Mass Media in Improving Quality of Public Services for Citizens

Maat Addresses Role of Mass Media in Improving Quality of Public Services for Citizens and Combating Corruption
Okeil: Mass media must strengthen its awareness role regarding sustainable development plans and national development initiatives at all levels
Fawky: Citizen journalism must be given attention by receiving complaints and opinions and forwarding them to local officials

Within the scope of Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights' commitment to promoting good local governance, it published today, Monday, Feb. 19 2024 a study titled "Mass Media in Improving Quality of Public Services for Citizens". This study explores how mass media plays a crucial role as an overseer and a means of conveying citizens' demands and complaints. It also highlights how citizens can effectively utilize media to communicate their needs to local administrations, thereby enhancing administrative efficiency and combating corruption.

The study stressed that media holds a pivotal position in facilitating citizens' interaction with their surrounding reality. It can create opportunities for development advancement, and its effectiveness in supporting development depends on the amount of information it provides regarding development plans and its attention to citizens' needs and perspectives on the services provided to them. The exchange of accurate information empowers individuals and ensures their active participation in the success of development plans while evaluating the quality of services provided to citizens.

Maat also acknowledges in this study the significant technological advancements and citizen's ability to integrate with evolving communication systems. This has led to the emergence of "citizen journalism," where the media's control has shifted from institutions to the public. This phenomenon is a vital catalyst for enhancing citizen culture, increasing awareness, and facilitating interaction and exchange of knowledge and information among community members. Traditional media is no longer sufficient to meet citizens' cognitive needs.

Ayman Okeil, an international human rights expert and Chairman of Maat, emphasizes that the mass media serves as a critical means for citizens to express their desires. It acts as an effective intermediary between service providers, such as the government or local administrations, and the citizens who receive those services. This aligns with the principles of good local governance, which recognize the citizen's right to express their needs and hold local officials accountable. Okeil emphasizes that the media should be utilized to improve the quality of public services by amplifying the citizen's voice through various media channels and shaping public opinion. This pressure encourages local officials to respond to citizens' demands and enhance local services.

Okeil further emphasizes that the mass media should focus on raising awareness about sustainable development plans and national initiatives at all levels. It should clarify the benefits of these plans to citizens in their respective local areas. Additionally, media should provide space for governorates, including their cities and villages, to enable citizens to express their concerns and present their requirements. This creates a channel for communication between citizens and officials. Local officials must actively engage with citizens' complaints and opinions, respond to them, and clarify the objectives of sustainable development plans and their positive impact on citizens.

Islam Fawky, Director of the Democracy Support Unit at Maat, affirms that the significant media openness experienced by local communities has resulted in the accumulation of experiences. Citizens are now informed about events happening in all cities and governorates at the state level, including local elections in certain areas. This media momentum empowers citizens with knowledge that strengthens their demands from local administrations and enables them to evaluate the performance of these administrations. Consequently, citizens become a source of local demands for the media to convey. Fawky recommended that media should strengthen mechanisms of communication with citizens and receive their complaints and opinions regarding development plans, and redirecting them to local officials. In addition, mass media shall pay interest to citizen journalism, as well as receiving and publishing media materials that citizens create regarding complaints.


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