Essay On Mass Media

500 words essay on mass media.

All kinds of different tools which come in use to help in distributing and circulating information and entertainment to the public come under the term of mass media. In other words, everything including radio, newspapers , cable, television and theatre are parts of mass media. These tools include exchanging opinions and public involvement. Through essay on mass media, we will go through it in detail.

essay on mass media

Introduction to Mass Media

In today’s world, mass media embraces internet , cell phones, electronic mail, computers, pagers and satellites. All these new additions function as transmitting information from a single source to multiple receivers.

In other words, they are interactive and work on the person to person formula. Thus, it revolves around the masses i.e. the people. It is true that radio, television, press and cinema are in the spotlight when we talk about mass media.

Nonetheless, the role of pamphlets, books, magazines, posters, billboards, and more also have equal importance if not less. Moreover, the reach of these tools extends to a huge amount of masses living all over the country.

Television, cinema, radio and press are comparatively expensive forms of media which private financial institutions or the Government runs. These tools centre on the idea of mass production and mass distribution.

Therefore, newspapers, television and radio cater to the needs of the mass audience and accommodates their taste. As a result, it will not always be refined or sophisticated. In other words, it displays popular culture.

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The Function of Mass Media

The main function of mass media is to reach out to the masses and provide them with information. In addition to that, it also operates to analyze and observe our surroundings and provide information in the form of news accordingly.

As a result, the masses get constantly updated about not just their own surroundings but also around the world. This way mass media spreads and interprets information. For instance, weather forecasts equip people and farmers to plan ahead.

Similarly, fishermen get updates about the tidal activities from the news. In addition to this, mass media also strives to keep the fabric of our social heritage intact which showcasing our customs, myths and civilization.

Another major product of mass media is advertising. This way people learn about the goods and services in the market. It also spreads social awareness. For instance, anti-smoking campaign, women empowerment, green earth clean earth and more.

Most importantly, with the numerous mediums available in multiple languages, the masses get entertainment in their own language easily. Millions of people get to access a cheap source of relaxation and pass their time. In fact, it also helps to transport momentarily from our ordinary lives to a dream world. Thus, it remains the undisputed leader in reaching out to the masses.

Conclusion of Essay on Mass Media

All in all, while it is an effective tool, we must also keep a check on its consumption. In other words, it has the power to create and destroy. Nonetheless, it is a medium which can bring about a change in the masses. Thus, everyone must utilize and consume it properly.

FAQ on Essay on Mass Media

Question 1: Why is mass media important?

Answer 1: Mass media is essential as it informs, educates and entertains the public. Moreover, it also influences the way we look at the world. In other words, it helps in organizing public opinion.

Question 2: How does mass media affect our lives?

Answer 2: Mass media affects many aspects of human life, which range from the way we vote to our individual views and beliefs. Most importantly, it also helps in debunking false information.

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Mass Media Essay

500+ words mass media essay.

The current age is termed the era of information. So, mass media is used to spread and share information. Mass media has become more potent after the advancement of digital technology. It is the most influential source of various ideas, news, and opinions. It also provides information about the happenings around the world.

Mass media means tools used in distributing and circulating information and entertainment to the masses. It includes television, the internet, radio, newspaper, and theatre. These modes of communication provide a platform to exchange opinions and public involvement.

In this essay on mass media, we will discuss the function of mass media and its importance to the world.

Introduction to Mass Media

In our society, mass media plays a crucial role. Mass media is a medium that brings news, entertainment, and cultural and educational programs to millions of homes. Mass media is classified into two categories: Print media and electronic media. Print media includes journals, newspapers, magazines, etc., and electronic media consists of the internet, TV, movies, etc. Some primary resources through which we get information are reading newspapers and magazines, listening to the radio and watching TV.

Radio, television, cinema and press are expensive forms of media run by private or government-run institutions. The main focus of these institutions is the idea of mass production and mass distribution. Among all the mass media tools, TV is the most popular. We have many channels to watch various shows, films, sports, plays, and educational and cultural programs.

Compared to other mass media tools, the information published in the newspapers is different. It publishes information about the latest happenings nationally and internationally. Some magazines and newspapers cover news, events, and reports on sports, cultural life, education, fashion, and entertainment for youth.

By watching TV or listening to the radio, you can upgrade your history, literature, and cultural knowledge and even learn foreign languages. Mass media includes cell phones, the internet, computers, pagers, emails, and satellites in today’s world. Information can be sent from a single source to multiple receivers through these mediums.

Other mass media tools such as books, magazines, pamphlets, books, billboards, etc., also have equal significance as the reach of these mediums extends to a massive number of masses.

The Function of Mass Media

Information.

One of the primary functions of mass media is the dissemination of information. Mass media circulates information and opinions about various events and situations to mass audiences. The information we get through multiple mediums of mass media is subjective, objective, secondary and primary. As an audience, we get informative news about the happenings worldwide via mass media. Media broadcast information on TV, radio, newspapers or magazines. Moreover, advertisements are also mainly for information purposes.

Entertainment

The most apparent function of mass media is entertainment. It is a performance that pleases people by making leisure time more enjoyable. Magazines and newspapers, television, radio, and other online mediums offer serials, stories, films, and comics to entertain audiences. Other instances include news, sports, columns, art and fashion. Infotainment means the fusion of entertainment and information, and edutainment is education and fun programs.

Socialisation

Socialisation means the transmission of culture and media works as reflectors of society. Socialisation is a process by which people behave in acceptable ways in their culture or society. Through this process, we learn how to become members of our community or human society in a greater sense. People who read a newspaper or watch television know how people react to matters and what norms and values they perceive on particular events, issues, or situations.

The link between the government and the people

The government utilises the power of mass media to explain, inform, and support its policies and programs.

Conclusion of Essay on Mass Media

All in all, while it is an effective tool, we must also check its consumption. In other words, it has the power to create and destroy. Nonetheless, it is a medium that can bring about a change in the masses. Thus, everyone must utilise and consume it properly.

From our BYJU’S website, students can also access CBSE Essays related to different topics. It will help students to get good marks in their exams.

Frequently asked Questions on Mass media Essay

Why is mass media important.

Mass media provides information, education and also entertainment. Thus it is considered important and a quick media to share any type of content.

What are two main categories of mass media?

Print media and electronic media are the two main mass media categories. All the other types of media mostly come under these two broad sections.

What types of information can one obtain from such mass media?

History, literature, kowledge on cultural and foreign language, etc are some of the examples that can be obtained from mass media.

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Essay on Mass Media

Students are often asked to write an essay on Mass Media in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Mass Media

Introduction.

Mass media refers to various platforms that communicate and distribute information to a large number of people. These include television, radio, newspapers, and the internet.

Role of Mass Media

Mass media plays a crucial role in society. It educates, entertains, and informs people. It also influences public opinion and trends.

Types of Mass Media

There are traditional forms like print media (newspapers, magazines) and broadcast media (TV, radio). The internet is a modern form, including social media, blogs, and news websites.

In conclusion, mass media is a powerful tool that can shape society. It is vital to use it responsibly for the benefit of all.

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250 Words Essay on Mass Media

Introduction to mass media.

Mass media refers to the diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. It encompasses various forms of communication tools such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. The power of mass media lies in its ability to disseminate information, influence public opinion, and shape societal norms.

The Evolution of Mass Media

The journey of mass media began with print media, with the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. The advent of electronic media, such as radio and television, in the 20th century, revolutionized the way information was shared. In the digital age, the internet has further transformed mass media, allowing for instantaneous global communication and interactivity.

Impact of Mass Media on Society

Mass media plays a pivotal role in shaping public opinion and culture. It has the power to influence political discourse, societal norms, and individual behavior. However, it can also propagate misinformation, leading to public confusion and mistrust. Hence, the ethical use of mass media is crucial.

The Future of Mass Media

The future of mass media lies in its convergence with digital technology. With the emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning, mass media is likely to become even more personalized and interactive. However, this also raises concerns about privacy and the potential manipulation of information.

In conclusion, mass media, as a powerful tool of communication, has a profound impact on society. Its evolution and future developments pose both opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed responsibly.

500 Words Essay on Mass Media

Mass media, an essential component of modern society, plays a pivotal role in shaping public opinion and disseminating information. It includes various platforms such as newspapers, radio, television, and the internet, which collectively serve as a mirror reflecting societal norms, values, and transformations.

The Role of Mass Media

Mass media is not merely an information-dissemination tool; it is a potent force in shaping public opinion and culture. It serves as a platform for debate, influencing political discourse and social issues. It has the power to set the agenda for public discourse, highlighting certain issues while downplaying others, thereby influencing what the public perceives as significant.

Democratization of Information

The advent of the internet and digital platforms has democratized information access, transforming mass media’s role. Previously, media was a one-way communication channel, with the public as passive consumers. However, the internet has made the public active participants, enabling them to generate, share, and react to content. This shift has democratized media, giving voice to previously unheard sections of society.

Mass Media and Social Change

Mass media has the potential to drive social change by bringing social issues to the forefront. It can expose injustices, spark debates, and drive collective action. For instance, the #MeToo movement gained momentum through social media, leading to significant shifts in societal attitudes towards sexual harassment.

The Dark Side of Mass Media

However, the power of mass media can also be misused, leading to negative societal impacts. The proliferation of fake news and misinformation, especially on social media platforms, is a significant concern. Moreover, media platforms can be used to spread hate speech, incite violence, or manipulate public opinion, as seen in various instances globally.

The Need for Media Literacy

Given mass media’s influence, media literacy is crucial. It involves the ability to critically analyze media content, discerning between credible information and misinformation. Media literacy education can empower individuals, enabling them to make informed decisions and participate effectively in the digital age.

In conclusion, mass media is a double-edged sword with the power to shape society positively or negatively. As we navigate this digital age, it is crucial to harness its potential for societal good, while mitigating its negative impacts. This balancing act requires critical media literacy, stringent regulations, and active participation from all stakeholders. The future of mass media is not just about technological advancements, but also about the ethical and responsible use of these powerful platforms.

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Mass Media Essay For Students in English

mass media essay 150 words

Table of Contents

Mass Media Essay: Mass media encompasses a diverse array of communication channels, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. Its significance lies in its role as a powerful tool for informing, entertaining, and influencing society on a global scale. Mass media shapes public opinion, disseminates information, and reflects and shapes cultural norms and values. Students might find writing an essay on mass media highlighting its significance and impact a bit difficult. Here we are with this article to help you with essay writing on this topic. In this article, we have provided sample essays of different lengths, ranging from 100 to 500 words on the realm of mass media and its multifaceted influence.

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Long and Short Mass Media Essays

Short essay on mass media of 100 words.

Mass media plays a significant role in today’s society. It refers to a wide range of communication platforms, such as television, radio, newspapers, and the internet, that reach a large audience. The primary purpose of mass media is to inform, entertain, and persuade. It keeps us updated with current events, broadcasts various forms of entertainment, and presents different perspectives on important issues.

While mass media can be a powerful tool for democracy and education, it is crucial to consume media critically and discerningly to avoid misinformation and manipulation. In a world driven by technology and constant connectivity, it is essential for high school students to be media literate and aware of the influence of mass media.

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Mass Media Essay of 250 Words

Mass media encompasses a wide range of communication channels that have become an integral part of our daily lives. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the internet collectively form the backbone of mass media. Its primary purpose is to reach a large audience and convey information, news, entertainment, and advertisements.

One of the most significant roles of mass media is to inform the public. News outlets, both traditional and digital, deliver news from around the world, keeping people updated on current events, politics, science, and culture. In this way, mass media acts as a bridge between people and the world.

Additionally, mass media influences public opinion. It shapes our perceptions and beliefs, often by highlighting certain issues and downplaying others. Media has the power to set agendas, influence social norms, and even impact political decisions.

media also serves as a source of entertainment. Television programs, movies, music, and online content provide an escape from daily routines and offer a variety of choices to suit diverse tastes.

