Mass Media: Are We Easily Swayed or Do We Think Critically?

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* Are we easily swayed by the mass media or do we have the ability to think critically about what we see and hear?

Student no: S2848618

The word media originates from the word medium, meaning singular. The term media is plural. It refers to all forms of technological mediums used to promote, entertain, educate or inform the general public. (Turow, 2011) This mass communication is used by large companies and their share-holders to generate messages to the masses. (Turow, 2011) These mediums can be broken down into; The Print media, Electronic media, Audio-visual media and information technology. (Hayes & Prenzler, 2012)) The Post-modernist belief is that the public are unlikely to see past the illusion created by the media. Chibnall shows through carefully selected techniques how the media aims to sway, manipulate and illicit ideas amongst the masses. (Hayes & Prenzler, 2012) So if this is the case then can the audience really think critically about what they see and hear and what affects can the media then have on the public’s thoughts and feelings on crime? Below explores two different case studies which closely look at the relationship between media and the fear of crime.

Bessant & Watts, (2007) post-modernist theory states that the mass media is “simply an enormous factory for manufacturing illusions.”(p.447) In other words that the audience are essentially mindless drones that act as sponges and will soak up all fallacies and untruths. (Bessant & watts, 2007) This theory suggests that people are unlikely to think critically about what they see and hear because what is presented is generally just accepted at face value as truth and the manipulation to great. An example of this manipulation is seen in Germany’s propaganda and in particular Hitler’s speeches, in which “His propaganda experts created an environment in which both the individual and the group lost their identities and were fused into a...
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