The main relationship between media and economic development lies in the function of the media as a source for the dissemination of information regarding political reforms and policies aimed at economic development. In this sense, the media serves as a liaison between the policy makers and the citizens, or as a conduit for the education of the people regarding new laws and their roles in nation building. This link between the media and economic development is affected by certain factors, which include aspects like the level of autonomy in the media, the sophistication of the media mechanism in the region, and the level of education for the general populace.
In order to achieve economic development, there has to be a concerted level of coordination between the government and the citizens, rather than one of conflict arising from misunderstanding. This process is enhanced when the media is sophisticated in terms of the utilization of modern communication channels and equipment. A link between the media and economic development is also seen when a country with little to no economic development suffers in terms of a primitive mass media mechanism. Any country with limited resources will not have the necessary finances to develop its mass media. Whenever the mass media is undeveloped there is a lack information flow from the government to the citizens, making it hard to educate the population on the specifics of necessary economic reforms.
Another form of relationship between the media and economic development is the fact that autonomy, or media independence, plays a role in the economic development of a country. This role can be seen in the ability of such independent media outlets to effectively investigate and report on issues like government and corporate corruption. Such freedom would be limited in countries or instances in which the media is owned or solely funded by the state or government. In these cases, the media becomes a tool for the spreading of government propaganda rather than for the relatively objective reporting of issues that may affect the economic development of a country. A situation that allows the media to serve as a figurative watchdog over the manner in which a government is running a country can help set a country on the road to the attainment of economic development.