Functions/Roles of the Press/Mass Media

1. Information dissemination: The primary function of mass media is to help inform the general public on issues of national importance whilst at the same time helping people to possess sufficient facts on which to base rational judgments and select courses of action.

2. Education and Enlightenment: The press is a very powerful institution that helps to educate and enlighten the masses (people) across the globe. The mass media, of which the press is one, is a very potential educational platform where ideas, views, opinions, information and knowledge are acquired.

3. Keeps the People up-to-date: The press keeps the masses (people) abreast with current issues of global concern.

4. Agenda Setting: The press creates platform upon which citizens or the public could discuss issues of national importance and make their contributions as they express their view/point

5. Watchdog of the society and Government in power: The press also performs oversight function as they act as watchdog on government activities and every other activities going on in the society/state or country.

6. Entertainment and Relaxation: The press entertains the public as they relax reading and flipping through the pages of newspaper and magazine as well as getting informed about daily occurrence. Also families sit at the comfort of their homes viewing comedies, sports and cartoons.

7. Middle-Man between Government and the people: The press provides a formidable ground for penetrating and mobilizing the masses and government for dialogue over controversial issues bordering on the welfare of the citizen.

8. Accountability and Service to the people: The mass media also puts government in check, as it tells government when it is not getting it right in terms of service delivery to the people. The mass media directs government on the needs/yearnings and aspirations of the people they govern.

9. Voice of the voiceless: The press serves as a platform through which the voice of the voiceless; the poor, the downtrodden and the marginalized are heard in the society to which they belong.

10. Nation Building: The mass media is an essential element of national development. The mass media upholds the rule of law and checks and balances which are the hallmark of democracy and representative government. The mass media also help to analyze the performance of the various arms of government, civil society groups, pressure groups among others.

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