December 5, 2011
Role of Mass Media
With the ever changing world of technology, the media has evolved into a vast global phenomenon and has revolutionized the way people receive their information. News updates are received instantaneous through the internet, which may now be accessed through the innovative smart phones. The television news media networks have each developed multiple channels through modernization of cable and satellite television. Local and world news is being televised 24 hours a day with up to the minute breaking news. Information exchange is at the hands of the media, and the media has the power to manipulate the audience as they wish. The media has evolved and developed the power to severely impact the way American people view political topics and day-to-day issues. The role of the mass media has become a controversial topic and many experts and critics have taken turns debating and analyzing how the media eases or hinders government and political influences. Mass media is the production and distribution of all sorts of knowledge, information and entertainment intended for delivery to a mass audience who desire availability of it. The most common mediums of information distribution include radio broadcast, newspaper, television and the World Wide Web. The television has primarily been the preferred medium due to its proven effectiveness in the past. Presidential candidates have used television broadcast for decades to inform the public of their views through commercials and televised debates. Since WWII, Presidents in office have also used it to address the nation of important current events. Some presidential candidates and political parties have used the media to expose the opposite party in political scandals with the hopes of gaining an upper hand such as the case with presidential candidate, Herman Cain. The television media can also provide a favorable advantage to political candidates since it gives them an opportunity to demonstrate charm, charisma and persona to the viewing public. Such was the case with Ronal Regan, President from 1981 until 1989 who jumped on the presidential race with no experience in Washington, an ex-actor, an ex-professional after dinner speaker. He had no direct experience of national government before becoming President, and he had no experience of international politics." His use of photo opportunities, stage managed presentations and speeches broadcast by the media greatly enhanced his popularity and his ability to govern. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a more recent example of a similar story. Although the internet is a rising medium of information, the television remains the preferred means since people are more entice to visuals representation than reading material. Technology has also made it possible for the media to bring global conflicts to peoples home. Vietnam was the first time that people were able to view that dramatic affects of war from the television set in their own homes. Such broadcasting has also been viewed in recent conflicts such as dessert storm, and operation Iraqi Freedom. Maxwell McCombs from the University of Texas in Austin wrote, “The Agenda Setting Role of the Mass Media” where he explains his opinion of the roll of the Mass Media. McCombs believes that what we know about the world is largely based on what the media decides to tell us. The media then can be credited for opinion forming or opinion reinforcing. The media has the ability of being selective on what they broadcast and publish, and some broadcasting channels, programs or writers are known to be bias in nature and are sometimes accused of propaganda; all factors that contribute to the development of the public’s opinion. The ease of media influence has continuous to grow through use of mobile smart phones. The internet has been a steady...