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The Influence of Mass Media

Info: 1297 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 17th May 2017 in Media

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The importance of the media today is immense Mass media has become an industry in the world. From the T.V in the house, the newspaper on the doorstep, the radio on the car to the fliers in the mailbox and the internet. Because the media are so prevalent in industrialized countries, they have a powerful impact on how those populations view the world. Nearly all of the news in the United States comes from a major network or newspaper. It is only the most local and personal events that are experienced first-hand. Events in the larger community, the state, the country, and the rest of the world are experienced through the eyes of a journalist.

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Not only do the media report the news, they create the news by deciding what to report. The production of news often goes through several steps: informants and sources, press agents, reporters, news agencies, journalists, and editors. Many media are citing other media or opinion leaders so that the complete chain of information flow becomes quite long. Selection and distortion may take place at every link in this chain of information transmission. The “top story” of the day has to be picked from the millions of things that happened that particular day. After something is deemed newsworthy, there are decisions on how much time or space to give it, whom to interview, what pictures to use, and how to frame it. Often considered by editors, but seldom discussed, is how the biases and interests of management will impact these determinations. All of these decisions add up to the audience’s view of the world, and those who influence the decisions influence the audience.

The mass media have an important role in modern democratic society as the main channel of communication. The population relies on the news media as the main source of information and the basis on which they form their opinions and voting decisions. According to cultural selection theory, any selection of messages in the mass media will thus have a profound effect on the entire society.

Competition has become increasingly keen in the area of the mass media as they keep fighting for the attention of the readers, listeners, and TV-viewers. The life and death of each newspaper and TV station is at stake here when the income from advertising and sponsoring is proportional to the number of readers or viewers. The printed media have problems competing with the electronic media as sources of news. In order to survive, they are increasingly turning to other strategies such as entertainment, titillation, scandal mongering, and spreading fear – and spending fewer resources on serious researching of news. This is not only about the survival of the fittest of the news media, it is also about cultural selection and political selection. The news media are the most important channels for the propagation of culture, ideas, and opinions. Most opinion formation takes place when people sit and watch news and debates on television. Analyzing the cultural selection in the electronic information society, we find that an important part of the selection lies in the choice between TV channels. Millions of lazy viewers sit in their comfortable arm-chairs with remote controls in their hands zapping between action films, revivalist preachers, and commercials for a new fragrance, hardly realizing that by choosing which cultural and political influences they expose themselves to, they also chose the cultural and political evolution of their country.

It is very important to analyze which selection criteria are in effect here. The electronic media are first and foremost pacifying. It is a relaxation machine, and the viewer wants to be entertained. The faces on the screen are not chosen for their opinions but for their entertainment value. TV stations do not compete on ideologies but on sense impressions. An extreme example is music videos, satiated with fast changing sense impressions in sound as well as in pictures.

The media, therefore, have enormous importance to conflict resolution because they are the primary — and frequently only — source of information regarding conflicts. If a situation doesn’t make the news, it simply does not exist for most people. When peaceful options such as negotiation and other collaborative problem-solving techniques are not covered, or their successes are not reported, they become invisible and are not likely to be considered or even understood as possible options in the management of a conflict.

In psychology, communication theory and sociology, media influence or media effects refers to the theories about the ways the mass media affect how their audiences think and behave. The shift of media and media industry over the past few years into new forms, such as DVD and the internet, changes the modalities available for audiences to consume and receive media. The change has caused some media theorists to call into question the influence that the media have over attitudes and beliefs.

The consequences and ramifications of the mass media relate not merely to the way newsworthy events are perceived (and which are reported at all), but also to a multitude of cultural influences that operate through the media.

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The media has a strong social and cultural impact upon society. This is predicated upon its ability to reach a wide audience which often sends a strong and influential message. Marshall McLuhan uses the term “the medium is the message” as a means of explaining how the distribution of the message can often be more important that the message itself. It is through the persuasiveness of mediums such as television, radio and print media that reach the target audience.

The internet has lifted some of the restrictions placed on society by allowing for diversification of political opinions, social and cultural differences and heightened level of consumer participation. There have been suggestions that allowing consumers to produce information through the internet will lead to a bombardment of too much information. It can however allow society a medium for expressing opinions and moving away from the political restrictions placed on society.

Media can also influence the way people talk. Certain movies have quotes that can be embedded into the minds of the audience. However, these quotes can be either appropriate or non appropriate.

Media scientists have often discussed how much influence the media have on people’s opinions. People tend to selectively read what they already agree with and to rationalize their preformed opinions in the face of contrary arguments. Experimental evidence seems to indicate that the mass media have little power to change people’s opinions on issues for which they already have formed a strong opinion, but they have a profound influence when it comes to setting the agenda and priming people on new issues. The way an issue is framed determines how it is discussed, which causes a social problem is blamed on, and which of the possible remedies are entered into the discussion.

In conclusion, the media can be used to promote social growth and thinking skills. Therefore, the design is focused on human itself other than lots of unnecessary things for the society. The winner for that era will be the person who has flexible thinking power. Also, the designer must have a true character. Follow the path of virtue with right-minded should be their goal. In addition to, the designer should have to find their life’s passion, develop themselves-esteem, and create self- appreciations which lead to more positive self-esteem. With all that in mind the designer have a powerful persuasion.


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