In the digital age, social media platforms have gained immense popularity, allowing individuals to become content creators and share their perspectives with a global audience. This democratization of media has transformed the way information is disseminated and has given rise to citizen journalism.

In conclusion, mass media is a powerful force that shapes our worldviews, informs us, entertains us, and influences our choices. Its impact is widespread and profound, making it a central aspect of modern society.

Short Essay on Mass Media of 300 Words

Mass media is an integral part of modern society, encompassing various communication channels that reach large audiences simultaneously. These channels include television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the internet, and they serve multiple functions, from informing and educating to entertaining and influencing.

One of the primary functions of mass media is to inform the public. News outlets, both traditional and digital, deliver news from around the world, providing information on current events, politics, science, and culture. Mass media acts as a vital link between individuals and the broader world, helping people stay informed and connected.

In addition to providing information, mass media shapes public opinion. It influences our perceptions and beliefs by highlighting certain issues, framing narratives, and emphasizing specific perspectives. The media’s ability to set agendas and sway public sentiment makes it a potent tool in shaping society.

Mass media is also a significant source of entertainment. Television programs, movies, music, online videos, and gaming provide a wide range of choices to cater to diverse tastes. These forms of entertainment offer relaxation and an escape from the demands of daily life.

The digital age has brought about a transformation in the media landscape, with the rise of social media platforms. Social media allows individuals to become content creators and share their viewpoints with a global audience. It has empowered citizen journalism and facilitated real-time communication and activism.

However, it’s important to recognize that mass media can also have drawbacks, such as sensationalism, bias, and the spread of misinformation. In this digital era, discernment and critical thinking are crucial when consuming media.

In conclusion, mass media is a multifaceted phenomenon that serves as a cornerstone of contemporary society. It informs, influences, entertains, and connects us, making it an essential aspect of our daily lives.

Long Essay on Mass Media of 500 Words

Mass media refers to various means of communication that reach a wide audience, such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and social media platforms. It plays a significant role in shaping our society and influencing our thoughts, opinions, and behaviors. In this essay, we will discuss the importance of mass media, its impact on society, and the responsibility it carries.

Firstly, mass media is essential for disseminating information to the public. It acts as a bridge between the people and the world, providing us with news and updates on important events happening locally and globally. Whether it is political affairs, economic developments, or social issues, mass media serves as a platform to educate and inform the public. It allows us to stay connected and aware of what is happening around us, which is crucial for active participation in society.

Secondly, mass media has a profound influence on society and culture. It has the power to shape public opinion, attitudes, and behaviors. Through its various mediums, it can highlight certain issues, set agendas, and create trends. For instance, television shows and movies significantly impact fashion, lifestyle choices, and societal norms. Advertisements also play a crucial role in influencing consumer behavior and promoting certain products and services. Therefore, media has the ability to both reflect and shape the values and ideals of a society.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. Mass media carries the responsibility of ensuring unbiased and accurate reporting. Unfortunately, media bias and misinformation are pressing concerns. Certain media outlets may have hidden agendas or political affiliations, which can lead to skewed reporting and the spread of misinformation. This can have severe consequences, such as the dissemination of false news, increased polarization, and the erosion of public trust. In order to uphold its credibility, the mass media needs to prioritize balanced reporting and fact-checking.

Furthermore, the mass media can be a double-edged sword when it comes to content consumption. On one hand, it provides a platform for diverse voices and perspectives, promoting inclusivity and democracy. It allows marginalized communities and underrepresented individuals to have their stories heard. On the other hand, mass media can also perpetuate stereotypes, reinforce existing biases, and contribute to the digital divide. It is crucial for users to critically analyze the content they consume and actively seek out diverse sources to ensure a well-rounded understanding of the world.

In conclusion, mass media plays a crucial role in society, acting as a source of information, a shaper of culture, and a platform for public discourse. However, it also carries immense responsibility in terms of accurate reporting, avoidance of biases, and the promotion of diverse voices. As consumers of media, it is vital for us to critically analyze the content we consume and actively participate in shaping the role that mass media plays in our lives. By doing so, we can ensure that the mass media continues to be a force for positive change and progress in our society.

FAQs on Mass Media Essay

What is mass media.

Mass media refers to various communication channels, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the internet, designed to reach a large audience simultaneously.

How does mass media influence society?

Mass media influences society by shaping public opinion, disseminating information, providing entertainment, setting agendas, and impacting cultural norms and behaviors.

What are the types of mass media?

The types of mass media include television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms such as websites and social media.

How does mass media impact politics?

Mass media plays a significant role in politics by covering elections, political campaigns, and government policies. It can influence voter opinions and public perception of political figures.

What is the role of social media in mass media?

Social media is a subset of mass media that empowers individuals to create and share content. It has revolutionized communication, enabling real-time interactions and citizen journalism.

How does mass media affect our daily lives?

Mass media informs us about current events, entertains us with various content, and shapes our worldview, influencing our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

What is the impact of mass media on culture?

Mass media reflects and influences cultural trends, including fashion, music, art, and social norms. It can contribute to the globalization of culture.

Is mass media always reliable?

Mass media can vary in reliability. It's essential to critically evaluate sources and cross-check information to ensure accuracy and avoid misinformation.

What is the future of mass media in the digital age?

Mass media is evolving in the digital age, with increasing reliance on online platforms and user-generated content. The future includes more interactive and personalized media experiences.

What is a short note on mass media?

Mass media encompasses various communication channels that reach a broad audience, including television, radio, newspapers, and the internet, serving as a vital source of information, entertainment, and influence.

What is the main importance of mass media?

The main importance of mass media lies in its ability to shape public opinion, disseminate information, provide a platform for free expression, and facilitate communication on a global scale, making it a cornerstone of modern society.

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Essay on Mass Media 1000+ Words

Mass media plays a significant role in our lives, shaping the way we receive information, interact with the world, and make decisions. In this essay, we will explore the importance of mass media, its impact on society, and how it has become an integral part of our daily lives.

Information Dissemination

Mass media serves as a powerful tool for information dissemination. It delivers news, updates, and knowledge to people worldwide. Statistics show that television, newspapers, and online platforms are primary sources of information for a vast majority of the population.

Education and Awareness

Mass media is an essential educational resource. It provides opportunities for learning, raising awareness, and sharing knowledge. Educational programs, documentaries, and online courses are readily accessible through various media channels.

Shaping Public Opinion

Mass media influences public opinion and helps shape our understanding of current events and issues. Expert opinions and analysis provided by journalists and experts guide our perception of the world. Media outlets often serve as watchdogs, holding governments and institutions accountable.

Entertainment and Culture

Mass media offers a wide range of entertainment, from movies and television shows to music and literature. It reflects and shapes our culture, showcasing different perspectives and creative expressions. Experts highlight the role of media in preserving and promoting cultural heritage.

Social Connection

In an increasingly digital world, mass media facilitates social connection. Social media platforms, for instance, allow people to connect, share experiences, and build communities. Statistics indicate that billions of people use social media to stay connected with friends and family.

Advertising and Consumerism

Advertising is a significant aspect of mass media. It influences consumer choices, promotes products and services, and drives the economy. Expert opinions emphasize the role of advertising in shaping consumer behavior and driving economic growth.

Political Influence

Mass media plays a critical role in politics. It informs citizens about government actions, elections, and policy decisions. Media outlets provide a platform for political discourse and debates. Statistics reveal that many voters rely on media coverage to make informed political decisions.

Public Health and Awareness

Mass media contributes to public health by disseminating information about health risks, medical breakthroughs, and healthy lifestyles. It raises awareness about epidemics, emergencies, and vaccination campaigns. Experts stress the role of the media in promoting public health initiatives.

Environmental Awareness

Mass media helps raise awareness about environmental issues and climate change. Documentaries, news reports, and educational programs inform the public about environmental challenges and encourage sustainable practices. Statistics show that media coverage influences public support for environmental policies.

Adaptation and Evolution

Mass media continues to adapt and evolve with technological advancements. It has transitioned from traditional forms like newspapers and television to digital platforms, enabling real-time information sharing and global connectivity. Expert opinions predict ongoing changes and innovations in the media landscape.

Conclusion of Essay on Mass Media

In conclusion, mass media is an integral part of our modern world, influencing how we receive information, make decisions, and connect with one another. It serves as a valuable source of information, education, and entertainment. Mass media shapes public opinion, reflects our culture, and plays a significant role in politics, advertising, and public health.

As a fifth-grader, you can start by using mass media responsibly and critically evaluating the information you encounter. Be aware of the impact it can have on your understanding of the world and the choices you make. Mass media is a powerful tool, and by using it wisely, you can become a more informed and responsible consumer of information in our media-driven society.

Also Check: List of 500+ Topics for Writing Essay

English Compositions

Short Essay on Power of Media [100, 200, 400 Words] With PDF

In today’s lesson, you will learn how you can write short essays on ‘Power of Media.’ There will be three different sets of short essays on the same topic covering different word limits. 

Feature image of Short Essay on Power of Media

Short Essay on Power of Media in 100 Words

The term ‘’media’’ is derived from the word ‘’medium’’, which refers to the way through which information is transferred from one person to another. Media as the collection of several types of equipment enable the spreading of news and messages far and wide.

Several modes of communication like television, telephone, radio, internet, newspaper, advertisements, allow us to impart knowledge about important issues in our life. Media is extremely powerful in its speed of spreading accurate information. At any specific time, we observe how media personals work at several places and give us the news most required. Any scandal, rumour, facts,  everything is noted by the media and explained to us in due course. 

Short Essay on Power of Media in 200 Words

Media is the way of mass communication and entertainment. It is the process through which the masses of people are communicated and united under one single piece of information. Media or the several forms of information medium fall under the group of information technology.

All of them act together to deliver error-free news and information so that democracy is not disturbed by fake information. Media includes newspapers, magazines, telephone, television, internet, advertisement, emails, messages, cinemas, and others. Media acts through both audio and visual effects to create the maximum effect. 

The biggest power of media lies in its potential to persuade people to take necessary action. When we hear a newsreader dictating the news, then the listeners are swayed by the intonation of the reader. The person speaks in order to claim the truthfulness of the piece of information. In the exact same manner, a newspaper is organized to direct the opinions of the readers in a certain course.

Advertisements are the most powerful ways of media. We are highly influenced by it and inspired to take ready actions that are necessary. At present, the internet is the media that share all news with the greatest speed. 

Short Essay on Power of Media in 400 Words

The influence of media in our lives is of immense importance. It not only imparts us news and pieces of information but is the biggest source of entertainment. Cinema and music as parts of media give us pure joy and happiness, which also enables us to entertain ourselves. Yet the majority of the media is concentrated on gathering correct information and delivering it to the country.

Media includes newspapers, radio, T.V., telephone, internet, advertisements, placards and posters, and others. All these are our constant companions that allow us to form our opinions on different issues regarding life, society, and country. 

Media is powerful in its mode of persuasion. The biggest capacity of any media equipment is that it can easily manipulate the opinion of people and allow them to form a specific sort of perspective. The best weapon in this regard is the newspaper. The way a newspaper is arranged and the headlines are prepared, makes this persuasion quite easy. The visual and literal aspects of a newspaper are the sole power of media. The same goes for the advertisements as well.

The visual and written content of advertisements equally influences us to buy a product or service. For the newsreaders, their intonation is the power. The way they narrate a news story enables listeners to realize the significance of the news. The diction of a newsreader is important in this regard that helps to grab the attention of the people. Media is the potential way to unite the country under one principle and equal opinion. The issue lies with the efficiency of the journalist.

He risks every danger so as to collect authentic news for the benefit of mankind. The efficiency of the strength of media lies at every stratum of collecting the information and converting it into the news. Be it the print media or the audio method, all require this adept nature to strongly create a safe environment for news channels.

