No. 3




The Relations of Parliament with the People through Media and through the Prism of Media

18 June 2001


RiTo No. 3, 2001

The relations between the Parliament and the people go through the playing field of the media. It is important for democracy that information would be forwarded in both directions ungarbled, or that the receiver of the information would have, at least, the possibility of checking what message was sent out and what was added or cut out by the mediator who forwarded it. It is also important that everybody would be respected and nobody, discriminated against. Only democracy needs truth, and only free press stands in the service of truth, while nobody has a monopoly on truth.

What could need to be hidden in a parliament? If the possibility is given to the people to watch a live broadcast of the legislative process of the parliament, representation or neglect of the people’s interests, then all this should eventually discipline the representatives of the people. Then it would not be necessary to present, for a good sum of money, black as white before elections. Even partial substitution of live broadcasts on TV for the Internet does not deserve mentioning as yet: those who can use the Internet do not need, as a rule, any additional political information, because they have also other information channels at their disposal, the channels which work in both directions. Live broadcasts on TV are for the majority of the people, including that part who feels a permanent concern for their daily bread, heating, lack of information and health. To them the first, second, third, fourth and fifth powers are indebted.

Media in itself need be neither good nor bad, and it cannot be regarded as a guarantee of democracy; rather, media is a prerequisite for facilitating democracy, while in the final account everything depends on the people. Democracy is guaranteed by the power, which is at the service of the people, and by the social relations proceeding therefrom. Media as a mediator between the people and the power should not stick too eagerly to any of these poles, first of all, it should stand in the service of truth.

Full article in Estonian