top-rated free essay

Mass media and public opinion

By EssaySwap Contributor Feb 01, 2008 598 Words
Mass Media and Public Opinion The generalized idea of every individual's personality is "I have my own thoughts." When this statement is examined closer, the question arises of what influences one to believe the things they do? Mass media plays an immense role in the form shaping of people's opinions and views through means of ownership, commercialization and news coverage.

The rich keep getting richer, including corporations. One way they do so is through owning and merging media outlets. Because single monopolies are illegal, five shared monopolies have conquered over fifty percent of the market. This benefits corporations immensely because the focus is only on the products they choose to advertise. It also gives them the key opportunity to define the importance and necessity of their product or idea. They create images and identities so one will evolve a desire to invest in their product. Seven corporations own all of the television networks, and of those, four produce ninety percent of all sitcoms and films. This exclusive possession of the market distorts social reality and gives misleading perceptions by fluffing the "truth" and never revealing a negative side.

Commercials are a primary focus in advertising. The idea of "selling the American Dream" and "buying is the answer to fulfillment" is what corporations aim for in distributing their goods. The way they go about catching one's attention is through emotional association between the viewer and the product. Reaching the consumer is a task in itself. Sex, happiness and upper class values are often used to do so, which becomes rather repetitive but seems to still work. No one needs ten pairs of jeans or a certain brand of computer. It's the idea of luxury and necessity portrayed in advertisements that effect the decisions of the consumer. Society has acquired the idea that "to live is to buy," everyone with a credit card debt beyond his or her life savings can partially blame this.

News broadcasting is another form of mass media. "If it bleeds, it leads" is a commonly used motto from critics. Violence overall is down in the United States but is up in the news. This is because it creates a sort of fear in the viewer and initiates a feeling of necessity for police, weapons, prisons, etc. Corporations get giant tax cuts and assistance from the government and therefore must support its actions in return. This unfortunate bond between monopolies and the government constructs a cocoon from reality. Revealing all of the necessary news to promote a more beneficial corporation, and instilling a satisfaction in the viewer while subjecting everything to censorship is what occurs. Anything too exposing is usually discovered and denied before it reaches majority of society. An example of this is the Iraqi war. As people watched the goings on in front of their television like a sitcom, the actual reality of the war was a supreme nightmare where the U.S. military were not heroes, nor saviors. Seventy percent of the bombs dropped on Iraq missed their targets and eighty percent killed were civilians. This incident doesn't support or promote our military and therefore was never really revealed.

Although society tends to form their own views on certain ideas and opinions, the influence provided by mass media is much stronger than traditionally believed. With the growth of shared monopolies taking over the media more and more, we can expect to become burrowed deeper into our cocoon unless we do something about it. This problem is not a priority of our society's to change but if we did, many important issues would be revealed more thoroughly without censorship.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Mass media

    ...1. The term mass media refers to the channels of communication (media) that exists to reach a large public audience. Mass media includes newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and more recently, the Internet. It informs people about events that they would otherwise know little about. Mass media communication is usually rapid, because the medi...

    Read More
  • Media Influences on Public Opinion

    ...Media Influences on Public Opinion: Cars and the Ideology of their Advertisements Advertising messages are everywhere. We see them in our morning newspapers, on the billboards we see on our way to work, and even in the magazines we read. They are impossible to miss and we are constantly influenced by their messages even when we do not realiz...

    Read More
  • Mass Media

    ...Mass Media Influences The mass media has a huge influence on everyone in society. The mass media reaches large number of the public. Generally, the big influences on us come from either the newspaper, television, radio or also the internet. The main purpose of the Mass Media is to provide us with information, entertainment and advertise...

    Read More
  • Mass Media and Technology

    ...1. Select a recent mass media technology, for example, the iPad, and explain what you think its future will hold as it relates to the stages of technological innovation. Since its release, the iPad has continued to grow steadily and paved the way for similar tablet devices from other companies. As we have seen with countless other devices, (...

    Read More
  • public opinion

    ...about public opinion through polling, which asks people their views and then compiles the results. Politicians and pundits in many countries rely on public opinion polls, and the media frequently reports on polls. Sampling a subset of the population allows pollsters, or the people who create and take the polls, to get a sense of overarching conc...

    Read More
  • Mass Media

    ...IMPACT OF MEDIA ON OUR ATTITUDES Introduction: The mass media, since being invented, have experienced many improvements, undergone numerous in variety from television, radio, newspaper to the internet. People watch televisions every day, read newspapers every hour, therefore, it goes without saying that mass media has the capability to ...

    Read More
  • MASS MEDIA

    ...The mass media has a great influence on people and especially on the younger generation. It plays an important role in shaping the opinions and positions of young people. The mass media has left inevitable effects on people, especially on teenagers and young generations. In this modern world, people find new ways to spend their leisu...

    Read More
  • Mass Media

    ...In the last five decades or so, the media and its influence on the societies, has grown exponentially with the advance of technology. First there was the telegraph and the post offices, then the radio, the newspaper, magazines, television and now the internet and the new media including palmtops, cell phones etc. There are positive and negative ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.