Media is both effective and effective. In this regard, the nature of the internet can be considered. Even in the most difficult circumstances internet becomes the den of evil and fake news. It creates unnecessary commotion among innocent folks and is equally responsible for disrupting the peace and stability of the nation.

The capacity to create public opinion is used for dangerous purposes and the power of media is wasted for the benefit of evil people. It is thus the knowledge of the people to not accept all news blindly. Media is effective in spreading the news within the shortest period. However, careful utilization of this power is expected.

Hopefully, after going through this session, you have a  holistic idea about writing short essays on the topic ‘Power of Media.’ I have written these essays in very simple words for a better understanding of all kinds of students. Kindly comment down your doubts, if you still have any. 

Keep browsing our website to read more such short essays on various important topics. And don’t forget to join us on Telegram to get all the latest updates. Thank you. 

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Beyond Intractability

Knowledge Base Masthead

The Hyper-Polarization Challenge to the Conflict Resolution Field: A Joint BI/CRQ Discussion BI and the Conflict Resolution Quarterly invite you to participate in an online exploration of what those with conflict and peacebuilding expertise can do to help defend liberal democracies and encourage them live up to their ideals.

Follow BI and the Hyper-Polarization Discussion on BI's New Substack Newsletter .

Hyper-Polarization, COVID, Racism, and the Constructive Conflict Initiative Read about (and contribute to) the  Constructive Conflict Initiative  and its associated Blog —our effort to assemble what we collectively know about how to move beyond our hyperpolarized politics and start solving society's problems. 

By Jennifer Akin  and Heidi Burgess

Original Publication (of Jennifer Akin's essay): March 2005. 

Current Implications and new material was added by Heidi Burgess in June 2020.

Current Implications

Jennifer Akin wrote this article fifteen years ago, and while most of what it said then is still very much true, it is astonishing, to me at least, how much these trends have been accelerated with the new forms of media (particularly social media) that didn't exist when this essay was first written. Since we no longer are in contact with the author (who was a graduate student working with us in 2005), I (Heidi Burgess) have taken the liberty of updating this essay by adding additional material about what has happened in the period 2005-2020. More...

"Mass media" is a deceptively simple term encompassing a countless array of institutions and individuals who differ in purpose, scope, method, and cultural context. Mass media include all forms of information communicated to large groups of people, from a handmade sign to an international news network. There is no standard for how large the audience needs to be before communication becomes "mass" communication. There are also no constraints on the type of information being presented. A car advertisement, a fake social media post coming from Russia, and a U.N. resolution are all examples of mass media.

Because "media" is such a broad term, it will be helpful in this discussion to focus on a limited definition. In general usage, the term has been taken to refer to only "the group of corporate entities, publishers, journalists, and others who constitute the communications industry and profession." This definition includes both the entertainment and news industries. Another common term, especially in talking about conflict, is "news media." News media include only the news industry. It is often used interchangeably with "the press" or the group of people who write and report the news.

I n 2020, this definition of mass media is clearly too narrow.  Social media--including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and the like -- allows anyone in the world to post pretty much anything they want--true or false--with very little oversight or censorship.  This has resulted in the widespread use of "bots"--computers--that generate millions of fake, almost always inflammatory, stories which they widely post on these social media apps, masquarading as real people, even as known friends of real people.  This is thought to significantly sway public opinion toward the extremes--in the U.S., for example, making conservatives think that liberals are far worse than they really are, and making liberals think the opposite. The result is increasing polarization of both the electorate and our decision makers, making our political processes largely dysfunctional.

At the same time, in the U.S., the Trump administration has demonized the legitimate news media, calling any story that criticizes him, and others, "fake news," and declaring journalists to be "enemies of the people."  This has led his followers to rely on media that is friendly to Trump--Fox News and social media, and to distrust anything they get from traditional news outlets. It has also led to numerous physical attacks on journalists.  Most recently, this happened on several occassions during the May-June 2020 protests about police brutality following the death of George Floyd. 

Attacking journalists is not limited to the United States of course.  Perhaps the most high-profile recent example was the Saudi Arabian murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post reporter and Saudi dissident, who was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Instanbul in 2018. But journalists have been at risk world wide for a long time. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 1373 Journalists have been killed between 1992 and 2020, all over the world. 

So being a journalist is a dangerous business, and it seems to be getting more dangerous all the time.

Going back to what Jennifer Akin wrote in 2005, the distinction between news and entertainment can at times be fuzzy, but news is technically facts and interpretation of facts, including editorial opinions, expressed by journalism professionals. Which facts are included, how they are reported, how much interpretation is given, and how much space or time is devoted to a news event is determined by journalists and management and will depend on a variety of factors ranging from the editorial judgment of the reporters and editors, to other news events competing for the same time or space, to corporate policies that reflect management's biases.

The distinction between news, entertainment, and opinion has gotten much fuzzier since 2005.  The U.S.-based Daily Show,  aired on the cable news channel Comedy Central, hosted by Jon Stewart from 1999-2015, was one of the earliest (and best known) examples of a TV show that blended news and entertainment. (It still does so, although the host is now Trevor Noah.) Although Stewart defended his clear leftist bias at the time by asserting the show was "only entertainment," many people--particularly young people, relied on the Daily Show as their primary or only sounce of news. [12]

"Legitimate" news organizations, too, seem now to be blurring the distinction between "news" and "opinion."  In response to the New York Times' firing of its Editorial Page director, James Bennet, over the publication of an op-ed by Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton in June 2020, Roger Cohen penned an editorial arguing that "both sides" journalism is under attack by those who advocate journalism that operates from a "place of moral clarity." [13].  This notion is echoed and taken further by another Times opinion writer, Ross Douthat, who wrote (also in response to the Bennet firing) 

[There is a] growing newsroom assumption that greater diversity should actually lead to a more  singular  perspective on the news, a  journalism  of “truth” rather than “objectivity,” in which issues that involve black — or gay or female or transgender or immigrant — interests are covered less as complex debates and more as stories of good versus evil. ... The results of this shift have been particularly apparent lately at this newspaper, especially in the transformed relationship between our news and opinion pages. The Times of my youth and adolescence aspired to be nonpartisan in its news gathering, while the editorial page was frankly liberal and the Op-Ed page mostly (William Safire excepted) left-of-center. But as our news pages have become more ideological, oriented toward the perceived truths of the successor ideology — a shift documented last year by Zach Goldberg, a Ph.D student at Georgia State, in a series of striking charts showing how  the shifting vocabulary of activists  has taken off in Times stories — the Op-Ed page has gone from being to the left of the news pages to being, strangely, somewhat to their right. [14]

Mass communicated media saturated the industrialized world in 2005; this is true for the non-industrialized world, too, in 2020.) The television in the living room, the newspaper on the doorstep (not so much anymore!), the radio in the car, the computer and tablet, the fliers in the mailbox, and now most importantly, perhaps in 2020, the cell phone are just a few of the media channels daily delivering advertisements, news, opinion, music, and other forms of mass communication.

Because the media are so prevalent, they have an extremely powerful impact on how we view the world. Nearly everything we know about current events and politics comes from the media--it is only the most local and personal events that are experienced first-hand. Events in the larger community, the state, the country, and the rest of the world are experienced almost entirely through the media, be it a professional journalist or a "citizen journalist" posting on social media. 

Not only do the media report the news, they create the news by deciding what to report. The "top story" of the day has to be picked from the millions of things that happened that particular day. After something is deemed newsworthy, there are decisions on how much time or space to give it, whom to interview, what pictures to use, and how to frame it. Often considered by editors, but seldom discussed, is how the biases and interests of management will impact these determinations. All of these decisions add up to the audience's view of the world, and those who influence the decisions influence the audience.

The media, therefore, have enormous importance to conflict resolution because they are the primary -- and frequently only -- source of information regarding conflicts. If a situation doesn't make the news (now including social media), it simply does not exist for most people. When peaceful options such as negotiation and other collaborative problem-solving techniques are not covered, or their successes are not reported, they become invisible and are not likely to be considered or even understood as possible options in the management of a conflict.

The news media thrive on conflict. The lead story for most news programs is typically the most recent and extreme crime or disaster. Conflict attracts viewers, listeners, and readers to the media; the greater the conflict the greater the audience, and large audiences are imperative to the financial success of media outlets. Therefore, it is often in the media's interest to not only report conflict, but to play it up, making it seem more intense than it really is. Long-term, on-going conflict-resolution processes such as mediation are not dramatic and are often difficult to understand and report, especially since the proceedings are almost always closed to the media. Thus conflict resolution stories are easily pushed aside in favor of the most recent, the most colorful, and the most shocking aspects of a conflict. Groups that understand this dynamic can cater to it in order to gain media attention. Common criteria for terrorist attacks include timing them to coincide with significant dates, targeting elites, choosing sites with easy media access, and aiming for large numbers of casualties.[1] Protesters will hoist their placards and start chanting when the television cameras come into view. It is not unusual for camera crews or reporters to encourage demonstrators into these actions so they can return to their studios with exciting footage. The resulting media coverage can bestow status and even legitimacy on marginal opposition groups, so television coverage naturally becomes one of their planned strategies and top priorities. The "30-second sound bite" has become a familiar phrase in television and radio news and alert public figures strategize to use it to their advantage.

In most parts of the industrialized world, the news has to "sell," because the handful of giant media conglomerates that control most of the press (media outlets) place a high priority on profitable operations. Their CEOs are under relentless pressure to generate high returns on their shareholders' investments. Media companies face tight budgets and fierce competition, which often translate into fewer foreign correspondents, heavy reliance on sensationalism, space and time constraints, and a constant need for new stories. Reporters with pressing deadlines may not have time to find and verify new sources. Instead they tend to rely on government reports, press releases, and a stable of vetted sources, which are usually drawn from "reliable" companies and organizations. Most overseas bureaus have been replaced by "parachute journalism," where a small news crew spends a few days or less in the latest hotspot. These same media outlets are also dependent upon advertisement revenue, and that dependence can compromise their impartiality. Many newspapers and television stations think twice before reporting a story that might be damaging to their advertisers, and will choose to avoid the story, if possible. According to a survey taken in 2000, "...about one in five (20 percent) of local and (17 percent) (of) national reporters say they have faced criticism or pressure from their bosses after producing or writing a piece that was seen as damaging to their company's financial interests."[2] The drive to increase advertising revenue has led many local news shows to measure out world news in seconds to accommodate longer weather and sports reports.

In 2005, (Aiken wrote) the news that was reported in the West came from an increasingly concentrated group of corporate- and individually-owned conglomerates. The majority of all media outlets in the United States and a large share of those internationally were owned by a handful of corporations: Vivendi/Universal, AOL/Time Warner (CNN), The Walt Disney Co. (ABC), News Corporation (FOX), Viacom (CBS), General Electric (NBC), and Bertelsmann.[3] These companies' holdings included international news outlets, magazines, television, books, music, and movies as well as large commercial subsidiaries that were not part of the media. Many of these companies are the result of mergers and acquisitions that began in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan's de-regulatory policies began to facilitate such consolidation, and further mergers have occurred ever since.

Recently (now speaking of the period 2015-2020), this trend has continued and even accelerated.  It has been particularly evident in "local news." Edmund Andrews, from Stanford wrote in 2019 that 

Local TV news shows collectively attract 25 million nightly viewers, far more than national cable programs such as Fox News and MSNBC. And that’s been attractive to major media conglomerates, which have been snapping up local TV stations in recent years. As of 2016,  five big companies controlled 37%  of these stations. [15]

Andrews sites a study co-authored by Gregory Martin of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Joshua McCrain of Emory University who studied the behavior an impact of such conglomerate, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which, at the time, owned 191 stations that reached almost 40% of the U.S. population.  It has attracted attention, Andrews points out, for its conservative political views.  

