MEDIA AS A WEAPON OF MASS COMMUNICATION

Mass Media代写 In every society, the media has had an outstanding role as a public interest watchdog to create awareness and civic consciousness.

Mass Media代写
Mass Media代写

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Contents
Mass Media代写

1. Introduction —————————————————————–3

2. The Political Economy of Mass Media —————————3

2.1. Culture Industries —————————– 3

2.2. Mass Deception: The Propaganda Function ——————4

2.2.1. Ownership and Control ———————————————5

2.2.2. Advertising————————————————————— 5

2.2.3. Government Sourcing ———————————————–5

2.2.4. Flak and the ‘Fear Factor’ ——————————————6

2.3. The Hollywood Syndrome: Audience Identification with Fantasy ——–6

3. Theoretical Perspectives ————————————————-8

3.1. Mean World Syndrome ————————————————8

3.2. Identification Theory —————————————————8

3.3. Observational Theory ————————————————–9

3.4. Tri-Component Attitude Model ————————————9

4. Ethical Implications of Creation and Delivery of Media Content —10

References ———————————————————————–12

Media as a Weapon of Mass Communication

1. Introduction Mass Media代写

The world is now waking up to a defining moment in the evolution of the mass media as witnessed in the emergence of a multitude of media outlets powered by the ongoing breakthrough in technology. It is now virtually impossible to avoid contact with the flow of information on various platforms (Tucher, 2014).

In every society, the media has had an outstanding role as a public interest watchdog to create awareness and civic consciousness. Over the years, this role has however evolved to include entertainment, learning, and the promotion of special interests among other things. While formulating the groundwork for his theories, Karl Marx envisioned widespread growth in media influence and a parallel shift from its central function in civilized society (Krause, 2011).

Presently, these changing dynamics have had a significant impact in shaping public perception and influencing cultural identity. As a result, the evolving media dynamics epitomize its power as the de facto social authority in the creation of culture industries as well as its propaganda function for mass deception.

2. The Political Economy of Mass Media Mass Media代写

2.1. Culture Industries

The prevalent spread of media influence has transformed it into an authoritative social authority in the global society. Notably, people usually rely on the media for an update on the latest social trends, which has helped create culture industries by informing consumption habits and spending patterns on fashion, music, film, and art (Edwards, 2011).

As a result, the media has now become an elitist tool for safeguarding special interests through mass communication; it conveys ideas, notions, and values to a large and characteristically anonymous audience. Some of the most effective specialized media platforms today include social media, television, and radio, which reach out to large audiences.

Driven by preservation of special interests,

the elite use the mass media to assimilate people into a consumer culture (Ross, 2010). On the social scene, for instance, the elitist agenda is to create cultural conformity. To achieve this, they use the media to propagate elite trends such as those related to fashion and lifestyle. Manifestly, high society uses popular media outlets to propagate selective ideas about fashion, art, and culture to spread cultural materialism ideologies.

Images of popular personalities such as renowned athletes,

musicians, and movie stars showcasing designer outfits are prevalent on popular channels in a systematic campaign to create cultural conformity. Meanwhile, the fashion industry registers unprecedented profits from events such as New York Fashion Week as the material culture deepens its roots in modern society.

Mass communication creates audience consumerism through viewership.

Through its persuasive nature as the de facto social authority, the media has become very effective in transmitting values, constructing norms, and spreading ideas (Pfanner, 2013). As Marx explains, the social authority of the media enables the elite to create an illusion of fashion and show of class that lures the masses to conform to a designated set of cultural standards.

2.2. Mass Deception: The Propaganda Function Mass Media代写

Coming as it does, the mass media has had an unprecedented influence in shaping public opinion through deceptive framing of facts, Noam Chomsky observes. Evidently, it has been an effective means of creating a strong sense of consciousness to persuade the masses to embrace certain values and norms. News is usually systematically structured to carry out a propaganda function and to create a powerful ideological institution for mass deception (Edwards, 2011).

