Mass Media Effects on the Society
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The best thing about the mass media is that it immediately provides us with the latest information about the things happening around us. Mass media reports news from all the fields such as politics, sports, international relations, wars, natural calamities, meetings, entertainment2, etc. Because of the keen efforts and dedication of the people working in the media and the entertainment2 sector, our knowledge remains up to date and fresh. With the gained knowledge, we become more smart and outgoing. We understand what is good and bad for us through the media programs. For example, the anti-tobacco and narcotic programs launched by the media have benefited many people to date. The information3 conveyed about various diseases and their possible treatments has saved the lives of many of us. The contribution of mass media in the fields of arts, education, technology and health care is laudable4. We also get the correct information about the various crimes and illegal activities happening in our surroundings5 quite easily. Media is a boon for youngsters in many ways. They get useful information related to their career and higher education mostly through the mass media. The mass media influence or the effects of mass media on the minds of the youth is significant.

Media plays a very important role in shaping the personality of people. It has been observed that citizens become more sensible and capable to shoulder6 their responsibility towards the nation and the society because of the media. We get our role models by hearing about the appreciation7 of their great deeds from the media itself. Over the years, mass media has played an important role in making people understand the meaning of democracy. We also come to know about the strengths and weaknesses of the economy of our country, the population figures, the various problems faced by the nation, achievements of the nation in different sectors, through the prompt and precise reporting of different forms of media. Media plays an important role in building the sense of unity and pride among the people of the nation. In those countries where there are many castes, religions and languages spoken, media has even more tough responsibility of conveying the true news to the citizens. Media makes the citizens aware of their fundamental rights and their duties towards their families, state and the nation. Utility of the mass media in the areas of advertising and marketing is simply great. The effects of mass media are truly8 everlasting.

Though the positive mass media effects are many, there are some cons associated with the mass media. The news which is published without having bothered to check whether it is a fact or not, can create unnecessary confusion and extreme feelings among the common masses. There have been many instances of huge fights9 and controversies emerging, because of improper reporting. It becomes the duty of media to provide only relevant and precise information to the masses.

Hopefully, you will be satisfied with the above mentioned information on the mass media effects. Over the years, the media has become an inseparable component of our daily lives and hence, it is its prime responsibility to keep the confidence of people alive by reporting only true details of any particular event.

How does mass media influence society? Mass media is one of the far reaching forms of communication and is fast changing the way we see, do and understand things. How does mass media influence society? Before answering this question, perhaps it is pertinent that we address the question: what is mass media?

What is Mass Media?

Statistics show that there are few things which impact the human mind more than mass media. The advice of teachers, parents and relatives may fall on deaf ears, but the mass media influence holds us all spellbound! At this point, it becomes necessary to define mass media. Mass media may be defined as any form of communication which is meted out to the people at large, through the various forms of communication. What modes of communication are we talking about? Well there can be no static definition for the channels of mass communication as they are increasing all the time. But any form of communication which is seen and understood by a large mass of people can be taken to mean mass communication or mass media channels.

Why is mass media so attractive to people? Mass media holds a kind of mystique in the minds of the people. It is because the communication is designed in such a way that it appeals to a larger demographic segment. The test of a good mass communication marketing drive is to see if it gets the people talking. If it does, then not only does it mean that the advertising drive has been successful, but the organization in charge of the mass communication is also getting publicity by the word-of-mouth channel!

Mass Media Influence

It is hard to argue with the fact that mass media has a compelling effect on the human mind, especially on minds which are more impressionable10. For example, the mass media influence on children is understandably higher than it is in adults. So how exactly does mass media influence us?

Mass Media Influence on Youth

There is a burgeoning need amongst the youth to be accepted as a part of a group, to be popular, to have friends and relationships with people of the opposite sex etc. Mass media experts understand this need of the people and hence they come out with advertisements on TV, or in the newspapers, or on websites on how people can be more popular using a certain product. Most advertisements you see which are aimed at the youth generally talk about the 'cool quotient' of the product and how it is going to be the next 'in-thing'. And if you want to stay ahead of the game, it is absolutely vital that you procure it. The visual effect, seeing the things happen in front of you and the slice-of-life effect makes them look a lot believable than they should be. So how should mass media be used with youth? Mass media, effective as it is, can be used on the youth to drive home pressing concerns in the country. Child obesity, the dangers of alcohol and preteen sexual relations, importance of exercise and fitness etc. If these things can be done, the mass media will be able to influence the youth for the better and send better messages for the development of the youth than what it is sending today.

Mass Media Influence on Adults

Like children and youth, mass media influences adults too, although perhaps not on the same scale. Most adults with a platonic view of things will resist the temptation of being buoyed up by what the mass media has to offer. While men usually find it difficult to hold themselves back in the face of the allure of sexuality. Other subjects which also appeal to men are financial security and a luxurious hassle-free lifestyle. Women on the other hand are more tempted towards products which guarantee immunity from aging altogether and not just what the previous generation called 'aging gracefully'. Mass media can yet be used constructively to teach the adults about the importance of insurance11, financial education and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As you can see, the mass media influence on society is at large, but if used constructively, it can be more of a boon than the bane which people consign it to be these days. After all, there are two sides to a coin and it is up to us to pick the correct one and take it forward!