During the 2016 election campaign, for example, Sinclair stations aired  15 “exclusive” interviews  with Donald Trump. In 2017, it hired a former Trump White House official as its chief political analyst and made his commentaries must-run on all stations. Last year, all of its anchors were ordered to read an identical script that  echoed Trump’s rhetoric about “fake news” . [16] ... The first thing they found was that the newly acquired Sinclair stations increased the time allocated to national politics by about 25%. That increase came largely at the expense of local political news. Existing Sinclair stations also allocated about 25% more time than their rivals to national politics.  [17]

The result of this trend is negative for two reasons.  One, the increase in national coverage comes with a decrease in local converage.  This results in a decrease in citizens' knowledge about and engagement with the politicians and issues in their own communities.  So one potentially important way in which "ordinary citizens" can become empowered and engaged in issues that affect their lives--through their local political processes--is increasingly turned off to them.  

In addition, the Stanford/Emory study suggested that media conglomerates could sway national elections. 

“There is a lot of evidence from other research that the political content of news affects election outcomes,” Martin says. “So the evidence that we present, which shows that the tastes of media owners affect local news content, means the owners of media outlets have a lot of political power. That’s something that regulators of media should take into account.” [18]

The same thing is happening with local newspapers--they have been increasingly bought out by large conglomerates such as GateHouse Media (which recently bought Gannet, also a large conglomerate owner of local papers), and Alden Global Capital. According to Leonhardt of the New York Times (and many other observers as well,) these conglomerates don't care at all about the quality of local media.  Rather, they usually gut the papers of reporters, replacing the local coverage with one-size-fits all national news, slanted the way the conglomerate wants.  Or they just run the newspapers into the ground and close them down. According to Julie Bosman, also of the New York Times, 

School board and city council meetings are going uncovered. Overstretched reporters receive promising tips about stories but have no time to follow up. Newspapers publish fewer pages or less frequently or, in hundreds of cases across the country, are shuttered completely. All of this has added up to a crisis in local news coverage in the United States that has frayed communities and left many Americans woefully uninformed, according to  a report by PEN America  released on Wednesday. [19]

Quoting the report by PEN America, she says 

“A vibrant, responsive democracy requires enlightened citizens, and without forceful local reporting they are kept in the dark,” the report said. “At a time when political polarization is increasing and fraudulent news is spreading, a shared fact-based discourse on the issues that most directly affect us is more essential and more elusive than ever.” [20]

The report, itself, goes onto say:

Without reliable information on how tax dollars are spent, how federal policy affects local communities, and whether local elected officials are meeting constituent needs, how can citizens make informed choices about who should govern? [21]

Going back to Aiken's words in 2005, in addition to the control exercised by owners, there are also government controls and self-censorship. The United States, governed by a constitution where the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, has arguably one of the most free presses in the world, and is one of the few countries where the right to free speech is expressly written into the constitution. Yet even the U.S. government exerts control over the media, particularly during times of war or crisis. In many other countries around the world, especially emerging nations and dictatorships, governments impose tight restrictions on journalists, including penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment and execution. In these environments, rigorous self-censorship is necessary for survival. In a major survey of 287 U.S. journalists, "about a quarter of those polled have personally avoided pursuing newsworthy stories."[5]

This problem, too, has gotten much worse since Donald Trump was elected U.S. President in 2016.  As we said above, he routinely labels any story he doesn't like "fake," and uses Twitter as his mass media outlet to let everyone know what is "real" in his view.  According to David Markowitz, writing in Forbes in May 2020,  

As of early April, Trump has told 23.3 lies per day in 2020, a 0.5-lie increase since 2019. What’s more, Trump has averaged 23.8 lies per day since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the US — another 0.5-lie increase. Even during a pandemic, when the public needs to trust and rely on him the most, deception remains a core part of the president’s playbook. What’s unusual about Trump is not just how often he lies, but what he lies about and where he communicates his lies most often. [22]

Trump's favorite topics, according to Markowitz are guns, the economy, education, and elections, although the Coronavirus is particularly popular right now (May - June 1020). "President Trump seems impervious to the threat of detection or harsh  public opinion . He continues to deceive at record-setting rates using forums that amplify his lies, rather than hide them." [23]

While this is not exactly censorship, Trump is trying to make as many people as possible believe that the mainstream press is lying, and only he is telling "the truth." 

(Aiken's commentary from 2005) Without the media, most people would know little of events beyond their immediate neighborhood. The further one goes outside of one's circle of friends and family, the more time-consuming and expensive it becomes to get information--without media. Very few, if any, individuals have the resources to stay independently informed of world events. With the news and social media, however, all one has to do is turn on a television or turn to the Internet. Even when it is biased or limited, it is a picture of things that are happening around the world.

The more sources one compares a diversity of sources, the more accurate the picture that can be put together. In addition to the media conglomerates, there are also a range of independent news outlets, though they have a much smaller audience. Some of these provide an alternative view of events and often strive to publish stories that cannot be found in the mainstream media. So, too, in 2020, does social media, although it is increasingly hard to tell what social media posts are "legitimate" and which are, indeed, fakes--brought to you by Russian "bots," for instance.  However, the Internet now makes it possible to read papers and watch broadcasts from around the globe. While language skills can be a barrier, it is possible to live in the United States and watch Arab-language broadcasts from the Middle East, or to get on the Internet and read scores of Chinese newspapers. Having access to these alternative voices limits the power of monopolies over information.

Another important benefit of a functioning mass media is that information can be relayed quickly in times of crisis. Tornado and hurricane announcements can give large populations advance warning and allow them to take precautions and move out of harm's way. In a country suffering war, a radio broadcast outlining where the latest fighting is can alert people to areas to avoid. In quieter times, the media can publish other useful announcements, from traffic reports to how to avoid getting HIV. It is a stabilizing and civilizing force.

This, too, of course, is under attack in 2020, as Donald Trump is using Twitter and other mass media (such as ally Fox News) to spread massive amounts of false information about the COVID-19 pandemic.  So, the while the mass media still has the potential to be a "stablizing and civilizing force," As Akin wrote in 2005, it no longer so clearly is. 

Along the same lines, the news media allow elected and other officials to communicate with their constituents. Frequently, the delegates at a negotiation will find they understand each other much better over the course of their discussions, but that understanding will not reach the larger populations they represent without a concerted communications effort. If constituents are not aware of these new understandings (and subsequent compromises) during the course of negotiations, they will almost certainly feel cheated when a final agreement falls far short of their expectations. To achieve ratification, delegates must justify the agreement by discussing it with and explaining it to their constituents throughout the entire process[6] and the media is often used for this purpose.

"CNN Effect"

A recent media (in 2005) phenomenon dubbed the "CNN effect" occurs when powerful news media (i.e. CNN) seem to be creating the news by reporting it. It has been argued that CNN, with its vast international reach, sets the agenda by deciding which items are newsworthy and require the attention of government leaders. Traditionally, agenda-setting has been seen as the prerogative of government. It is also argued that emotionally-charged footage of people suffering, such as mass starvation, bombed-out markets, and burning houses, arouse the public to demand immediate action. This gives leaders little time to think through an appropriate response and can force them to take valuable resources from more urgent, less photogenic issues.

This use of sensational imagery is cited as being responsible for the United States' ill-fated involvement in Somalia : "In the words of one U.S. congressman, 'Pictures of starving children, not policy objectives, got us into Somalia in 1992. Pictures of U.S. casualties, not the completion of our objectives, led us to exit Somalia.' "[7] On the other hand, failure of the media to fully report on the genocide that claimed an estimated 800,000 lives in Rwanda during a 100-day period in 1994, made it easy for Western governments to ignore the crisis that they preferred not to acknowledge until long after it ended.

The CNN effect also brings up issues of accuracy. The New York Times, with its vast resources, has long been known as "the newspaper of record; once something is reported by this leading news outlet it is accepted as fact (unverified) and carried by other outlets, even when errors creep into the Times' account. (In 2020, the Times is now considered the newspaper of record by liberals only; it is seen as a top purveyor of fake news by President Trump and many of his allies and followers.  

Some observers argue that the CNN effect is overrated, if not complete myth. Warren Strobel and Susan Carruthers, for example, argue that the U.S. government has not been forced into doing anything; rather, it used reaction over media stories to introduce policies that it already desired. Strobel also argues that any action a politician undertakes as a result of this pressure will be merely a "minimalist response" -- a limited action that suggests a greater response than has taken place.[8]

Theories of Journalism

Any discussion of media and conflict eventually leads to the purpose and responsibilities of journalists. A Western audience expects objectivity of its news reporters. While most citizens take this for granted, objective reporting has not been the historical norm. The concept of objectivity itself has often been the focus of debate. As Susan Carruthers states, "... news can never be 'value-free,' from 'nobody's point of view.' "[9] It is a sentiment voiced by numerous journalism professionals and teachers.

Deciding what the news is requires a value judgment . In the Western news media there is a consensus that news is something unusual which departs from everyday life and is quantifiable. For example, the outbreak of war is news, but any fighting thereafter might not be. As the war continues, its newsworthiness depends on whether the news agency's home troops are involved, whether the troops of close allies are involved, how many casualties are reported, how photogenic the victims are, whether reporters have access to the fighting and information about it, and what other stories occur at the same time. Western news consists of events, not processes. This bias can result in news reports where events seem to have no context.

In response to the drawbacks of 'objective' journalism, some journalists have begun advocating for alternative models, such as "peace journalism" and "public journalism." Peace journalism advocates the belief that journalists should use the power of the media to help resolve conflict rather than report it from a distance. Its detractors argue that "[o]nce a journalist has set himself the goal of stopping or influencing wars, it is a short step to accepting that any means to achieve that end are justified. ... There can be no greater betrayal of journalistic standards."[10]

The June 2020 dispute over the New York Times ' publication of Tom Cotton's op-ed is another example of this same conflict.  Both Roger Cohen and Ross Douthat wrote that the Times (the 2005 "Newspaper of Record") now is leaning toward a far-left interpretation of one view as "news," and relegates all other views to the opinion pages or out of the paper all together.  Although Cohen and Douthat agree that Tom Cotton's op-ed was odius, it still should have been published (as it was), and the Editorial Page Director who was fired for publishing it should not have been let go.  According to Cohen, 

I still believe in both-sides journalism. “A place of moral clarity” can easily mean there is only one truth, and if you deviate from it, you are done for. The liberal idea that freedom is served by open debate, even with people holding repugnant views, is worth defending. If conformity wins, democracy dies. [24]

Another "new" trend (in 2005) was "public journalism" which seeks to explore issues affecting a community and stay with those issues long enough to give the community enough information to understand the conflict and get involved. This, however, often requires a long-term commitment by the journalist and news media to follow a story over the course of the conflict. If the story is of continuing high importance to the readers -- such as a war that involves local troops, such coverage is common. If the story is not deemed continuously "newsworthy," however, it takes a committed journalist to continue to write about it and a news outlet the permits such committed reporting. [11]

Jennifer Akin wrote this article fifteen years ago, and while most of what it said then is still very much true, it is astonishing, to me at least, how much these trends have been accelerated with the new forms of media (particularly social media) that didn't exist when this essay was first written. Since we no longer are in contact with the author (who was a graduate student working with us in 2005), I (Heidi Burgess) have taken the liberty of updating this essay by adding additional material about what has happened in the period 2005-2020.

The biggest change, of course, is the development of social media which didn't exist when this essay was first written.  Social media has, in a sense "democratized journalism," since everyone can be a journalist, reporting on what they see from their vantage point to the entire world.  They can also give their opinion on world events and share them widely--something that was impossible to do when this essay was first written. 

