Archive for the ‘opinion’ Tag

Introduction to Mass Media Influence   1 comment

My friend Joe Attanasio suggested that my next big theme should be how media influences the whole of society (morality, fashion, racism, politics, spending habits, economics, parenting, etc) and how we can learn to think for ourselves and disseminate truth from hpe and lies.”

Wow, what a great topic and one that I am actually qualified to discuss. Often when I go researching a topic, my only expertise comes from reading and researching, but I was a journalism major in college and I wrote my Masters on a similar subject. Not that I think you need a degree to express an opinion or even to become an expert on a subject, but I actually do have a degree in this stuff.

The influence of mass media on society has grown exponentially with the advance of technology over the last half millennia.

It’s really hard for us today to imagine a time when news was the town crier who got it from the traveling minstrel, who got it from a castle bard, who maybe overheard it being discussed by his lord and another over cups of mead. We are so saturated in media that we struggle to conceive of a time when there were few books, no newspapers, magazines, photography, recordings, films, radio, television, the Internet or social media.

Today, our whole lives and the lives of almost everyone in the developed and many of the developing nations depend information and communication to keep us moving through daily activities like work, education, health care, leisure activities, entertainment, traveling, personal relationships, and shopping.

A lot of people I know wake up, check the cellphone for messages and notifications, look at the TV or newspaper for news, commute to work listening to the radio where they read emails, take meetings and makes phone calls, eat meals recommended on websites, and make decisions based on the information that we gather from those mass media and interpersonal media sources.

What does it matter?

We are so saturated in media that we may not even be aware that the values we hold, the beliefs we espouse and the decision we make are based on assumptions and information largely gathered from media sources rather than on our own experiences and what we know for a fact.

Think about it. We rely on mass media for the current news and facts about what is important. We trust the media as an authority for news, information, education and entertainment. Considering that powerful influence, then, we should know how it really works.

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