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How Does Culture Affect Media?

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Published: 16th Oct 2017 in Media

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Assignment question: How culture affect media, and media affect culture? Discuss.


How culture affect media and media affect culture? Today in the twenty-first century, there is no doubt that with the social development media and culture have an intimate relationship, which can interactive affect each other. Media culture is the dominant form of culture which socializes us and provides materials for identity in terms of both social reproduction and change.

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Media can be any means of communication to influence the public broadly, such as television,newspaper,magazines, internet and other communications ways. Media is becoming to an essential part of our social life today. In my opinion, culture is more difficult to define. I found a definition, which is more accurate, is that “Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group’s skills, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs,values, hierarchies and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions.” In the definition of media and culture both mentioned about communication that can be the most important element for media and culture. It is undeniable that media and culture have an interactive impact for each other.

In this subject I am willing to introduce how culture affect the media in the first part, I will describe culture affect media through two aspects which are technological development and different country culture. Then the second part I want to argue how media affect culture through some positive factors and negative factors that media not only bring cultural communication to people, but also may bring some destructive influences on culture.

Culture affect media

Culture has a huge impact on media communication ways and adoption. I have a point of view that media rapid development and the rise of new media are the result of the cultural needs of people.

Science and technology culture

Science and technology culture is a significant factor to promote media development. Media technology which enables communication has evolved with time because of the ever-accelerated updating of science and technology.

1. Newspaper

Newspaper can be the main communication way in the recent period. Because written communication flourishes of ongoing technology, for instance, the invention of paper and the printing press. Also with the massive use of paper, newspaper as a carrier became the earliest mass media in the world. That read the news on newspaper was nearly the only way for people who want to take the latest information before the invention of television.

2. Television

The invention of television was no single event or series of events. It depends on a complex of inventions of development in electricity, telegraphy, photography and motion pictures and radios. It can say to a big step of technology progressive advance. The first TV’s came back In the 1920’s accredited to Scotsman John Baird, then later on in the 1960’s color TV took off, a way of enhancing the viewing experience bringing the viewer closer to the real thing. Television directly leaded to a global media revolution when television started popularized to the average people around the world. Television use electric to transmit active visual image that can let more carrier such as television news, drama and even advertisements can spread information to more people.

3. Internet

The advent of the Internet created a new media age after the traditional media. Media communication ways not only be limited to four traditional media of newspaper, magazine, television and radio. The beginnings of computer networks with the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPAnet) project in 1969 created by the United States Department of Defense. But the Internet actually began to rapid development and commercialization in 1990’s. For example, many valuable and well-known websites such as Google, eBay and Amazon established in 1990’s. After that, the world entered into the network age in the twenty-first century. New media gradually replace the power of traditional media due to the grow up in the cyberculture, also the impact of traditional media is diminishing slowly now. The ever-accelerated updating of science and technology brings a new media heyday for people.

In addition, the rise of social media is fast and prosperous on the Internet and smart phone. Social media can be any website, technology or apps to allow people to write, share, discuss and communication. And social media is a platform or tool that people share ideas, experiences and perspectives with each other. And the Apps on the smart phone provided more opportunities to develop social media. I think that the smart phone is a great contribution of science and technological culture, which can changes people ‘s lifestyle and makes the mode of transmission more convenient. The invention of smart phone also accelerates the development of new media.

Media structure is constantly changing, we never know how the media will change in the future with the technological progress. Science and technology culture is just one reason affect media.

Cultural differences

People have different behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, hierarchy and religions by cultural differences. I will focus on how different country culture and religious culture affect media next.

1. Different country culture

At first, different country cultures always affect media. It is common that people usually have the similar way of thinking in the same country. Nevertheless, different counties must their own culture and lifestyles. So for media, the attitude of government can influence how people to think about media. The media control of government is a very important reason that impact the development of the media in some ways.

We can through compare the Chinese media and western media to show the differentiation of media culture between different countries. Western media have the free press that they can report the news more objectives and rational. Government can allow media provide various views to them due to the capitalist system. Media can make a comment on their state leaders or an act of government to their options. In America, media sometimes will make some fun of their president Obama even they will criticize him some conduct if they think it is improper or incorrect. Western media be relaxed and have uncontrolled freedom of speech in the overall environment.

