Media as an engine of change

Topics: Democracy, Mass media, Osama bin Laden Pages: 3 (789 words) Published: January 16, 2014
Why is Media regarded as an engine of change?

Mass media are means of communication that are used to reach the general public for the purpose of creating audiences for information, artistic expression, and other kinds of messages.

The Effects of Mass Media

Source of Cultural and Social Learning - Because of their central position as a source of cultural and social learning, the mass media are easily—and often—blamed for many of society's ills. Some researchers believe that the mass media shape the way people view the world, especially when people have little direct experience; others point to the media as providing role models—positive and negative—imitated by members of the audience. The portrayal of violence in the media is perhaps the most prominent issue, but other behavioral areas are of concern. These arguments tend to be based on the supposition that the experience of the content presented by contemporary mass media differs in some qualitative way from other material that people have been exposed to since the beginning of social communication. Attempts to hold mass-media corporations legally responsible for the criminal acts of the consumers of their products have failed, and a general consensus has been reached that people will have to continue to be responsible for their own behaviors in the age of mass media.

Shape Opinion and Belief - Media has the ability to shape public opinion in different ways depending on the content. Following the 9/11 terrorism, media coverage followed accusations by government authorities that pointed toward al Qaeda as the group that carried out the attack on the United States and Osama bin Laden as leader of that group. Those news reports on the attack and the aftermath shaped public opinion to support the war on terrorism. Other ways to influence public opinion include political advertising. Trends for and against political candidates are measured by public opinion polls. Candidates raise money to pay for...
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