Ironically, however, this "democratization of journalism" might actually destroy democracy, as it has allowed for the massive proliferation of fake stories--not the "fake news" that Donald Trump decries (which is most often factually correct), but rather the millions of fake stories, tweets, Facebook posts and the like that are being created by robots ("bots") working both in the U.S. and abroad, particularly, it seems, in Russia and Iran. These tweets and posts  have been designed to disrupt local, national, and global political debates, and influence elections in the U.S. and abroad. Indeed, the Meuller report confirms that Russian interference, mostly through mass media efforts, did significantly effect the 2016 Presidential election in the United States. 

Although Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets have said that they have made some efforts to prevent such manipulation, many observers feel they have not done nearly enough. Also, Trump (along with Congressional Republicans) have blocked a number of governmental efforts to protect our election processes.  So continued, even more massive, media manipulation is likely to influence the U.S. presidental election this November as well.

Back to Essay Top

[1] Schaffert, Richard W. "The Media's Influence on the Public's Perception of Terrorism and the Question of Media Responsibility." Media Coverage and Political Terrorists . New York: Praeger Publishers. 1992: 61-79

[2] Kohut, Andrew. "Self-Censorship: Counting the Ways." Columbia Journalism Review . May/June 2002. http://www.cjr.org/year/00/2/censorship.asp

[3] http://www.mediachannel.org/ownership/chart.shtml

[4] Sanders, Edmund. "Results of FCC's Media Studies Are Released." Los Angeles Times . Oct. 2, 2002. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/202977141.html?did=202977141&FMT=ABS&FMTS=FT&desc=California%3b+Results+of+FCC%27s+Media+Studies+Are+Released

[5] Kohut, Andrew. "Self-Censorship: Counting the Ways." Columbia Journalism Review . May/June 2002.

[6] Laws, David. "Representation of Stakeholding Interests." The Consensus Building Handbook . Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. 1999.

[7] Carruthers, Susan L. The Media at War . New York: St. Martin's Press. 2000. p 206

[8] Strobel, Warren. 1996. Managing Global Chaos: Sources and Responses to International Conflict , eds. Chester A. Crocker and Fen Osler Hampson with Pamela Aall. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press. p. 366.

[9] Carruthers, Susan L. The Media at War . New York: St. Martin 's Press. 2000. p. 17.

[10] Weaver, Tim. "The End of War." Track Two . Vol. 7, No. 4. http://ccrweb.ccr.uct.ac.za/archive/two/7-4/p21-endofwar.html

[11] Special thanks to Richard Salem, President of Conflict Management Initiatives, for his assistance in drafting this essay.

[12] The New York Times published a lengthy interview with Stewart in June 2020 in which he reflected on his role in blending news and entertainment, and contributing, perhaps, to the confusion of the two. (Search for the phrase "We jused to have news and we had entertainment" to see Stewart's thoughts on this topic.)

[13] Roger Cohen, "The Outcry Over ‘Both Sides’ Journalism"  New York Times. June 12, 2020.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/journalism-debate.html

[14] Ross Douthat: "The Tom Cotton Op-Ed and the Cultural Revolution." New York Times, June 12, 2020.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/nyt-tom-cotton-oped-liberalism.html

[15, 16, 17, and 18] Edmund L. Andrews "Media Consolidation Means Less Local News, MOre Right Wing Slant," Insights by Stanford Business    https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/media-consolidation-means-less-local-news-more-right-wing-slant

[19 and 20] Julie Bosman "How the Collapse of Local News is Causing a 'National Crisis'" New York Times. November 20, 2019.  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/us/local-news-disappear-pen-america.html

[21] Pen America "Losing the News"  https://pen.org/local-news/

[22 and 23] David Markowitz "Trump is Lying More than Ever:  Just Look at the Data" Forbes.   https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidmarkowitz/2020/05/05/trump-is-lying-more-than-ever-just-look-at-the-data/#10ca8c31e176

[24] Roger Cohen, "The Outcry Over ‘Both Sides’ Journalism"  New York Times. June 12, 2020.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/journalism-debate.html

Use the following to cite this article: Akin, Jennifer. "Mass Media." Beyond Intractability . Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: March 2005 < http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/mass-communication >.

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Essay On Media

Keeping up with the most recent developments is critical in today's society. People can get the most recent and important news through the media. The media is the most commonly used medium for receiving information from north to south or east to west. Here are a few sample essays on the topic ‘Media’.

100 Words Essay On Media

200 word essay on media, 500 word essay on media.

Essay On Media

The media has an impact on the reputation of a political party, organisation, or individual. Media keeps people informed about current happenings in politics, culture, art, academia, communication, and commerce. Different forms of media help modern civilization in remaining in touch with the world in the shortest amount of time.

The media is all around us; we are immersed in it even when we are not aware of it. It is seen in newspapers, television, and technological gadgets such as cell phones. We perceive it as a tool for speeding time or distancing ourselves from what is going on in other people's lives.

Social media is a tool that has become immensely popular among all ages due to its user-friendly interface. The youth are the most prevalent social media user demographics, which is both remarkable and concerning.

Imagery from the media abounds in today's culture. We know this since we may see posters advertising well-known brands and the latest products almost anywhere we go, such as while driving on the highway. When we are drawn to advertisements, we may begin to imagine or visualise ourselves using them.

The media can tell us about a product, service, or message. Today, media influence is so powerful that it may easily influence public opinion both positively and negatively. We also live in a society that is heavily reliant on the media for entertainment and information. Indeed, pictures in the media have an effect on both people and society, especially women, men, teenagers, and young children.

Simultaneously, media such as television, broadens our perspective by providing us with access to facts from all around the world. Television may also provide us with a wide range of news and current happenings. It can also be a useful learning tool, guiding future generations in the proper direction.

The media has a large influence on our lives. We educate ourselves on a regular basis by staying up with the latest events. The news serves a crucial role in keeping us informed about current affairs and global happenings. For example, because of globalization, you can read about current happenings in the United States of America even if you live in India.

The media is the most significant communication tool. It aids in the delivery or dissemination of news. Although the media is also associated with spreading fake news, it also plays an important role in informing us about reality. We cannot deny that this world is filled with so many social problems that we require the media to spotlight these concerns so that the government or other individuals can take action to resolve these social issues.

Role Of Media

When it comes to the media, it is regarded as the fourth element of democracy. It's the most comprehensive repository of information on the globe. Everyone hope and expects the media to provide us with the most complete and accurate news in any situation. As a result, the media plays an important role in balancing all areas of our society.

It is crucial for teaching and informing global citizens about what is happening around the world. As a result, supplying readers with truthful and authentic news is vital for societal growth. The case of Aayushi Talvaar is a good illustration of how the media works.

Advantages Of Media

Education | The media educates the public. The mob learns about health issues, environmental preservation, and a variety of other relevant topics through television or radio programming.

Keeps Us Informed | People obtain the most recent news in a timely manner. Distance is not a barrier to providing knowledge to people from anywhere on the planet. People receive the daily latest news from media sites, which keep them current on the latest trends and happenings throughout the world.

Knowledge | The media can help you learn more about a variety of topics.

Amusement | It is a great source of entertainment. People are amused by music and television shows.

Disadvantages Of Media

Individualism | People spend far too much time watching or binge-watching stuff on the internet. As a result, their relationships with friends, family, and neighbours may suffer as a result.

Fraud and Cybercrime | The Internet is lurking with imposters, fraudsters, hackers, and other predators with the opportunity to commit criminal acts without the victims' knowledge.

Addiction | For most children and adults, some television shows and internet media can be quite addictive, resulting in a decrease in productivity.

Health Issues | Prolonged television viewing or internet bingeing can cause visual difficulties, and prolonged exposure to loud noises via headphones or earphones can cause hearing impairments.

Malware and Fake Profiles | Anyone can set up an anonymous account and pretend to be someone else. Anyone with access to such profiles might use them for malevolent purposes, such as spreading misinformation, which can harm the image of any targeted people or company.

Explore Career Options (By Industry)

  • Construction
  • Entertainment
  • Manufacturing
  • Information Technology

Bio Medical Engineer

The field of biomedical engineering opens up a universe of expert chances. An Individual in the biomedical engineering career path work in the field of engineering as well as medicine, in order to find out solutions to common problems of the two fields. The biomedical engineering job opportunities are to collaborate with doctors and researchers to develop medical systems, equipment, or devices that can solve clinical problems. Here we will be discussing jobs after biomedical engineering, how to get a job in biomedical engineering, biomedical engineering scope, and salary. 

Data Administrator

Database professionals use software to store and organise data such as financial information, and customer shipping records. Individuals who opt for a career as data administrators ensure that data is available for users and secured from unauthorised sales. DB administrators may work in various types of industries. It may involve computer systems design, service firms, insurance companies, banks and hospitals.

Ethical Hacker

A career as ethical hacker involves various challenges and provides lucrative opportunities in the digital era where every giant business and startup owns its cyberspace on the world wide web. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path try to find the vulnerabilities in the cyber system to get its authority. If he or she succeeds in it then he or she gets its illegal authority. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path then steal information or delete the file that could affect the business, functioning, or services of the organization.

Data Analyst

The invention of the database has given fresh breath to the people involved in the data analytics career path. Analysis refers to splitting up a whole into its individual components for individual analysis. Data analysis is a method through which raw data are processed and transformed into information that would be beneficial for user strategic thinking.

Data are collected and examined to respond to questions, evaluate hypotheses or contradict theories. It is a tool for analyzing, transforming, modeling, and arranging data with useful knowledge, to assist in decision-making and methods, encompassing various strategies, and is used in different fields of business, research, and social science.

Geothermal Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as geothermal engineers are the professionals involved in the processing of geothermal energy. The responsibilities of geothermal engineers may vary depending on the workplace location. Those who work in fields design facilities to process and distribute geothermal energy. They oversee the functioning of machinery used in the field.

Remote Sensing Technician

Individuals who opt for a career as a remote sensing technician possess unique personalities. Remote sensing analysts seem to be rational human beings, they are strong, independent, persistent, sincere, realistic and resourceful. Some of them are analytical as well, which means they are intelligent, introspective and inquisitive. 

Remote sensing scientists use remote sensing technology to support scientists in fields such as community planning, flight planning or the management of natural resources. Analysing data collected from aircraft, satellites or ground-based platforms using statistical analysis software, image analysis software or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a significant part of their work. Do you want to learn how to become remote sensing technician? There's no need to be concerned; we've devised a simple remote sensing technician career path for you. Scroll through the pages and read.

Geotechnical engineer

The role of geotechnical engineer starts with reviewing the projects needed to define the required material properties. The work responsibilities are followed by a site investigation of rock, soil, fault distribution and bedrock properties on and below an area of interest. The investigation is aimed to improve the ground engineering design and determine their engineering properties that include how they will interact with, on or in a proposed construction. 

The role of geotechnical engineer in mining includes designing and determining the type of foundations, earthworks, and or pavement subgrades required for the intended man-made structures to be made. Geotechnical engineering jobs are involved in earthen and concrete dam construction projects, working under a range of normal and extreme loading conditions. 

Cartographer

How fascinating it is to represent the whole world on just a piece of paper or a sphere. With the help of maps, we are able to represent the real world on a much smaller scale. Individuals who opt for a career as a cartographer are those who make maps. But, cartography is not just limited to maps, it is about a mixture of art , science , and technology. As a cartographer, not only you will create maps but use various geodetic surveys and remote sensing systems to measure, analyse, and create different maps for political, cultural or educational purposes.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysis, in a nutshell, entails thoroughly analyzing the details of a financial budget. The budget analysis aims to better understand and manage revenue. Budget analysts assist in the achievement of financial targets, the preservation of profitability, and the pursuit of long-term growth for a business. Budget analysts generally have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, or a closely related field. Knowledge of Financial Management is of prime importance in this career.

