / (bpb)


The media contribute both to the stability of the political system and to the constant change in society due to current developments. It does this by bringing media across all major areas of society; H. especially politics, economics as well as culture and social affairs
  • inform as completely, factually and understandably as possible,
  • contribute to the formation of opinions in free and open discussion and
  • accompany with criticism and control through investigative (investigative and revealing) journalism.
The media thus assume the role of mediator and guardian.

Functions of the media for society License: cc by-nc-nd / 3.0 / de / (bpb)


Since the citizens can and should have a say in a democracy, they must be informed about the important political processes and content. However, there are many political events that are often very complex and also take place in special committees away from the public. The media can draw attention to this and explain the various positions or offer those involved space for explanations. This opens up opportunities for control and criticism at the same time, since the procedures and content of political procedures are questioned. Investigative (investigative and uncovering) journalism can at the same time contribute to informing citizens about developments at an early stage, i. H. to warn them of possible undesirable developments.
All of these aspects can help to keep democracy alive and to encourage citizens to actively participate in political processes despite complex issues. The media can also take on comparable tasks or functions in the areas of business, culture and social affairs.

In the field of business, consumer information is also at the center of the media, whereby it should be noted that the media themselves are involved as actors - for example in the development of new devices and applications. If you also take into account the employees of the media industry, there is an important value chain here.

In the area of ​​culture and social affairs, the media provide orientation and help with life. They can convey values ​​and norms, contribute to the integration of certain groups into society as well as to education and cultural development. The importance of the media as an entertainment and relaxation factor should also not be neglected.

Finally, it should be pointed out that the media and the people working in them do not automatically act neutrally and without their own interests. Citizens should therefore maintain a critical attitude towards the media and its reporting and be prepared to compare different representations if possible.