Corporate social responsibility is an aspect that organizations and businesses follow to show their contribution to the society. The development of the idea of corporate social responsibility came about because of the adjustments that happened in the environment where the firms conduct their businesses. This also came about because of the realization that the reason of making profits alone cannot hold as a good reason for companies to operate. The linkage of organizations to the society had become as good as the main objectives of engaging in business. Firstly, the media has a significant role to play in corporate social responsibility as organizations, and secondly in ensuring that other organizations achieve corporate social responsibility.
In a democratic society, the media has a significant role to play in providing citizens with accurate and timely information and a meaningful emphasis and analysis on the issues brought about. Corporate social responsibility is an aspect that can only work effectively in a democratic society. As such, the media, particularly the press, have a significant position in democratic environments and political theory discussions on democracy and corporate social responsibility. The media plays a role of guarding public interests and ensuring that institutions do not abuse the power accorded to them. Thus, this means that the media has to be on the forefront in the coverage of news and events that show violations of public trust. The media has a role to play in corporate social responsibility by discouraging organizations not to engage in acts that violate regulations and laws or engaging in activities that undermine public trust.
Companies have been found to take a defensive approach when the media shows concern over what they do. This has been particularly said to be because of the notion that journalists have an antagonistic view on the roles and responsibilities that organizations play in the society. However, this is not often true, because journalists cannot always find fault in every company that they investigate. This is a fear that most companies do not want to face head-on, because most of them have faults that they do not want the media to find out. In a democratic society, the media plays an essential role in finding out what these companies might be hiding, so that they can bring to light and in the process influence these companies to take greater responsibility in ensuring that their practices are in line with corporate social responsibility.
There has been another controversy with the fact that the media places very high expectations on other organizations, yet the media, as organizations, do not include corporate social responsibility principles on their practices. The media is always ready to paint a bad picture of people or organizations who point a finger at their misdoings. It is expected that the public service ethos displayed by the media in influencing other organizations to incorporate corporate social responsibility and its aspects in their practices should also do so. However, the media does this partially, especially when they come under attack. Therefore, the media must act as a consistent role model in integrating aspects of corporate social responsibility so that other organizations can follow suit and find no fault when the media drums up calls for effective and consistent corporate social responsibility practices.
The media companies are themselves business companies meaning that they are driven by a motive of profitability and a view for corporate social responsibility. Like other business organizations, media companies must find the areas that they have environmental, governance and social impacts. Because they have the vast consumer base, journalists must always exercise responsibility with respect to ensuring that what they intend to report is factual. This is especially in respect to competition in the news cycles where there is massive pressure to be the first to air a new story or happening to the audience. In order to influence other organizations to be transparent, media companies must ensure that they have transparency within their spheres. In light of the new journalism, where the media can report both opinions and facts, it is imperative that the media understands the far they should go when reporting facts and opinions. The audience should not receive opinions as facts or vice versa. This is essential in ensuring that the media plays a role in introducing corporate social responsibility in other organizations.
In the promotion of corporate social responsibility, the media should understand and differentiate between privacy and public decency. The media must understand the difference and have a balance between the public right to information and the individual right to privacy. Achieving corporate responsibility entails respecting the rights of others even when conducting a rightful business responsibility. The media should also understand how to deal with people who do not understand or cannot decide for themselves on whether they want their private information released. For instance, when handling issues of rape cases, the privacy of an individual is always essential. Therefore, an individual might want the issue reported while, at the same time, to have privacy respected. The media should understand how to handle this situation. The media should undertake this role in corporate social responsibility.
In promoting corporate social responsibility, the media has a role to play in advertising. Advertising is one of the factors that the media relies on to stay active in the business. Therefore, this means that the media has a responsibility in advertising that promotes consumption and commitment to sustainable development. When advertising, the media should put the well-being of the consumer in consideration. The media should not promote the consumption of something that will be detrimental to the health or life of the consumer. This is an aspect of corporate social responsibility.
In conclusion, the media has a remarkably significant role to play in corporate social responsibility. The media must provide an example for others to follow. Despite the fact that they are driven by profit-making motives, the media should understand the areas where that they have environmental, social and governance influence, and ensure that they protect the rights and well-being of consumers. The media should also influence other organizations through conducting appropriate and valid investigations and reporting facts as opposed to opinions about those firms. This will make other organizations ensure corporate social responsibility in their practices.
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