Product Manager

A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

Underwriter

An underwriter is a person who assesses and evaluates the risk of insurance in his or her field like mortgage, loan, health policy, investment, and so on and so forth. The underwriter career path does involve risks as analysing the risks means finding out if there is a way for the insurance underwriter jobs to recover the money from its clients. If the risk turns out to be too much for the company then in the future it is an underwriter who will be held accountable for it. Therefore, one must carry out his or her job with a lot of attention and diligence.

Finance Executive

Operations manager.

Individuals in the operations manager jobs are responsible for ensuring the efficiency of each department to acquire its optimal goal. They plan the use of resources and distribution of materials. The operations manager's job description includes managing budgets, negotiating contracts, and performing administrative tasks.

Bank Probationary Officer (PO)

Investment director.

An investment director is a person who helps corporations and individuals manage their finances. They can help them develop a strategy to achieve their goals, including paying off debts and investing in the future. In addition, he or she can help individuals make informed decisions.

Welding Engineer

Welding Engineer Job Description: A Welding Engineer work involves managing welding projects and supervising welding teams. He or she is responsible for reviewing welding procedures, processes and documentation. A career as Welding Engineer involves conducting failure analyses and causes on welding issues. 

Transportation Planner

A career as Transportation Planner requires technical application of science and technology in engineering, particularly the concepts, equipment and technologies involved in the production of products and services. In fields like land use, infrastructure review, ecological standards and street design, he or she considers issues of health, environment and performance. A Transportation Planner assigns resources for implementing and designing programmes. He or she is responsible for assessing needs, preparing plans and forecasts and compliance with regulations.

An expert in plumbing is aware of building regulations and safety standards and works to make sure these standards are upheld. Testing pipes for leakage using air pressure and other gauges, and also the ability to construct new pipe systems by cutting, fitting, measuring and threading pipes are some of the other more involved aspects of plumbing. Individuals in the plumber career path are self-employed or work for a small business employing less than ten people, though some might find working for larger entities or the government more desirable.

Construction Manager

Individuals who opt for a career as construction managers have a senior-level management role offered in construction firms. Responsibilities in the construction management career path are assigning tasks to workers, inspecting their work, and coordinating with other professionals including architects, subcontractors, and building services engineers.

Urban Planner

Urban Planning careers revolve around the idea of developing a plan to use the land optimally, without affecting the environment. Urban planning jobs are offered to those candidates who are skilled in making the right use of land to distribute the growing population, to create various communities. 

Urban planning careers come with the opportunity to make changes to the existing cities and towns. They identify various community needs and make short and long-term plans accordingly.

Highway Engineer

Highway Engineer Job Description:  A Highway Engineer is a civil engineer who specialises in planning and building thousands of miles of roads that support connectivity and allow transportation across the country. He or she ensures that traffic management schemes are effectively planned concerning economic sustainability and successful implementation.

Environmental Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as an environmental engineer are construction professionals who utilise the skills and knowledge of biology, soil science, chemistry and the concept of engineering to design and develop projects that serve as solutions to various environmental problems. 

Naval Architect

A Naval Architect is a professional who designs, produces and repairs safe and sea-worthy surfaces or underwater structures. A Naval Architect stays involved in creating and designing ships, ferries, submarines and yachts with implementation of various principles such as gravity, ideal hull form, buoyancy and stability. 

Orthotist and Prosthetist

Orthotists and Prosthetists are professionals who provide aid to patients with disabilities. They fix them to artificial limbs (prosthetics) and help them to regain stability. There are times when people lose their limbs in an accident. In some other occasions, they are born without a limb or orthopaedic impairment. Orthotists and prosthetists play a crucial role in their lives with fixing them to assistive devices and provide mobility.

Veterinary Doctor

Pathologist.

A career in pathology in India is filled with several responsibilities as it is a medical branch and affects human lives. The demand for pathologists has been increasing over the past few years as people are getting more aware of different diseases. Not only that, but an increase in population and lifestyle changes have also contributed to the increase in a pathologist’s demand. The pathology careers provide an extremely huge number of opportunities and if you want to be a part of the medical field you can consider being a pathologist. If you want to know more about a career in pathology in India then continue reading this article.

Speech Therapist

Gynaecologist.

Gynaecology can be defined as the study of the female body. The job outlook for gynaecology is excellent since there is evergreen demand for one because of their responsibility of dealing with not only women’s health but also fertility and pregnancy issues. Although most women prefer to have a women obstetrician gynaecologist as their doctor, men also explore a career as a gynaecologist and there are ample amounts of male doctors in the field who are gynaecologists and aid women during delivery and childbirth. 

An oncologist is a specialised doctor responsible for providing medical care to patients diagnosed with cancer. He or she uses several therapies to control the cancer and its effect on the human body such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and biopsy. An oncologist designs a treatment plan based on a pathology report after diagnosing the type of cancer and where it is spreading inside the body.

Audiologist

The audiologist career involves audiology professionals who are responsible to treat hearing loss and proactively preventing the relevant damage. Individuals who opt for a career as an audiologist use various testing strategies with the aim to determine if someone has a normal sensitivity to sounds or not. After the identification of hearing loss, a hearing doctor is required to determine which sections of the hearing are affected, to what extent they are affected, and where the wound causing the hearing loss is found. As soon as the hearing loss is identified, the patients are provided with recommendations for interventions and rehabilitation such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and appropriate medical referrals. While audiology is a branch of science that studies and researches hearing, balance, and related disorders.

Hospital Administrator

The hospital Administrator is in charge of organising and supervising the daily operations of medical services and facilities. This organising includes managing of organisation’s staff and its members in service, budgets, service reports, departmental reporting and taking reminders of patient care and services.

For an individual who opts for a career as an actor, the primary responsibility is to completely speak to the character he or she is playing and to persuade the crowd that the character is genuine by connecting with them and bringing them into the story. This applies to significant roles and littler parts, as all roles join to make an effective creation. Here in this article, we will discuss how to become an actor in India, actor exams, actor salary in India, and actor jobs. 

Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats create and direct original routines for themselves, in addition to developing interpretations of existing routines. The work of circus acrobats can be seen in a variety of performance settings, including circus, reality shows, sports events like the Olympics, movies and commercials. Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats must be prepared to face rejections and intermittent periods of work. The creativity of acrobats may extend to other aspects of the performance. For example, acrobats in the circus may work with gym trainers, celebrities or collaborate with other professionals to enhance such performance elements as costume and or maybe at the teaching end of the career.

Video Game Designer

Career as a video game designer is filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. A video game designer is someone who is involved in the process of creating a game from day one. He or she is responsible for fulfilling duties like designing the character of the game, the several levels involved, plot, art and similar other elements. Individuals who opt for a career as a video game designer may also write the codes for the game using different programming languages.

Depending on the video game designer job description and experience they may also have to lead a team and do the early testing of the game in order to suggest changes and find loopholes.

Radio Jockey

Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising career and a great challenge for music lovers. If you are really interested in a career as radio jockey, then it is very important for an RJ to have an automatic, fun, and friendly personality. If you want to get a job done in this field, a strong command of the language and a good voice are always good things. Apart from this, in order to be a good radio jockey, you will also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later make your own by practicing.

A career as radio jockey has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. If you want to know more about a career as radio jockey, and how to become a radio jockey then continue reading the article.

Choreographer

The word “choreography" actually comes from Greek words that mean “dance writing." Individuals who opt for a career as a choreographer create and direct original dances, in addition to developing interpretations of existing dances. A Choreographer dances and utilises his or her creativity in other aspects of dance performance. For example, he or she may work with the music director to select music or collaborate with other famous choreographers to enhance such performance elements as lighting, costume and set design.

Videographer

Multimedia specialist.

A multimedia specialist is a media professional who creates, audio, videos, graphic image files, computer animations for multimedia applications. He or she is responsible for planning, producing, and maintaining websites and applications. 

Social Media Manager

A career as social media manager involves implementing the company’s or brand’s marketing plan across all social media channels. Social media managers help in building or improving a brand’s or a company’s website traffic, build brand awareness, create and implement marketing and brand strategy. Social media managers are key to important social communication as well.

Copy Writer

In a career as a copywriter, one has to consult with the client and understand the brief well. A career as a copywriter has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. Several new mediums of advertising are opening therefore making it a lucrative career choice. Students can pursue various copywriter courses such as Journalism , Advertising , Marketing Management . Here, we have discussed how to become a freelance copywriter, copywriter career path, how to become a copywriter in India, and copywriting career outlook. 

Careers in journalism are filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. One cannot afford to miss out on the details. As it is the small details that provide insights into a story. Depending on those insights a journalist goes about writing a news article. A journalism career can be stressful at times but if you are someone who is passionate about it then it is the right choice for you. If you want to know more about the media field and journalist career then continue reading this article.

For publishing books, newspapers, magazines and digital material, editorial and commercial strategies are set by publishers. Individuals in publishing career paths make choices about the markets their businesses will reach and the type of content that their audience will be served. Individuals in book publisher careers collaborate with editorial staff, designers, authors, and freelance contributors who develop and manage the creation of content.

In a career as a vlogger, one generally works for himself or herself. However, once an individual has gained viewership there are several brands and companies that approach them for paid collaboration. It is one of those fields where an individual can earn well while following his or her passion. 

Ever since internet costs got reduced the viewership for these types of content has increased on a large scale. Therefore, a career as a vlogger has a lot to offer. If you want to know more about the Vlogger eligibility, roles and responsibilities then continue reading the article. 

Individuals in the editor career path is an unsung hero of the news industry who polishes the language of the news stories provided by stringers, reporters, copywriters and content writers and also news agencies. Individuals who opt for a career as an editor make it more persuasive, concise and clear for readers. In this article, we will discuss the details of the editor's career path such as how to become an editor in India, editor salary in India and editor skills and qualities.

Linguistic meaning is related to language or Linguistics which is the study of languages. A career as a linguistic meaning, a profession that is based on the scientific study of language, and it's a very broad field with many specialities. Famous linguists work in academia, researching and teaching different areas of language, such as phonetics (sounds), syntax (word order) and semantics (meaning). 

Other researchers focus on specialities like computational linguistics, which seeks to better match human and computer language capacities, or applied linguistics, which is concerned with improving language education. Still, others work as language experts for the government, advertising companies, dictionary publishers and various other private enterprises. Some might work from home as freelance linguists. Philologist, phonologist, and dialectician are some of Linguist synonym. Linguists can study French , German , Italian . 

Public Relation Executive

Travel journalist.

The career of a travel journalist is full of passion, excitement and responsibility. Journalism as a career could be challenging at times, but if you're someone who has been genuinely enthusiastic about all this, then it is the best decision for you. Travel journalism jobs are all about insightful, artfully written, informative narratives designed to cover the travel industry. Travel Journalist is someone who explores, gathers and presents information as a news article.

Quality Controller

A quality controller plays a crucial role in an organisation. He or she is responsible for performing quality checks on manufactured products. He or she identifies the defects in a product and rejects the product. 

A quality controller records detailed information about products with defects and sends it to the supervisor or plant manager to take necessary actions to improve the production process.

Production Manager

Merchandiser.

A QA Lead is in charge of the QA Team. The role of QA Lead comes with the responsibility of assessing services and products in order to determine that he or she meets the quality standards. He or she develops, implements and manages test plans. 

Metallurgical Engineer

A metallurgical engineer is a professional who studies and produces materials that bring power to our world. He or she extracts metals from ores and rocks and transforms them into alloys, high-purity metals and other materials used in developing infrastructure, transportation and healthcare equipment. 

Azure Administrator

An Azure Administrator is a professional responsible for implementing, monitoring, and maintaining Azure Solutions. He or she manages cloud infrastructure service instances and various cloud servers as well as sets up public and private cloud systems. 

