Media's Influence on an Open Society

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Michael Garcia
English 101
Prof. Toro

Essay #3

Douglas Cater, a journalist and practitioner of government power, once said, “The communications media in America carry on an enterprise more fundamental even than formal education to the well being of an open society.” In the last 50 years media influence has grown significantly with the advance of technology. There are so many ways in which to communicate including telephone, email, and television. Perhaps the most fundamental element of our education is through the use of TV, most notably with America’s children. Nowadays the most likely place to find an adolescent is in front of the TV screen rather than outside playing. The media’s influence on an open society is evident through the use of subliminal messaging in popular TV shows watched by teenagers.

Consider the time in which Douglas Cater made his statement on the media. It was in 1971 ( The Seventies was an unsettling decade with the Watergate scandal and the Pentagon Papers. News became more believable as people witnessed events on television, rather reading or hearing from radio or newspapers, as they occurred. The media realized the power of the media as an educational device to feed the young mind’s America, much like the Nazi’s did with the use of propaganda during Hitler’s reign. As a result, quality educational programming for children began in 1969, with the debut of PBS's Sesame Street. Children are the most obviously influenced and entertained age group in our society. Most children will pretty much believe anything you tell them because our minds are so open to learning in our younger years. Today we continue to use this technique of reaching out to America’s youth, and it proves to be an efficient way of education.

It comes at no surprise that producers and directors of the media include content that reflects government ideals and popular culture in popular teenage TV...
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