Thursday, June 16, 2011

Media Manipulation

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In today’s modern world the media acts as a major influence. The media is generally made up of television companies, news companies such as CNN, the government in some respects, and pop culture. The media provides the public with information regarding current events however the media tends to submerge the information given and thus manipulates the public. Through false television portrayal, biased news coverage, erroneous stereotypes, and the submersion of information, the manipulation of the media is beyond belief.

First of all, everyone makes mistakes. The media has its fair share of these yet many of these misrepresentations are not merely innocent mistakes but falsely revealed information. Their selectivity is highly questionable. The Humanist states, “…the press has to be selective, but what principle of selectivity is involved? (p.5)”

Television is a substantial part of modern life. Between one’s favorite TV shows, there are the annoying commercials that have no impact on one whatsoever. Or do they? Why is it that commercials spend 5 seconds informing the viewer of how amazing their product is and the last five seconds explaining the problems, side effects, or difficulties one might face with the product? Medical advertisements manipulate in countless ways. The first statement the ad makes is that, “it's flu season, so make a stop at your local pharmacy.” Its not really flu season, but the media makes it so. Ask yourself, is it really the alcohol that gets your attention, or the atmosphere that is promoting it?

The media creates stereotypes despite their efforts to not do so. Often times, the media determines whether or not the subject at hand is a positive or negative label. When the public is told that there has been someone killed by a drunk driver, their accusation quickly point towards teenager. This is a stereotype manipulated by the media. Does it mean that all teenagers drink and drive? No, of course not but it is a labeling that makes people think so.

News channels help the public to understand the current issues of the recent affairs. This information is based off a biased opinion. “We are told by people in the media industry that news bias is unavoidable (p.5)”. Many of the inaccuracy of the news is blamed on selectivity; either there is not enough time, the time to present the event is not sufficient, the difficulty of reducing a story into a concise report, budget restraints, and the pressures of the deadline.

The media biased approach tends to be quite consistent. They favor the side of the primary beliefs of the general community. They rarely stray into debated territory where their view will be debated or cause discomfort for higher authorities. The media sacrifices their highly suspect opinions for the satisfaction of most of the viewers. It favors issues between well-paid white people over low-paid minorities, the two-party monopoly over the green party, management over labor, and bureaucracy over protesting.

Pop culture may be the most prominent of all the media manipulators. In every song by Brittany Spears, YM magazine, music video, movie, music and video award, and everything in between there is a type of manipulation occurring. Its the in style, the best new punk rock band, how or how not to act, and what or what not to buy that is manipulating and telling you should what to do.

The media has the most influential part in the lives of the public. Our every opinion somehow relates back to the media. The manipulation of the media is beyond belief, seen in false television portrayal, biased news coverage, erroneous stereotypes, and the submersion of information. So next time you read that fashion article, watch the news, or read the newspaper remember the impact they have on you.



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