Mass Media and Its Importance.

7 08 2012

“Media” is one of the most useful essence of human life. We speak of mass media, of media revolution and of living in a media society. We are overloaded with all these letters, sounds and films, pixels, headlines, jingles. When we use the term media in this context we speak of print and electronic media, the so called mass media. Media affect our modern life in nearly every way. With a turn of a magazine page or an easy flip of the TV channel there at our disposal is a huge array of potential identity replicas. In contemporary society, identity is continuously unstable; it must be selected, constructed and created with reference to inevitable surrounding media traditions. There are a variety of mediums from which people can pick and access information from such as radio, TV, Internet, or even cell phones. Consequently, the media holds a very powerful capacity to set a social issue for mass audience to assume and talk about. Often, media do not intentionally set the agenda and resolve the pros and cons of that particular matter, so it repeatedly causes terrible consequences towards public as well as establishes ‘moral panics’, which can sometimes direct to mob violence. This writing will argue that identity is a social construction, managed primarily by the contemporary media and created in relation. An individual’s identity is formed by society in which media plays a predominant role. There is a daily interactive relationship between the subject and the object, that is, human agents and the conditions of their subsistence, respectively. Theories of the individual emphasize on differences between people and deem these differences as natural. Individuals are “constituted” as the possessors of positions throughout the effects of social relations. Alternatively, other theories of the topic concentrate on people’s general experiences in society through watching TV, surfing the internet or reading the newspaper. It is these general experiences that are the most significant way of distinguishing who we are. Thus, subject identity is a social construction, not an ordinary one.
When we connect with the media, we act and are acted upon, use and are used by the system. The following text deals with the importance of media to politics and society.
Main work of media is to inform the people. This relates to our form of government: In a democracy the “demos” should know what goes on in the world as it is the one, that decides. A modern democracy cannot work without the media which are an agent between public and state, the Latin word “medius” describes a status in the middle and that is exactly where we can find media: between two entities of communication. You could counter that nor the ancient Greeks for example needed the media in their democracy, and it was a really excellent type of democracy, when we look at its structure. Something like that is unimaginable for modern polity. Since we cannot organize a meeting between 50 million people to inform them orally, we need an instrument, the media. That is the precondition for political participation of the people.
Information as a main task of media sounds easy but in my opinion it is not that simple at all. Information is always a balancing act between objectivity and subjectivity. On the one hand media have to inform about all important happenings and keep the information as neutral as possible. On the other hand media should also be a platform for groups and organizations that are not mainstream. It should control and criticize not only political parties but also society. Concerning this control function it is important to have a variety of media horizontal and vertical, both different types of media such as TV and newspapers and different providers of information. Due to the control function we call media the forth force in a contemporary democracy.
Media have also an economic side. The German TV system consists of public and private stations. In my opinion it is necessary to have both, for both have advantages and disadvantages. Private TV stations can decide freely what they want to present. As they live on advertisement fees and earn the more the higher their ratings are, a market arises. That has the inescapable consequence of a reign of market’s rules: We are talking about the law of supply and demand. To reach good ratings private TV stations broadcast what people want, some problems can result from this point: There is the danger of delivering stereotypes or superficiality and indifference in general, TV becomes a dumping machine, as some people claim. “Infotainment” instead of information, “politainment” instead of policy. Besides there are public TV stations, and the main difference is that they are not really free, their program is created under a certain standard and the directors are from different groups such as political parties or labour unions.
But then they do not have to look on ratings and can really achieve media’s aim of political education. We need both, public TV stations not to become too superficial, and private ones to be aware of a state TV monopoly which might exist in dictatorships for example, a historic example is the Third Reich, where the Nazis’ most important propaganda machine was the “Rundfunk”, controlled by propaganda minister Goebbels in person; a contemporary example could be the situation in Tibet, where both internal and external media have no permission to film and no access at all respectively. Not for nothing one of the basic principles of democracy is freedom of press.
Media have two further important tasks: entertainment and creating topics of conversation. It sounds sarcastic but this is a main reason why people for example watch TV: to be able to have conversations with lots of people, even if they have no other similar hobbies. Furthermore it raises your status if you are informed, to be subscriber. Sociologists warn against a so called knowledge gap. This means that a gap develops between people who are informed and take part in cultural and perhaps intellectual life and people who are not.
Perhaps you could compare this knowledge gap to the often recited poverty gap. Mass media have big influence on our all day life, whether we want it or not. They set trends and spread them, they influence our way of thinking in an enormous way and they have a long arm in political issues.
These characteristics are more positive than negative as long as some conditions are fulfilled: first a wide diversity of media, second no oligopolies/monopolies and of course freedom of press, third fulfillment of media’s main tasks information, political education and control.
“In former times politicians made policy and the media reported on it. Today media makes policy and the politicians put it into execution.” In this manner mass media has many needs and importance too in people’s daily life:
Mass media has become an integral part of our lives and can not be separated from our life. Particularly for the urban people, the need for information is more important than ever. Our values and way of life in the society in this information era are strongly influenced by the mass media like newspapers, TV, radio, video, and the internet. Mass media’s influence on people’s lives is even greater and deeper than many kinds of state indoctrination or priest’s sermons from the pulpit in the church .The full range of unfiltered media is now available to most of us by using a parabola and satellite transmission. We can buy many kinds of videos freely. Access to the internet is easy and inexpensive almost everywhere. We can find many kinds of information using the internet technology..It is worth remembering that there have been three important revolutions in recent history, i.e. agrarian revolution in farming, industry revolution in mass production and information revolution that provides global access.
We are now in the midst of the information revolution. Due to continuing developments in media technology, we are flooded by a huge volume of non-stop information. Most of this information comes to us without a filter or censor. The information can be positive and negative. It is important for all, and particularly teenagers, to be able to look critically at the information and the sources and make positive choices. Having a critical attitude means that we can distinguish between positive and negative information and make choices that will give us information that will benefit us and our society.
Media is the most powerful tool of communication. It helps promoting the right things on right time. It gives a real exposure to the mass audience about what is right or wrong. Even though media is linked with spreading fake news like a fire, but on the safe side, it helps a lot to inform us about the realities as well.

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2 responses

4 08 2013
homepage

Amazing blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go
for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

28 11 2013
David

Amazing write up.

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