Textbook media propaganda entails publishing altered facts and half-truths repeatedly to create false consciousness; this usually fulfills a special interest schema such agenda-setting. Echoing Marx’s views, Chomsky alludes to the fact that the media has transformed into a special interests’ apparatus to control public opinion by creating false ideology, which is upheld by those whose interest it does not reflect. Through deceptive framing and selective dissemination of information, the mass media has become an instrumental force that shapes attitudes in favor of special interests and creates bias against opposing views (Ross, 2010). Chomsky’s view is that the mass media functions as a propaganda tool through five basic filters identified as ownership and control, government sourcing, advertising, flak, and fear ideology.

2.2.1. Ownership and Control

As nonprofit organizations, media houses survive largely through financial endorsement from corporate sponsors most of which are special interest companies. Notably, CNN and Time are prime property of Time Warner, NBC is largely owned and controlled by General Electric, and the Wall Street Journal is an affiliate of News-Corp (Edwards, 2011). Undoubtedly, the entry of special interests into news reporting compromises media objectivity; they are forced to inadvertently publish biased reports to serve a capitalist agenda.

2.2.2. Advertising

In an effort to generate funds to finance their routine activities, media houses often reserve space for paid ads. As a result, major clients use the advertising segments to reach out to their consumer segments (Ross, 2010). Therefore, advertising becomes another filter for Chomsky’s propaganda model of the mass media given that it is impossible to control ad content.

2.2.3. Government Sourcing

Chomsky identifies outsourcing as a powerful filter that controls the content to be published on specialized media platforms. The process of finding sources for media content faces a significant setback of placing reporters in certain places such as war-torn areas. As such, even prominent news organizations such as CNN, BBC, and The New York Times have to rely on sources from the Pentagon, White House, and 10 Downing Street to get their stories (Edwards, 2011).

In such scenarios, states and governments have the power to control the information reaching the public. With government agencies as key sources, the objectivity of information thus retrieved is likely to be questionable. For instance, during the Arab Spring, Libya was practically a no-go zone; therefore, practically every news item was sourced from US state agencies, nongovernmental organizations such as the UN and Red Cross, or NATO (Ross, 2010). This gave the US government absolute control over all legitimate news sourcing putting it in a position to alter facts to serve national interests.

2.2.4. Flak and the ‘Fear Factor’

Chomsky used the term flak to refer to media discipline. Evidently, journalism can be a cruel profession; sometimes, publishing certain content can incite or inflame negative responses from the audiences. Such cases are often accompanied by petitions, lawsuits, complaints, and government sanctions, especially if the content published is perceived as a threat to special interests (Ross, 2010).

Acting based on ‘fear factor,’ news organization sometimes spin certain stories and withhold facts that could bring that kind of predicament. For instance, in the wake of 9/11, any source that was deemed anti-war was treated with contempt, which indicates how special interests control the mass media through fear ideology.

2.3. The Hollywood Syndrome: Audience Identification with Fantasy Mass Media代写

While watching a television program or reading a book, the audience tends to form deep connections with certain characters as depicted in the respective media source. Likewise, they develop hate and resentment for others. MIT Professor Sherry Turkle explains that audience perception of characters is drawn more from the media depiction and not necessarily what the characters in question stand for (Edwards, 2011).

As they continuously watch popular shows, audiences get engrossed into the fiction and gradually assimilated into the plot. As a result, they are drawn into a fantasy realm where they identify with the characters. Such a scenario epitomizes the power of the mass media in the development of identity and even personality traits (Stanca et al., 2013). For instance, children have been known to adore their perceived movie star heroes such that they aspire to them as role models.

Findings further indicate

that the mass media has a far-reaching influence on the way audience think and make decisions. It is important to note that even real life media characters have similar influence on spectators as fictional ones; Kim Kardashian could be seen as a role model for a teenage girl just as Captain Jack Sparrow appears to be for an adolescent boy.