AWS Solution Architect

An AWS Solution Architect is someone who specializes in developing and implementing cloud computing systems. He or she has a good understanding of the various aspects of cloud computing and can confidently deploy and manage their systems. He or she troubleshoots the issues and evaluates the risk from the third party. 

Computer Programmer

Careers in computer programming primarily refer to the systematic act of writing code and moreover include wider computer science areas. The word 'programmer' or 'coder' has entered into practice with the growing number of newly self-taught tech enthusiasts. Computer programming careers involve the use of designs created by software developers and engineers and transforming them into commands that can be implemented by computers. These commands result in regular usage of social media sites, word-processing applications and browsers.

ITSM Manager

Information security manager.

Individuals in the information security manager career path involves in overseeing and controlling all aspects of computer security. The IT security manager job description includes planning and carrying out security measures to protect the business data and information from corruption, theft, unauthorised access, and deliberate attack 

Business Intelligence Developer

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Mass Media Essay & Paragraph

Mass media is the medium of communication with mass people. There are two types of mass media: print media and electronic media. It is a source of information and entertainment for the masses. Here are a bunch of educational essays and paragraphs about mass media for students, which shed light on the introduction, impact and role of mass media.

Mass Media Essay & Paragraph

An Essay on Mass Media

By: Haque | Words: 400 | For SSC/O-level

Introduction

Mass media means media that are used to communicate with the mass people. Mass media include print media such as newspapers and magazines and electronic media such as radio, television, and the internet. Mass media are sources of information and entertainment to the mass people. Generally, the government of the country tries to control the mass media.

The importance of mass media has been described elaborately in the following points:

      (1) Mass media are sources of news and information for mass people. They keep people informed about things going on all over the world.

     (2) Mass media are used as media of instruction and education. The government can issue different instructions and launch awareness programs for people through mass media. Besides, different distant education programs are also conducted through mass media.

     (3) Mass media are used as platforms for creating public opinion regarding different issues of local, national, and international importance. They can also organize people against corruption, malpractice, terrorism, and other social vices.

     (4) Mass media can be helpful for the government too. Mass media address different public issues and publish expert opinions regarding national and international matters. Such opinions help governments adopt appropriate policies on those matters.

There are certain abuses of mass media as well. First of all, mass media publishes and broadcasts news according to the taste of the news editors and the owners of certain print or electronic media. As a result, the news is not often neutral in the media. Sometimes they are even shamelessly used to safeguard coterie interests. Then mass media can be much harmful to the public interest. In some instances, mass media publish and broadcast wrong information leading to public opinion in the wrong way. Generally, media are more or less controlled by the government of a certain country and publish news according to the instruction of the government.

With the development of science, inventions like the internet and mobile phone are being used extensively. These media have already broken down all kinds of barriers against the free flow of information. The Internet has been dubbed as the super highway of information. Here all sorts of information and public views can be received by an individual. So, there is reason to be hopeful that the role of mass media will be continuously reconstructed for the better and we will get a free, fair, and unrestricted flow of information in the mass media.

Essay on Mass Media: Types, Functions & Influence

By: Haque | Words: 1700 | For HSC/A-level & Higher Students

Mass media is a term that is used to describe various forms of communication that are intended to reach a large audience. It includes traditional media such as newspapers , magazines , radio , and television , as well as newer forms of media like the internet and social media. Mass media plays a significant role in shaping public opinion, culture, and society. It has the power to entertain, inform, educate, and even influence people’s attitudes and behaviors. In this essay, we will explore the types, functions, and impacts of mass media, as well as the ethics involved in its use. We will also discuss the importance of being critical consumers of mass media and understanding the role it plays in our lives.

Types of Mass Media

Mass media can be broadly classified into two main categories: print media and electronic media. Print media includes traditional forms of media such as newspapers, magazines, and books, while electronic media refers to newer forms of media such as television, radio, and the internet. Each type of mass media has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.

A. Print Media Print media is the oldest and most traditional form of mass media. It is a tangible form of media that includes newspapers, magazines, books, and other printed materials.

Newspapers : Newspapers are a daily or weekly publication that provides current news, articles, and features. They can be either regional or national in scope.

Magazines: Magazines are a periodical publication that is typically issued on a monthly basis. They cover a wide range of topics including fashion, lifestyle, sports, and news.

Books: Books are long-form publication that provides in-depth information on a particular topic. They are a valuable source of knowledge and have been a popular form of entertainment for centuries.

B. Electronic Media Electronic media refers to newer forms of media that use electronic signals to transmit information to a large audience.

Television : Television is a powerful form of mass media that allows people to watch the news, sports, movies, and other forms of entertainment from the comfort of their homes. It is a visual medium that can convey information in an engaging way.

Radio : Radio is an audio-based form of mass media that provides news, music, and other forms of entertainment. It is a popular medium for people who are on the move and can be accessed via different devices.

Internet : The internet is a newer form of mass media that has revolutionized the way people consume information. It allows people to access news, entertainment, and other forms of media from anywhere in the world. It is also an interactive medium that allows people to engage with content and other users in a variety of ways.

Functions of Mass Media

Mass media serves a variety of functions in society, ranging from entertainment to education to advocacy. The different functions of mass media are interconnected, and they contribute to the overall role that mass media plays in shaping public opinion, culture, and society.

A. Entertainment One of the primary functions of mass media is to provide entertainment. People consume media for leisure and relaxation, and media producers cater to this demand by producing a wide range of content, including movies, music, television shows, and video games.

B. Information Mass media serves as a powerful source of information, providing people with news, current events, and other important information that shapes their understanding of the world around them. News outlets, for example, provide up-to-date information on local, national, and international events, while documentaries and other forms of media provide in-depth information on specific topics.

C. Education Mass media is also a valuable tool for education, providing people with access to information and knowledge that they might not have otherwise been exposed to. Educational television programs, documentaries, and online courses are just a few examples of how mass media can be used for educational purposes.

D. Advocacy Mass media can also be used to advocate for particular causes and ideas, raising awareness and influencing public opinion. For example, media campaigns can be used to raise awareness about social issues, such as climate change or human rights, and to advocate for specific policies or solutions.

E. Socialization Finally, mass media plays an important role in socializing people and shaping their values, attitudes, and behaviors. Media content can reinforce existing social norms or challenge them, and it can shape people’s perceptions of different groups and issues. In this way, mass media can influence the way that people interact with each other and the world around them.

Influence of Mass Media

Mass media has a significant influence on society, as it shapes people’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. The influence of mass media can be both positive and negative, and it can vary depending on the type of media and the specific content being consumed.

A. Positive Influence Mass media has the potential to have a positive influence on society by promoting awareness, education, and positive values. For example, media campaigns can be used to raise awareness about important issues such as health and safety, while educational programs can provide people with valuable information and skills.

B. Negative Influence Mass media can also have negative influences on society. For example, it can promote harmful stereotypes, normalize violence and aggression, and contribute to the spread of misinformation. In some cases, media content can even lead to harmful behaviors, such as drug use, eating disorders, or other risky behaviors.

C. Media Bias Another important influence of mass media is its potential for bias. Media outlets may have political, economic, or other agendas that shape the content they produce and the way it is presented. This can result in a biased portrayal of events and issues, which can shape people’s perceptions and opinions.

D. Cultivation Theory Cultivation theory is a concept that suggests that long-term exposure to media content can shape people’s perceptions of reality, leading to the cultivation of specific beliefs and attitudes. For example, exposure to violent media content over time may lead people to believe that the world is more violent and dangerous than it actually is.

E. Agenda Setting Theory Agenda setting theory suggests that media outlets have the power to influence what people think about by choosing which issues and events to cover and how to cover them. By focusing on certain issues and events, media outlets can shape people’s perceptions of what is important and what should be prioritized.

F. Social Learning Theory Social learning theory suggests that people learn from observing and imitating others, including the behavior they see in media content. For example, exposure to media content that promotes certain values or behaviors may lead people to adopt those values or behaviors themselves.

Overall, the influence of mass media on society is complex and multifaceted, and it can have both positive and negative effects depending on the specific content being consumed and the context in which it is consumed.

Ethics in Mass Media

Ethics play an important role in mass media, as media outlets have a responsibility to report the news accurately and objectively, and to create content that is not harmful or offensive. However, ethical considerations can sometimes conflict with the demands of the media industry, such as the need for high ratings or increased revenue.

A. Truth and Accuracy One of the most important ethical considerations in mass media is truth and accuracy. Media outlets have a responsibility to report the news accurately and objectively, and to correct any errors or inaccuracies that are made. In addition, media outlets should be transparent about their sources and methods of reporting.

B. Sensitivity and Harm Media content can be harmful or offensive to certain groups of people, and media outlets have a responsibility to be sensitive to these concerns. For example, media outlets should avoid promoting harmful stereotypes or promoting violence or aggression. They should also be sensitive to issues such as gender, race, and sexuality, and avoid promoting harmful attitudes or behaviors towards these groups.

C. Privacy and Consent Media outlets have a responsibility to respect people’s privacy and obtain their consent before using their images or personal information. This includes obtaining consent for interviews, photographs, or other forms of media content. Media outlets should also respect people’s right to control their own personal information and should avoid invading their privacy without a legitimate reason.

D. Conflicts of Interest Media outlets should avoid conflicts of interest, such as promoting the interests of their advertisers or sponsors at the expense of accurate reporting. In addition, journalists should avoid financial or personal relationships that could compromise their objectivity or integrity.

E. Professionalism Media professionals should adhere to high standards of professionalism, including ethical behavior, accuracy, and objectivity. They should also be transparent about their methods of reporting and should avoid engaging in unethical behavior such as plagiarism or fabrication.

Overall, ethics play a crucial role in mass media, as media outlets have a responsibility to report the news accurately and objectively, and to create content that is not harmful or offensive. By adhering to high standards of ethics and professionalism, media professionals can help to ensure that the public is informed and educated about the issues that matter most.

Mass media is a powerful force in our society that shapes our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. There are many different types of mass media, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, mass media serves several important functions, including providing information, promoting awareness, and shaping public opinion.

However, the influence of mass media is not always positive. Media content can sometimes be harmful or offensive, and media outlets may have biases or conflicts of interest that can shape the content they produce. As a result, it is important for media professionals to adhere to high standards of ethics and professionalism to ensure that the public is informed and educated about the issues that matter most.

Despite the potential negative influences of mass media, it remains an important and valuable tool for promoting positive change in our society. By using media to promote awareness, education, and positive values, we can help to shape a more informed, responsible, and compassionate world.

Related Post: Radio Essay & Paragraph

A Paragraph on Mass Media, 100 Words

By: Haque | For class 5 | 17-02-’23

Mass media refers to various forms of communication, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the internet, that reach a large audience. It is a powerful tool for spreading information, ideas, and opinions, and plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and culture. Mass media can be used to entertain, inform, educate, or persuade people. Today no one is beyond the influence of mass media. Mass media makes us aware, but it also has some negative effects. By understanding how media works and how it can influence people, you can make informed decisions about the information you consume and the media you choose to engage with.

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Role of Media in Society Essay

Introduction, overview of the role of media in society, works cited.

In today’s society, the flow of information among the citizenry plays an important role towards the development of an informed society. To this effect, the media has been instrumental in ensuring that the population gets current news and information on different issues affecting various societies.

Arguably, without the media, the world would consist of an ignorant population devoid of any relevant information relating to issues affecting their environment. With this in mind, it could be argued that the media provides the backdrop against which we make sense of any new conditions and information that we encounter in a world that is increasingly becoming globalized.

Since its conception, the media has been hugely influential in the development of the society. The media can be used to drive public opinion, report on current news and advance some social values. The media is at best a complex genre which may be broken down into a large number of sub-genres such as news stories, opinion columns, advertisements, sports and horoscopes to name but a few.

As such, the role of the media in today’s society is important because it essentially helps individuals get access to valuable information, educate the people in the communities and is a useful, affordable and an economical tool for entertainment.

