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Submitted by Rafael on
My take on this issue is that large media (private or state-run alike), when broadcasting at a nation scale tend to embrace big interest (big business, big politics) as opposed to localized information of interest to ordinary citizen. Empirical evidence here in Mozambique shows that once small, most of the less-than-ten-year old private news agencies now populating our media landscape, started by producing localized and useful news (from the citizenry point of view), and with time, as they grew bigger in importance and size, their information lost touch with citizens and a great deal of their localized nature. To answer your question on what media, what information might facilitate greater demand (and government response) for better quality of services, I would say that when localized (e.g. community radio and television) mass media can be instrumental in promoting development agenda. However, the same localized media can serve evil when captured by hatred as seen in other parts of the continent, and irrespective of their ownership nature (state or private). In other words, mass media is an instrument as other mediums, including theater, cinema, internet, etc, and as such they serve different agendas, and therefore have the potential to serve good (development, transparency, accountability, voice) or evil (hatred, 'small' politics,etc) depending on the interests of those in control of it. And there's where quantity matters. The more abundant news agencies are in a given place, the greater is the chance that some of them broadcast issues of interest for citizens, not to please those in development business, but by necessity to try new messages and capture new audiences as a matter of survival from competition. Rafael Saúte -Mozambique