Editorial

Good Governance And Media…

What is the best framework for achieving capable, responsive and accountable government in developing countries? How can political communities be changed to ensure that public resources go toward securing the general welfare? This study from the World Bank argues that the power of public opinion is a critical factor. Further, a democratic public sphere provides a vital structure through which good governance may be secured. Good governance is not just about government. It is about how citizens, leaders and public institutions relate to each other in order to make change happen. Good governance requires three things: state capability, responsiveness and accountability. Critical to this process are public opinion and the democratic public sphere. Public opinion can be defined as the majority view on a public issue after it has been discussed in the public arena. The democratic public sphere is the space between the state and the household where free and equal citizens come together to share information and to discuss common concerns.Public opinion is the only true basis of power and legitimacy. A regime or a system of government is secure only to the extent that the relevant population willingly consents to its rule.Informed, considered public opinion does not only have an impact on governance at election time. It can be a continuous force for social and political change favorable to the poor.Communication function is a fundamental part of the machinery of capable and effective states. In most modern political communities mass communication recreates that open site where citizens gather to discuss common concerns. It is in the free and open public sphere that citizens acting in social movements acquire a public voice, seek to shape public opinion, influence policymakers and bring about change. In order to develop a democratic public sphere, public sector reform specialists and communication specialists need to work together. For a democratic public sphere to be effective, there needs to be, Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, especially freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. A media system that is free, plural, not under state control, socially responsible and with an independent public service broadcasting. Freedom of information legislation and a culture of transparency, openness and free political debate. Equal access to the public sphere, plus the use of principles of fair public debate (such as reason, openness to arguments, respect for evidence, the ability to compromise, and the right of reply). Strategies to help citizens discharge the obligations of citizenship through the spread of basic education and the constitution of the public sphere.

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