In today’s society, the social issue that has particularly struck individuals through the decades is that of the media. In this study, the various opinions held in regard to the media and how it operates shall be provided. Through the analysis of relevant literature, a brief yet informative discussion of the various benefits that have been enjoyed as a result of the media shall be presented. This shall be done by highlighting key areas where the media has been instrumental.

These areas include but are not limited to: provision of information, a source of education and knowledge, link between members of the global community and a source of entertainment. The differing opinions propagated by media critics shall also be presented. This shall at the end help us understand the roles that the media plays in society as well as the extent to which the media has been successful in performing its duties.

As such, it shall be a worthwhile endeavor to shed some light on the benefits as well as the costs that have risen due to the presence and effects of the media in our societies. This analysis shall help in the provision of a clearer understanding on how the media affects society.

The media is arguably one of the most powerful agents for change and the betterment of society. Its role as the society’s eyes; indeed a ‘watchdog’ constantly monitoring and critiquing the actions of those in authority for the betterment of society are some of the attributes that previously made the media seem as a positive influence to society.

The ability of media to so accurately reflect the mood of the society and advocate for people to fight against social injustices and vices portrays the media as a tool for promoting justice, equality and harmony among the masses.

In regards to this statement, the current states of affairs indicate that societies are ridden with selfishness and actions aimed at advancing individual goals. This can be derived from the argument raised by Michael Meyers who claims that today’s media does not educate the audience but train them (Kramer, Meyers and Rothstein 582).

This he attributes to the fact that the media outlets no longer providing credible information. In this regard, the audience does not buy the truth, but what prominent figures want them to believe. The author is trying to bring out the fact that media is biased.

The proposed biasness has its root in the anti-intellectual and anti-democratic media. In addition, the media’s advertisement of products and services is an act aimed at enabling the consumers to make informed choices. As Bernt explains, the skills and artistic nature used to present persuasive advertisements help consumers relate products to their lifestyle and preferences (193).

Texts and images represented in advertisement can signify a myriad of meanings to the viewer. All this is in an attempt by the creator of the advert to persuade the consumer to think, feel or act in a predetermined manner (Bernt 194). Advertisement is therefore more of an educative venture than a deliberate attempt to sway the consumer in any predetermined direction since in the end; the consumers are better informed of the variety of brands that are at their disposal.

Bernt suggests that the heavy emphasis of advertisements in media is due to the fact that advertisers are the dominant sources of revenue for most modern media (193). The influence that advertisements have on the people is colossal as can be inferred from the rise in sales for corporations that engage in large-scale advertisement.

Bernt further asserts that the persuasive nature of advertisements has had a great effect on American culture in regards to the relationship between working hard and purchasing power (193). Bernt asserts that advertisements have “replaced Puritanism or the Protestant work ethic as the driving force in American society that causes people to work hard in order to shop even harder (193).”

The various forms of entertainment availed e.g. Movies, sports, interactive programs and Music productions are very important means of relieving stress after a long day at work. In addition, they help alleviate boredom. As such, the sole agenda of such products is recreational and providing means for people to enjoy themselves and connect (Bellah et al 67).

For example, through satellite television providers like DSTV people all over the world are able to enjoy the entertainment genre that best suit their preferences. Examples include movies, sports, music and news. Truth be told, football clubs would never have gained such a strong and wide fan base were it not for the media.

In regards to change in journalism, Pavlik highlights on how journalism has been affected by the transformation of the new media (Fernback 163).

In his opinion, new media technologies have greatly affected the traditional perspective of journalism. This he explains by expounding on the new journalistic trends such as changes in the contents provided to the audience as news, changes in how journalists work, structural changes in news organizations and changes that have occurred in the correlations between media outlets, journalists and different audiences (Fernback 163).

These changes brought about by new media technologies have to a large extent led to the contextualization of journalism; a situation whereby journalism has become less objective and practical.

On the same note, Palvik (as cited by Fernback 163) further notes that these new trends perceive journalists as interpreters of current events who in their efforts “empower the audience and reconnect communities (Fernback 163).”

According to Palvik, the new transformations being experienced in media outlets can be attributed to the availability and emergence of online infrastructure, high degree of customization, instantaneity and interactivity that characterize new media. In his point of view, Palvik believes that such developments will at the end make journalism a better tool to promote democracy (Fernback 163).

Evidence of such developments can be derived from the emergence of the internet and the online architecture that supports this vast source of information. Through online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia and the various search engines, people are able to access information and learn about different issues that affect their lives.

In addition, students in all academic fields are able to do more research in their designated fields and as a result, they become more knowledgeable in these areas than they would have been while using the traditional means of acquiring knowledge. Similarly, the internet has also provided people with a global means of communicating and learning about each other through websites like “facebook” and “twitter”.

People from different countries globally are able to interact and socialize in the comfort of their homes without the inconveniencies caused by travelling as well as the enormous costs that would have otherwise been incurred. These facts prove Palvik’s assertion that new media is at the forefront in empowering the masses (by providing useful information) and connecting communities (interactive nature of the internet, radio and TV talk shows e. t. c.).

On the other hand, Preston (as cited by Fernback 163) contends that the transformations being experienced in media are as a result of political, social, economical and communication patterns rather than technological developments.

Preston asserts that the interrelation that exists between social and informational sciences accompanied by non-academic and industrial literatures can be used by media so as to develop an equitable society and ensure social order (Fernback 163). In his book reshaping communication , Preston uses the aforementioned aspects to develop a model that explores the social role of information and communication in societies today (Fernback 163).

In his opinion, Preston argues that our cultural, informational and social bearings are hinged not on technological advancements, but on the socioeconomic, political and communication trends that we adapt (Fernback 164). In this regard, it can arguably be stated that the role of the media in society is not determined by technological advancements, but by the socio-technical paradigm (Fernback 164).

The positive view of the media has greatly been challenged with time. No longer do the various media outlets stand out as the ‘last front were nobility and idealism still had a foothold.’ Instead, the media just like any other business has been influenced by competition and ratings. As such, it has been noted for a fact that media outlets do at times express their own biased opinions which may not always be ideal or noble at that.

For example, Gay Talese attests to the fact that the New York Times editor Gerald Boyd refused to print a story about an interracial wedding simply because it never emphasized on Black victimization (Kramer, Meyers and Rothstein 575). According to Gay Talese, any story that would soften the perception people had on such issues was disallowed and could not be printed (Kramer, Meyers and Rothstein 575).

In this case, the Media’s actions which were previously perceived as being selfless and socially motivated have been exposed to not always have been driven by benevolence. These actions are at times resounded with self interests and personal gains for the media houses and the corporations that sponsor them.

The previous view of the media’s ability to correctly reflect on the society’s mood has also been greatly questioned as the media does at time appear to affect the set the society’s mood as opposed to reflecting it through the use of propaganda. (Kramer, Meyers and Rothstein suggest that the one of the media’s greatest power is in its ability to subtly influence our opinion (575).

They further assert that in events that elicit a lot of public opinion, propaganda plays a great role and polarizes people along lines that they may not necessarily have taken had they not been “persuaded” to do so.

This subtle psychological nudges can be used to further the cause of big corporations in the form of advertisements or by politicians who want to sway public opinions for their own good. To this effect, the people’s previous trust in the media report has therefore been greatly clouded by this realization.

In terms of the unbiased reporting which had for a long time been viewed to be the hallmark of the popular media, it has been noted that some media reports are actually aimed at making the recipient of the information form a certain pre-determined opinion thus destroying any illusion of un-biasness (Kramer, Meyers and Rothstein 575).

Media outlets can therefore set out to further some social cause which they believe in. Using the cultivation theory, Burton propose that exposure to some kinds of media often cultivate certain attitudes and values (Steffen 455). As an example, Steffen sheds some light on how Arab media has in the recent past adopted the western form of journalism and media presentation (455).

In this regard, the author states that even journalists from countries such as Egypt and other Arabic countries which has stringent media policies accept western media values such as accuracy and balance (Steffen 455). As such, the reporter’s opinions and attitude will rub on the general population thus coloring their view of some events.

In addition, the aforementioned assertion that advertisement aired in different media outlets is aimed at making the consumer better informed has been changed by evidence which strongly suggests that advertisements are aimed at actively influencing the decision that the consumer makes or may make in future (Steffen 456).

What this means is that advertisement is no longer a primary tool for marketing, instead, it has been used to combat the aggressive competition. To this effect, only the consumers suffer because the advertisements no longer help them make informed decisions about the products but instead, the advertisements influence their judgments by giving half-truths.

An especially troubling fact that revealed through various research efforts is that uncontrolled media in some instances leads to desensitization of the population on issues such as violence.

Continuous exposure to media violence especially on the young and impressionable segment of the population can lead to catastrophic results as has been witnessed before in the various random shootouts that occur in our schools. Research shows that media violence encourages aggressive behavior and leads to pessimism in children (Burton 123; Steffen 456).

This information contradicts the aforementioned perception of the media as a guardian and propagator of social values since the compelling evidence presented by research showed that media also leads to breaking of social values and leads to a disruption of harmony through the violence it encourages.

On the same note, rampant advertisements through media outlets have in the recent past characterized modern media. These advertisements aim at influencing the consumer to maintain or develop some form of ideology (Bernt 194). This close relationship that media and advertising have developed raises concerns over the influences that the media may be willing to wield so as to achieve the advertising objectives.

A closer observation of the movies and other entertainment forms presented by the media revealed heavy advertisements therein. These rampant acts of branding were previously unknown to many and their effect though unconsciously administered is substantial.

The media’s promotion of social values is also at times only used as a cover to influence consumers by use of advertisement (Fernback 164). Due to these advertisements, naive recipients of the information presented are unwittingly influenced into buying the products that the particular advertisements promote.

This is at best a very irresponsible behavior by the media since most people are favorably disposed to agree with sentiments that are projected by the media. These misuses of social issues as a marketing tool have also changed the positive role that the media was supposed to deliver. This is mainly due to the fact that the media is being used as a tool for furthering the objectives of corporations at the cost of an unsuspecting population.

The role played by the media in today’s society cannot be understated. However, caution should be taken because as expressed in this study, not all media is healthy. Through this research, the knowledge that has been transferred herein should not make the public skeptical of the media but should help them become more skeptical about the issues being addressed through various media outlets.

This will invariably transform them from being passive, unquestioning and all-believing recipients, to active and questioning recipients of the information which is provided by the media. Nevertheless, a free and vibrant media is necessary for the good of the society. An unfettered media is the hallmark of a truly unbiased society. However, one should adopt a more questioning stance when dealing with any information provided by the media.

Bellah, Robert. ET AL.”Community, Commitment, and Individuality.” Literacies: Reading, Writing, Interpretation. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000. 65-74. Print.

Bernt, Joseph. P. “Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising’s Impact on American Character and Society.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 78.1 (2001): 193-194. Research Library, ProQuest. Web.

Fernback, Jan. “Journalism and New Media / Reshaping Communications: Technology, Information and Social Change.” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 57.2 (2002): 162-164. Research Library, ProQuest. Web.

Kramer Hilton, Michael Meyers and Edward Rothstein. “The media and our country’s agenda.” Partisan Review 69.4 (2002): 574-606. Research Library, ProQuest. Web.

Steffen, Brian. J. “Media and Society: Critical Perspectives.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 83.2 (2006): 455-456. Research Library, ProQuest. Web.

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"Role of Media in Society." IvyPanda , 23 Oct. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-media/.

IvyPanda . (2019) 'Role of Media in Society'. 23 October.

IvyPanda . 2019. "Role of Media in Society." October 23, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-media/.

1. IvyPanda . "Role of Media in Society." October 23, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-media/.

Bibliography

IvyPanda . "Role of Media in Society." October 23, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-media/.

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