The scenario where audiences liken themselves with media personalities remains a subject of academic and scholarly interest; in a theoretical context, it is referred to as identification. Individual perception of media personalities directly affects their sense of self as well as personal social and familial relations. Character depiction in the mass media influences gender and sex roles too (Stanca et al., 2013).

For instance,

the depiction of Giacomo Casanova as a perennial womanizer has influenced perceptions among the male population who idolize similar behavior. With the pervasive portrayal of versions of the famous Italian, the word Casanova has been coined in the English dictionary with ‘playboy’ connotations.

Manifestly, this has shaped perceptions about gender, and sexual roles as the character becomes as controversial as it is popular in the mainstream media. Similarly, the rise of reality television star Kim Kardashian has generated mixed reactions to the question of sex and gender identity. A section of her audience identifies with the idea of a strong, spirited woman while others see a sex symbol; either way, she has had tremendous influence on the development of personal identities, perceptions, and attitudes.

3. Theoretical Perspectives  Mass Media代写

3.1. Mean World Syndrome

In his discourses, George Gerbner coined the term ‘mean world syndrome’ about the pervasive effect of violent media in shaping perception, attitudes, and the mindset of individuals or the society at large (McQuail, 2010). In his pioneer research of the consequences of television viewership on the society, Gerbner established a direct correlation between violent content on popular mass media and the development of personality traits and the sense of identity.

The inference drawn from the forerunner research is that people who watch violent media are likely to develop a negative perception of the world by drawing a comparison between what they observe and reality. Though a direct correlation was established, the nature and direction of causality remain largely contentious. The proportion of the syndrome is said to intensify over time as television and other visual media remain a popular pastime; the more people watch violent media, the more they develop cynical views of the world they live in.

3.2. Identification Theory

From a theoretical perspective, identification is a subconscious imaginative developmental process, which Sigmund Freud links to the Oedipus complex. In his developmental psychology, Freud explains that viewers identify with media characters due to psychological pressures and insecurities such as jealousy and the undying need to be recognized or remain relevant (McQuail, 2010).

Incidentally, the mind creates a fictional realm where a person can draw meaning to compensate for the lack of relevance in the real world. The fictional tales of Peter Pan and Goldilocks, for example, both portray lost and misunderstood characters, which most teenagers relate to during Erikson’s developmental phase of ‘identity versus role confusion.’ Essentially, identification is largely a coping mechanism and a process of self-reassurance.

3.3. Observational Theory Mass Media代写

As social beings, most aspects of human behavior are products of the socialization process where individuals evolve into versions of their immediate environment. While formulating the observational theory, sociologist Albert Bandura claims that the people imitate popular media characters by studying the behavior that resonates with their own. As a social learning experience, this process occurs in four distinct phases: observing an act, identifying with the actor in question, imitation, and motivation (McQuail, 2010).

Routine observational learning among audiences shapes the manner in which audiences think, and it informs their decision-making process such that their choice of action reflects that of their media role models. Another claim of this theory is that spectators show an affinity towards fictional characters, places, and events (Weaver, 2011). Therefore, the media significantly influences people’s perception of reality, which largely depends on what they see, read, hear, or experience.

3.4. Tri-Component Attitude Model Mass Media代写

The theoretical implication of the tri-component attitude model is that individual attitudes comprise three distinctive processes: cognition, affect, and conation. As it appertains to the mass media, the first component of cognition entails the development of attitudes based on the portrayal of people and events (Stanca et al., 2013).

Here,

the audience begins to perceive certain attributes of characters and events to which they develop positive, negative, or neutral attributes. As the media repeatedly reinforces perception, people form respective attitudes; as seen in the propaganda model discussed earlier, the media is known to notoriously shape viewer perception. Subsequently, cognition leads to the second component of this model, which is affected (emotion).

