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Influence and Control of the Media

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This tendency towards escapism from the unpleasant and disturbing aspects of our reality is perhaps nowhere more prominent than in the stance that our society has towards war, about which most people have a perverted notion.   In this regard, a cartoon picture by Peter Nicholson perhaps creates the most vivid image of this existing contradiction.   In this picture a man is sitting in a comfortable lounge chair before a large TV screen and is watching a film about war. He is sitting amidst comforts biting into cheese, enjoying the and the breeze.   On the screen there are hostilities represented in suitably aggressive colors, which the man takes as the truthful image of the war itself as he exclaims, "So this is what war is really like! " His emphasis on the word ‘ really’ expresses sarcasm and irony.

The comfortable environment of the room hardly makes it possible that the man experiences anything close to being really at war.   Yet, he firmly believes in the validity of the offered media images of war, and, perhaps, reveals in his `heightened` knowledge.

the color on the television depicting war has red and orange whereas the lounge in which he sits and watches has soft pastel shades which represent calm and peace. He has no idea about a war but tends to believe what the media projects. Here, we can hardly avoid another analogy with The Truman Show, in which the audience similarly begins to forget that the main hero is controlled, and prefers to view him as real. The audience also thinks that he is reality, yet we know that Christoff the controller.

Under this view, we come really close to the very definition of manipulation and control which permeate unthinking societies. Finally, the main task of the discussed techniques of presentation of images is to make society adequately and freely comprehend all the precautionary messages contained in the films, which, in contrast to dry sociological warnings, are impressive because they speak directly to our heart and emotions.

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preview essay on Influence and Control of the Media
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Media
  • Level: Undergraduate
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