Is Media American? Essay
The role of mass media has always been considered by many people as something very important in terms of setting their opinions and making their choices in their everyday lives. As a matter of fact, media has been deemed in this modern and highly technological age as something that plays a crucial role in molding the society. Regardless of gender, age and social standing, media has become every person’s partner in terms of behaving and making decisions as member of the society.
As a backgrounder, mass media constitutes the television, film, music, newspaper, advertising, development communication and research, magazines, and the Internet or also known as the worldwide web (Maya, date accessed 2008). Importantly, media has also been a key player in the political arena. According to Stanley Rothman (1992), media plays a great role for voters’ turnout, political campaigns, and other changes in the political system.
It is said that media serves as a bridge between policymakers and the general public because it is being reflected in media the opinions and reactions of the citizenry on policies or programs of the government. At the same time, media also becomes as an instrument for policymakers to reach out to the public and let their presence be felt to the society.
As a matter of fact, some people believe that mass media plays a main role in contemporary politics especially among countries that practice liberal democratic politics (Hardcastle, date accessed 2008). Accordingly, media has become the favorite venue for the formation of public opinion as it agitates proactive reactions from the citizenry. As a matter of fact, social protest groups have utilized so much the media to help raise awareness on the cause they are fighting as well as to mobilize other people to join their cause (Julia Corbett, 1998).
Mass media’s expansive influence and power over the people can be translated in this more realistic scenario – an average person usually turns on the television or read the newspaper upon waking up, turns on the radio or other music gadgets on his/her way to work, and upon reaching the office, make the necessary phone calls and check the Internet for any new electronic messages or online information that will aid him/her throughout the entire day’s necessary decision-makings.
It is in this simple example that one can construe how the general public rely much on media as a source of news, entertainment and knowledge (Rayuso, date accessed 2008). Media’s power can be traced back as early as during ancient Greece wherein the great philosophers and debaters at that time discussed certain issues and, afterwards, disseminate what transpired during this discussion to the rest of the society through words of mouth (Mass Media’s Influence, 2005).
Today, information need not to undergo such process during dissemination especially with the advent of modern technology and with the Internet. Furthermore, the existence of newspapers, magazines, radio and television makes it a lot easier to pass messages or information, not to mention to entertain the people as well. Meanwhile, with the vast usage of media in the society, there are also some people who argued that media’s huge influence has also brought adverse implications to the society. It was cited that media serves as a ground for unlikely images, stories or propaganda which
can adversely agitate a person’s emotions. Since media’s reach is unlimited, some information that are supposedly just for a certain group/market can also be accessed by groups that are not fit for such information or propaganda (Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillmann, 1994). This can be construed by various testimonials condemning media as a bad influence especially to the youth because it sends wrong signals by showing/presenting images and stories that are harmful to the healthy growth of the young people (The Power of Media, date accessed 2008).
Furthermore, because of media’s wide reach (especially the internet), it is quite difficult to monitor and decipher every propaganda material that comes out from the media. The power of media can also be viewed through the people who are manning it. It is with no doubt that media moguls possess a certain prestige and power as it is not a joke to run a media business because of the huge sum of money one has to invest just for it.
But along that line, media business can also gain enormous profits, more than enough to create one’s empire (Warren Agee, et al, 1997). Furthermore, what makes these people also powerful is the authority they have to decide what should come out to and should be hold back from the media consumers. In a global context, the country that houses the most prominent and influential media outfits is the United States of America. At present, it is America being considered by many as the one that has the most powerful and prestigious mass media.
The presence of prominent media outfits such as Warner Brothers, CNN, ESPN, etc. , and the celebration of highly-acclaimed film/TV awards such as the Oscar’s (Academy Awards) and Golden Globe is enough reason or gauge why America still rules the global media. With its highly modernize technology and well-trained media practitioners, America finds it easy and natural to provide the world with great films, music and television shows (Jeremy Tunstall, 1979).
Accordingly, the media nowadays is being dominated by five major companies, namely: Time Warner, VIACOM, Vivendi Universal, Walt Disney, and News Corp – all based in America (Rayuso, date accessed 2008). Meanwhile, having the powerful and influential media in the world also entails that America has the greater power over other nations in molding public opinion to certain global issues (Research Staff of National Vanguard Books, date accessed 2008).
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