But it is rarely possible to happen in China. China is one of only a few remaining socialist countries in the world. That is a unique existence when the world almost combines into a globalization capitalist system. It is exactly because of this socialist culture that Chinese media have been in a very embarrassing situation. The Chinese government has long kept tight reins on both traditional and new media to avoid potential subversion of its authority. Its tactics often entail strict media controls using monitoring systems and firewalls, shuttering publications or website. Chinese media still do not have freedom of speech even they have already improved this situation a lot due to social progress and the development of new media now. Chinese media always report the positive coverage for the reports which involved government. And the attitude of Chinese media is never can say the bad words against the Communist party and government. Especially the traditional media is fully controlled by the government. But the rapid development of the Internet helps people to get more information sources from new media. As a whole, because China is a single-party system country, government will still strictly control the media speech and I think it will be difficult to loosen the control in the future. Socialist culture can be the most important reason to affect the media in China.

2. Religious culture

Secondly, religious culture also will affect people have different attitudes for media. The power of religious culture is formidable and unexpected for believers. The core values of religion are beliefs which can affect people’s ideology. But the news generally will involve religious issues sometimes. Inevitably, Media and religions usually have conflicts because some radical words will burn some believers which is religious extremist force up. Some media will yield to the pressures of religions and avoid to mention the sensitive topic of religious culture. Nevertheless, some media not afraid of religious forces. They believe no one can kill their ideas. I want to give an example that everyone must be heard the Charlie Hebdo shooting accident. It is appalling that three heavily armed masked gunmen opened fire in the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan 7th, 2015. It resulted in the death of 12 people, including four cartoonists. Gunmen reportedly shouted “We have avenged the Prophet! ” When they stormed the office. Charlie Hebdo was found in 1970. It uses satire to target politicians, police, bankers and religion with its inflammatory headlines and garish cartoons. This magazine has repeatedly caricatured Muslims and their beliefs finally cause this appalling accident. But many people around the world support Charlie Hebdo to resist this attack and they think Charlie Hebdo can be a symbol of the freedom of speech. People have different beliefs make religious culture sometimes are controversial. Some media ignore to report the religious issues just because they are afraid of the religious extremist force pay attention to them. Media must be more careful to report the topic of religious culture.

Media affect culture

Nowadays, the rapid development of the media has a huge impact on the communication of cultural exchange in the whole world. For mass media, the paper media started an extensive cultural impact from the beginning, then the digital media significantly affect the cultural communication in the twenty-first century. Although the traditional media have some limitation and unidirectional in some ways to transmit information. But new media have brought a digital communication age for the world, which can eliminate the obstacle of time and space via the media. I willing to focus on how new media affect culture in the following paragraphs.

Online culture

Online culture has formed from the development of the Internet and new media. An increasingly wide range of information, ways of business, services and entertainment are now commonly make available and accessed online or through digital media. The Internet is regarded as being unique and offering something they cannot get elsewhere. Online culture is an information culture based on the Internet without national boundaries and region. People enjoy the equality, freedom and virtual of the online information.

As far as I concerned, media not only has many positive influences on online culture, but also has some negative impacts on it.

1. Communication and exchange

Firstly, online culture brings the convenient and efficient communication and exchange for people through constantly the development of the Internet media. In the past, people maybe need to spend a lot of time searching the information before the rise of new media. But now people can find everything they want on the Google. Google is a carrier that has indexed billions of pages – and makes it easy for you to find a website or page in an instant. It is no exaggeration to say that Google almost contain the culture of the whole world. Then Wikipedia provide an enormous knowledge network for people as the largest single source of free information in the world. I believe that Google and Wikipedia are irreplaceable media for the developmental progress of online culture. For instance, if we want to learn some information about America history, we will just have to open the Google website and enter the search keywords, then we can find the information in the Wikipedia website that we no longer need to take some times to find and read books. Personally, all online media fully embody how online culture produce convenience and efficiency to people.