Affect emotion is best understood as the attitude itself since it represents the emotional response such as excitement, sadness, or pleasure (McQuail, 2010). The first two components of the tri-component attitude model are not expressive of attitudes; it is the final component (conation) that illustrates individual choice of action based on the respective emotional impulse. Consider a scenario where a teenage girl watches Kim Kardashian on television wearing a designer gown.

Initially,

the audience will develop and attitude towards the person in the dress and form an attitude, which marks the initial cognition process. Subsequently, cognition leads to emotional impulse (affect) where the teenager likes the likes it and would want to have it. Ultimately, the teenager decides to buy the gown so that she may look just as elegant (conation).

4. Ethical Implications of Creation and Delivery of Media Content Mass Media代写

Given the pervasive influence of the mass media in shaping public perception, there is a growing need for responsible creation and delivery of media content. Most importantly, both print and broadcast media must exercise professionalism and refrain from sensational journalism as stipulated in the ethical code of conduct (Patterson & Wilkins, 2013).

While the freedom of speech is a constitutional entitlement,

violation of media ethics comes with legal responsibility. As guardians of public interest, the media must report the truth and desist from manipulating facts. However, the truth often conflicts with other values such, and it is important to keep this in consideration. The key exceptions to the truth principle include protection of privacy and safeguarding national security (Krause, 2011).

As such, exercising free speech becomes an ethical violation when it infringes on the civilian need for privacy and revelation of classified state information; the fact that the content is true and genuinely reported is immaterial, and the media practitioner involved is legally liable. The aggrieved party in case of breach of media ethics is entitled to file a civil suit to recover damages. Likewise, the state has the mandate to censor media content or withdraw operating license in case of blatant ethical violation.

Given these concerns,

media practitioners ought to undertake a series of measures to restore dignity to the profession. First, they must monitor sourcing to ensure that media content is retrieved from viable sources and within the legal framework that guides such action. Similarly, there need to be effective oversight mechanisms to review potential news items before any publication.

The recommendation in this regard is to form a joint taskforce comprising a body of experts from the civil society and the civilian population. The taskforce will review content before publication and highlight any red flags that require reevaluation (Patterson & Wilkins, 2013). Elsewhere, experts advocate for the formation of an ethics committee for internal disciplinary action to deter professional misconduct.

As a functioning disciplinary mechanism,

the committee will send a clear message that violation of decorum shall not be tolerated and that culprits will be held responsible for their actions. Ultimately, every media house must reaffirm their commitment to preserving the values of journalism; they must develop and publish media content without fear or favor of special interests that undermine the essence of journalism, which is to serve the public interest.


References Mass Media代写

Edwards, P. (2011) “Historical Perspectives on the Circulation of Information,” American Historical Review 116: 1393-1435.

Krause, M. (2011) “Reporting and the Transformations of the Journalistic Field: U.S. News Media, 1890–2000.” Media, Culture, and Society 33 89–104.

McQuail, D. (2010). McQuail’s mass communication theory. 6th ed. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Patterson, P. & Wilkins, L. (2013). Media Ethics: Issues and Cases, 8th edition. McGraw-Hill

Pfanner, E. (2013). Peering Into the Future of Media. The New York Times.

Ross, C. (2010). Mass Communications, Society, and Politics from the Empire to the Third Reich. Oxford University Press.

Stanca, L.; Gui, M. & Gallucci, M. (2013). “Attracted but Unsatisfied: The Effects of Sensational Content on Television Consumption Choices”. Journal of Media Economics. 26 (2): 82–97.

Tucher, A. (2014) “Why Journalism History Matters: The Gaffe, the Stuff, and the Historical Imagination.”  American Journalism 31:4 432-444.

Weaver, A.J. (2011). “A Meta-Analytical Review of Selective Exposure to and the Enjoyment of Media Violence”. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 55 (2): 232–250.

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