Mass Media Influence

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Autor: Chlapec sp-prace (11)
Typ práce: Maturita
Dátum: 31.08.2013
Jazyk: Angličtina
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Mass Media Influence
In the last 50 years the media influence has grown exponentially with the advance of technology, first there was the telegraph, then the radio, the newspaper, magazines, television and now the internet. We live in a society that depends on information and communication to keep moving in the right direction and do our daily activities like work, entertainment, health care, education, personal relationships, traveling and anything else that we have to do.

Mass Media Influence on Individuals
There are some positive and negative influences especially in young people.
Here is a positive influence example, if there is a sport that is getting a lot of attention by the media and gains popularity among your friends and society, you will more likely want to practice the sport and be cool with all your friends. The result is that you will have fun with your friends and be more healthy because of the exercise your are doing.
However a negative influence in teenagers is the use of cigars by celebrity movie stars, the constant exposure of sex images, the excessive images of violence and exposure to thousands of junk food ads.
Young people are in a stage of life where they want to be accepted by their peers, they want to be loved and be successful. The media creates the ideal image of a beautiful men and women and tells you what are the characteristics of a successful person, you can see it in movies and tv. Its a subliminal way to tell you that if you are not like them you are not cool yet so its time to buy the stuff they buy and look like they look. Another negative influence in teenagers that has grown over the last years are anorexia and obesity. There are millions of adolescents fighting obesity, but at the same time they are exposed to thousands of advertisements of junk food, while the ideas image of a successful person is told to be thin and wealthy. Also more women are obsessive with losing weight even when they are not obese, there are many thin women that want to look like the super models and thin celebrities so they engage in eating disorders which leads to severe health issues and even death.
 
Effects of violence in the Media
When we watch Tv or a movie we usually see many images of violence and people hurting others. The problem with this is that it can become traumatic especially in our children as we see it more and more. Our kids that are starting to grow and are shaping their personality values and beliefs can become aggressive or they can lose a sense of reality and fiction of what they are seeing. In the past years there have been some cases of kids carrying a gun at school and even hurting others with it. Those kids have been linked to excessive use of violent video games and war images. Another problem is that real war is used as a form of entertainment by the media, we should make our kids and teen aware that war is not a form of entertainment and that there is no win or lose like in video games, in real war everyone lose.
 
Mass Media Influence on Adults
Like children and youth, mass media influences adults too, although perhaps not on the same scale. Most adults with a platonic view of things will resist the temptation of being buoyed up by what the mass media has to offer. While men usually find it difficult to hold themselves back in the face of the allure of sexuality. Other subjects which also appeal to men are financial security and a luxurious hassle-free lifestyle. Women on the other hand are more tempted towards products which guarantee immunity from aging altogether and not just what the previous generation called 'aging gracefully'.
Mass media can yet be used constructively to teach the adults about the importance of insurance, financial education and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Media influence not only individuals but through children, teenagers and parents they have huge impact on whole families.
 
How mass Media Influence works
Of all the media distribution channels the most influential has been the television, we are constantly exposed to thousands of images of violence, advertising, sex, celebrities and much more, in fact a its known that a child is exposed to about 40,000 ads a year.
But who owns the media, which are the companies or people that shape our values, beliefs and decisions? The media is basically dominated by five major companies they are:
· Time Warner
· VIACOM
· Vivendi Universal
· Walt Disney
· News Corp

Those 5 companies own 95% of all the media that we get every day. They own the major entertainment theme parks, entertainment movie studios, television and radio broadcast networks and programing, video news and sports entertainment. They also own integrated telecommunications, wireless phones, video games softwares, electronic media, the music industry and more. Years ago there was more diversity in companies, but they have merged so now they are just a few and they have the power to shape the opinion and beliefs of us and our kids. So its important to be aware of what your kids are exposed to every day and you should also try to look at things from different perspectives and not just from the one the media gives you.
 
How media influence society
As I have said above, the media has a huge impact on society and also in public opinion. They can shape the public opinion in different ways depending of what is the objective.
For example, after the attacks of September 11 the media gave a huge coverage of the event and exposed Osama guilty for the attack as they were told by the authorities. This shaped the public opinion to support the war on terrorism, the same happened with the war on Iraq. The problem is that if media received un accurate information then the public opinion supported a wrong cause, this is the power of public opinion influence.
Other ways to influence are with polls and trends, especially in political campaigns. The candidates that can pay for more tv and media exposure have more influence on public opinion and thus can receive more votes.
 
To sum up there is a list of pros and cons of massmedia:
Pros of Mass Media:
· The wide reach offered by mass media is phenomenal. It can target a global audience.
· In terms of newspapers and magazines, it can reach a specified target group. Besides, it is easily accessible. For example, the newspaper lands on the doorstep and we have the latest news in our drawing rooms due to the television set.
· Certain types of media have a loyal fan following. This would mean that an advertiser, publication or news channel would have a ready audience.
· We have the latest news and information at the click of the mouse! The Internet is such a medium that it can give many options for the kind of information required.
· Television, movies, Internet and the radio are some of the best forms of entertainment.
· Mass media can be used for educational purposes in an effective manner.

Cons of Mass Media:
· At times, the information reported may not be authentic from every angle. Hence, there may be a misinterpretation of a situation.
· News can be manipulated to influence the minds of the audiences. For example – a particular political party may manipulate reports in their favor, which would indicate the political control in the media.
· Media bias can occur due to various issues. A journalist or an editor may give personal preference to an issue. Read more about the types and reasons of media bias.
· A particular event or a celebrity may receive undue importance and set wrong ideals before the youth. It may present an ostentatious lifestyle, which may inculcate wrong ideals amongst youngsters.
· Unnecessary sensationalism of an issue may project wrong information to the public.
· Misleading messages may again divert young minds towards a wrong path.
· Wrong interpretation of news may even blow things out of proportion. This would create further unrest in any place or even violence in case of extreme situations.
· At times, a particular event or news item may receive too much attention simply because of the lack of important news or snippets. This would again present a wrong idea before the public.
· Certain types of mass media such as newspapers or leaflets have a very short shelf life. In terms of advertising, it would not serve to be useful for every kind of product or message.
These were some of the pros and cons of mass media. Ultimately, it always depends upon the individual and the way a particular message is perceived for a positive influence of the mass media! 
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