Pros and Cons of Mass Media

Mass media enjoys a very prominent role in our lives. There are various effects of mass media on the society at large. Media tends to influence and it’s obvious, there are positive as well as negative influences of mass media. However, it also depends upon the way audiences perceive things. The power of the mass media is by far recognized by everybody in terms of advertising, marketing and as a medium to broadcast information to people at large. Since mass media is used to communicate and interact with people from various walks of life, it can often result in a conflict of options. Print media (magazines, newspapers, brochures, press releases, newsletters etc), electronic media (television, radio etc) and the Internet are all part of mass media. Today, mass media can give a person phenomenal exposure and this can result in various effects of the mass media on the society. However, have you paused to think about the pros and cons of mass media? Well, one cannot blame a particular medium because of outside influences. Here, we shall take a look at such advantages and disadvantages of mass media.

Pros of Mass Media:

· The wide reach offered by mass media is phenomenal. It can target12 a global audience.

· In terms of newspapers and magazines, it can reach a specified target12 group. Besides, it is easily accessible. For example, the newspaper lands on the doorstep and we have the latest news in our drawing rooms due to the television set.

· Certain types of media have a loyal fan following. This would mean that an advertiser, publication or news channel would have a ready audience.

· We have the latest news and information at the click of the mouse! The Internet is such a medium that it can give many options for the kind of information required.

· Television, movies, Internet and the radio are some of the best forms of entertainment.

· Mass media can be used for educational purposes in an effective manner.

Cons of Mass Media:

· At times, the information reported may not be authentic from every angle. Hence, there may be a misinterpretation of a situation.

· News can be manipulated to influence the minds of the audiences. For example – a particular political party may manipulate reports in their favor, which would indicate the political control in the media.

· Media bias can occur due to various issues. A journalist or an editor may give personal preference to an issue.

· A particular event or a celebrity may receive undue importance and set wrong ideals before the youth. It may present an ostentatious lifestyle, which may inculcate wrong ideals amongst youngsters.

· Unnecessary sensationalism of an issue may project wrong information to the public13.

· Misleading messages may again divert young minds towards a wrong path.

· Wrong interpretation of news14 may even blow things out of proportion. This would create further unrest in any place or even violence in case of extreme situations.

· At times, a particular event or news14 item may receive too much attention simply because of the lack of important news or snippets. This would again present a wrong idea before the public.

· Certain types of mass media such as newspapers or leaflets have a very short shelf life. In terms of advertising, it would not serve to be useful for every kind of product or message.

These were some of the pros and cons of mass media. Ultimately, it always depends upon the individual and the way a particular message is perceived for a positive influence of the mass media!

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After reading

Exercise 9. Read the article again and underline words and phrases that you do not know. Write your own definitions. Use a dictionary if necessary.

Exercise 10. Find in the first paragraph and analyze the sentence with the structure “… is known to be …”. Write your own sentences with this structure.

Reading for detail

Exercise 11. Read the text and mark the sentences T (true) or F (false).

1. Mass media is the most powerful way of communication of people living only in one country.

2. Mass media provides us with fresh news from all the fields.

3. The contribution of mass media in the anti-tobacco and anti-narcotic programs is great.

4. The effects of mass media on the minds of the youth can be only positive.

5. The parents and relatives influence on the young people is always more effective than the mass media effects.

6. Most advertisements which are aimed at the youth generally talk about the dangers of alcohol and preteen sexual relations, importance of exercise and fitness etc.

7. Mass media is used to communicate and interact with people from various walks of life.

8. A particular political party can’t manipulate mass media in its favor.

9. A journalist or an editor can’t give personal preference to an issue.

10. Wrong interpretation of news may create violence in the case of extreme situations.

Exercise 12. Look through the text and find information about a very important role of mass media in shaping the personality of people.

Exercise 13. Order the sentences according to the text.

- Mass media has a compelling effect on the children minds.

- Mass media immediately provides us with the latest information about the things happening around us.

- There are positive as well as negative influences of mass media on the society.

- News can be manipulated to influence the minds of the audiences.

- The Internet is such a medium that it can give many options for the kind of information required.

- Mass media has played an important role in making people understand the meaning of democracy.

Exercise 14. Answer the following questions.

1. What is this text about?

2. What definitions are given at the beginning of the text?

3. What functions of mass media does the author dwell on?

4. What influences of mass media does the author report?

5. How does the author explain mass media influence on youth?

6. What are the advantages of mass media?

7. What are the disadvantages of mass media?

8. What conclusion does the author make?

Summarizing information

Exercise 15. Make a plan of the text.

Exercise 16. Abridge the text by way of shortening each paragraph (leaving out unnecessary sentences and even words).

Exercise 17. Summarize  the text to the others in your group.


Exercise 18. Discuss Pros and Cons of Mass Media.

Exercise 19. Speak about Mass Media Influence on Youth.


Exercise 29.Write a summary of the text. Use the following plan.

1. The text is headlined …

2. The author of the article is …

3. The article is devoted to …

4. The text begins with …

5. Then (after that, further on, next …) the author …

- dwells on …

- explains …

- mentions …

- points out …   

- reports about …

- describes …

- touches upon …

- comments on …

6. According to the text …

7. In conclusion …

8. I find the text

- interesting

- informative

- useful

- too hard to understand …

Дата: 2018-12-28, просмотров: 232.