Mass Media

Topics: Propaganda, Mass media, Nazi Germany Pages: 5 (1850 words) Published: August 24, 2013
What is mass media? Mass media is the broad use of media technologies intended to reach the large, scattered, heterogeneous and anonymous population via mass communication. Mass media can be categorized into print, broadcast, internet and outdoor media and it is presented by mediums such as newspapers, radio, television, websites, blogs as well as posters. Mass media commonly operates as a ‘one-to-many’ channel of communication used to disseminate information, educate, entertain and persuade the public. Most people, save for those in third world nations or some developing countries, obtain information about international, national and local affairs from the mass media. This gives the mass media a significant role to play in influencing public opinion, determining political agenda, governmental and institutional objectives. Mass media manipulation is the distortion of truth by the media, the suppression of information or arguments which potentially threaten the interests of partisans in control of, or in relation to the media. The issue of whether the mass media is manipulative has been a long standing one. I am of the opinion that the mass media, to a large extent is manipulative. This is because there have been numerous evidences of partisans’ attempt to transplant ideas with the aid of media’s influence on the public, and also the media’s unintentional ignorance leading to manipulation, which are sufficient to convince me of its manipulative nature. In this essay, I will go on to evaluate these evidences and prove how they point to media manipulation resulted by various parties. Over the course of history, the mass media has been associated time and again with propagandistic causes around the world. The Nazi Propaganda of the 1930s can be argued as a turning point in history whereby the Nazis pioneered the use of radio as a tool of genocide. Extreme anti-Semitism messages by Hitler and the Nazis were transmitted through the broadcast media; the radio was highly regarded as a propaganda machine by the Nazi Germany. At that time, radios found in households nationwide were limited in range to prevent loyal citizens from considering other viewpoints in foreign broadcasts. In addition, radio broadcasts were also played over loudspeakers in public places and workplaces, in repetitive attempts to integrate anti-Semitism beliefs into people’s lives. Other modes of mass media were also involved in the Nazi Propaganda. In 1938, Julius Streicher published a storybook ‘Der Giftpilz’ (The Poisonous Mushroom) which aimed to educate children about the Jews. The book illustrated anti-Semitic propaganda and stated that “The following tales tell the truth about the Jewish poison mushroom. They show the many shapes the Jew assumes. They show the depravity and baseness of the Jewish race. They show the Jew for what he really is: The Devil in human form.” Such a false presentation of the Jews through mass media manipulates and indoctrinates young minds of the nation. Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels said that if “You repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” The strategy employed by the Nazi Party is hence one which is repetitive and manipulative. Over time, the mass media (then being controlled by the Nazis) convinces people that the information which they are exposed to is the truth. On top of the Nazi Propaganda, the mass media in North Korea also makes use of selective broadcasting to achieve its propagandistic aims. Radio and television sets in North Korea are pre-tuned to government stations which pump out a steady stream of propaganda. All press outlets and broadcasters are under direct state control, and serve up a menu of flattering reports about Kim Jong-il and his daily agenda. These reports are meant to instill a sense of unfaltering loyalty and pride among North Koreans and prevent the rise of rebellion by exerting extreme influences on the people through the mass media. Furthermore, North Korea’s...
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