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Nevertheless, online culture is a double-edged sword. The past fifteen years we’ve made significant advances in technology. The internet became more popular and then we use many social media to online chat. Now we live in a digital age where almost every people use laptops, smart phone and iPad. Do you feel close to people or further away when we cannot separated from the social media? I don’t know how many times I’ve sat down in a room full of people and have seen nobody talking to one another. I’ll see several people sitting there on their phone or other type of mobile distraction. People are increasingly lack of face to face communication, even always playing smart phone while friends meeting. Stop your smart phone addiction, we should look up at the real world what you are missing around you. Maybe we cannot deny new media bring too many contributions and conveniences for our life and culture, but I hope people can also find some good things around us in the real world instead of always use smart phone and indulge in online culture.

2. The decline of traditional culture

Secondly, the rapid development of new media actually impacts some existence of the traditional culture. Online culture is gradually becoming dominant culture while the communication media are continually going through significant transformations in the age of the Internet. However, facing the online culture rising, traditional culture is slowly declining is a crisis that new media bring to us. Because along with the e-book and various apps popularized, which people can finish those all thing just on their phones or computers, there are fewer and fewer people willing to use dictionaries, read newspapers or go to bookstores. I can understand the media development can be a mirror of social progress, but I am not willing to see the decline of reading from paper even many bookstores face collapse. In my hometown, my favorite bookstore has moved to a place where more faraway but have cheaper rent. They cannot pay the expensive rent due to the decline of customers and profits. Although we cannot stop the ever-accelerated development of society, but I hope more people can realize that we need to protect and retain our culture.


This chapter describes the negative and positive effects of media on children. Computer and other media use can influence children’ s neurological development, cognitive development, sexual behavior, attitudes, knowledge and perceptions of self as well as involving the use of substances such as drugs and alcohol. The positive impact is media produce many learning opportunities to study all aspects of knowledge, and also media enrich the space time of children’ s life. However, negative media effects for children cannot be ignored. For example, children who view a large amount of violent programming, can become desensitized to the violence and become more aggressive in their own play and other behavior. Furthermore, media have negative effects on the health of the children. Children spend too much time listening MP3 will impact their hearing and use phone or computer for a long time will give children decreased vision. In my opinion, parents should encourage children read more books and do some outdoors sports.

Economic effects

New media have already formed industrial clusters to produce the huge effects of social economy and culture.

Under the information-based society and market economies conditions, new media became the most important way for the modern economy to keep information communication with the social environment and the target public. In an era of information surplus, If the companies want to survive and development, they will be able to convey the product message to target audience effectively. Today because people devote a significant amount of their daily time to digital channels, the Internet has become a highly precise, interactive mass medium. New media can produce the best possible result for economic effects in public information communications. Business advertising on various digital media, such as search engines, email, social media and Apps. Advertisements make a contribution to business economics and bring great benefits to media at the same time.

In addition, the advent of new media also brings the new culture of economic industry, which represented by internet industry, mobile communication industry and digital media industry. Especially, the continuous expansion of the scale of the new media drives the development of other relevant industries, such as website construction, website maintenance, content provide, technical service and other industry developments.

New media give a new pattern for economic culture.

Cultural globalization

Media cross the distance between the people around the world to bring a globalized world for us.

Cultural globalization is the inevitable result of social progress. But It is undeniable that the new media is an important role to promote the culture becomes more globalization and cultural fusion. In my opinion, culture has become more globalization with a variety of ways since World War two. Media make the range of cultural communication more broadly. Whatever the traditional media or new media, they both bring culture to people around the world. Social media is one of them have great impact for the communication of culture.

The advent of social media makes information sources this proper noun becomes popular. Social media provide an equal and public platform for all people, including government, media, companies, personal and so on that everyone can release the information and see the information on the social media platform. If this platform becomes globalization, it will make people to share the various information and culture more convenient around the world. We are increasingly both bound together and separated by the globalized networks of information communication technology. Regardless of what kind of social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter, they all play an increasing role in cultural integration and this influence of globalization.

Facebook can be a good example to show how social media affects culture. Facebook is the biggest social media website in the world. This social media website has gradually changed people’s life since it founding in 2004. Facebook be successfully developed to have global users, then it resulted in the globalization of information and more cultural exchange. Different cultures are connecting and integrating while people from different places are communicating with each other on Facebook.



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