The Power of Mass Media – The Delhi School of Communication
Highlighting communication in the modern world is the world of media. Today, media has become the lifeline of modern entertainment industry, providing information and also disseminating ideas to the rural areas.
The medium of media is varied – like TV, Radio, Newspapers or Internet, but they serve the same purpose. Media is indeed, a powerful way of communication, but it has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Mass media has had both positive and negative effects on people, especially young people, who have grown up consuming media from many different mediums.
- POSITIVE IMPACT OF MEDIA
The most positive effect of mass media points immediately to a more informed society. It must be noted that the early newspaper was the first mass media content to affect people’s role in society. An ‘informed’ public translates into an ‘involved’ public. Newspapers helped to build communities. With the advent of the radio, TV, internet and mobile, mass media took on a new role.
- Giving information
Print media has its great positive influence on society. With the information provided, people become more aware about current affairs, both national and international. They are introduced to the local news and events that enlighten them; and this plays an important role in the formation of public opinion. With the advent of electronic media, images and videos are beamed across the world via television and the mobile gadgets. People can today, access information at the click of the button or a sweep of the mobile display frame. We know today the impact of “trolling”. Any Tweet or Facebook post can make or break reputations of brands or personalities.
- Adds transparency
The working of countries has become extremely transparent because of media, which is accepted as the third pillar of democracy after the government and people. Today, it is possible on social media for the common man can air his grievances, so that higher authorities can take action. Remember, in the past, decision-making was shrouded in mystery, but today, the functioning of governments or states is studied and taken up by the media.
- Source of entertainment
Broadcast media (television & radio), cinema and print media have a strong influence on the society. They help to make the local culture and traditions popular among the viewers. People can watch movies, documentaries and other entertaining content to feel happy and rejuvenated! In fact, today the ‘entertainment’ value of news is also very high and, the channels’ TRPs depend on this.
- Spread social messages
Media has become a boon for the developing world as it focuses on the social evils of society existing in different countries. Television and social media highlights issues and keep people updated. Once the government takes stock of public opinion, it can proceed and ban the practices that are harmful to society. Issues such as poverty, child labor, sexual harassment against women, farmer suicides are effectively addressed by the media in India.
- NEGATIVE IMPACT OF MEDIA
Generally, negative impact of media, has been often highlighted. Importantly, negative images associated with television include laziness and a correlation to obesity, which happens when an individual consumes too much TV! Advertising is also implicated as a negative consequence, as depictions of women in advertising create unrealistic role models for young girls; even the depiction of children has been frowned upon. New mass media forms, including the internet and social media, have proved to be the most dangerous. While social media helps young people learn to network and navigate personal relationships, it also makes it easier to bully others due to the anonymity of the Web – and we constantly read stories about people – even celebs or politicians getting “trolled”.
- Manipulates public opinion
As a rule, media should provide neutral news, reporting objectively. But, taking a reality check, media has also wrecked social upheavals across the world, resulting in political turmoil. Very often today, media houses tend to have a certain bias – which may be due to allegiance to different parties, corporate houses and so on.
Manipulation of the psyche of the audience is a dangerous precedent and should be discouraged. But media is seen as a double-edged sword, because firstly, if used properly, it can be a boon for the society and on the other hand, it can also prove to be a bane!
- Promotes wrong impressions (for youth)
People tend to believe whatever is shown on TV and social websites. This shows the strong influence that media has on the young people. As a result, it is seen that they often fall into bad habits and even get addicted! Excessive adult content can also cause problems for young minds.
In movies, the violence in films has been in the spotlight. Violence can have immense negative effect on young people, often pushing them to react in similar ways. Violence, terrorism and crimes have increased today. Therefore, the role of media is very important. It is a source which is directly related to the moral values of the society.
Mass media can be manipulated in another important way – propaganda. Propaganda is often used by governments, institutions to persuade people into changing their views on certain issues. Through propaganda, we are only shown one side of the story. For example, when you consider Hitler and his regime, which overplayed the Aryan race and oppressed the Jewish community.
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