The media is a persuasive socializing instrument influencing how people learn about our world and interact with one another. By necessity, the public bases most of its knowledge on news accounts, not personal experiences. Citizens are reliant on the media for what they know and how they relate philosophically to political issues. Personal options and opinions are constrained by historical or cultural social forces but every subject is open to re-examination through various media interpretations. From this perspective, the media’ s significance is evident. People view themselves and their place in society through perceptions based on mass media exposure. All citizens are heavily exposed to mass media, its role and responsibilities have been discussed but how is this enormous amount of ready information really affecting society? Does mass media promote public actions or does it simply report actions of others to the public?
Does it influence opinions or reflect society’ s thoughts, and feelings? Obviously, mass media does indeed influence opinion as it is the genesis of the information by which opinion is formed. To what degree depends on the variables considered as the effects of mass communication are many and diverse and may be short or long-term, obvious or concealed, intense or ineffectual.
They may derive from any number of aspects of the communication content. “ They may be considered as psychological or political or economic or sociological. They may operate upon opinions, values, information levels, skills, taste, or overt behavior” (Heibert, 2001). Elected officials many times forget that the same democratic mechanism that allows their rise to power is designed to monitor their progress. The favorite governmental approach to controlling the media is to prevent access to journalists.
For example, the Bush administration in the U. S. is not allowing the media to report in its casualties of war in Iraq.
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