How Media Affects Society

Published: 2021-10-08 20:50:10
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How The Media Affects Society The media is undoubtedly a significant and influential aspect in modern day society. As a means of communication in a world very much advanced in technology, the media touches all types of people through various forms such as the radio, newspapers, televisions etc. The question remains: what information is left unbiased and untarnished? The people within society must sort through the many bits of information fed to them and unfortunately, in most cases, all bits of media is taken as the whole truth.
The ways in which media impacts society to a great extent are through the facts it chooses to reveal, as recently seen in the case of the Tamil war in Sri Lanka. The tone in which it is presented such as the recently reported cases of Tamil protest on the streets of downtown Toronto and finally in the manner it chooses to target certain audiences, such as the case of Victoria George-Pazzano in Mexico. The media affects society through the facts it chooses to reveal. The media can choose to mention certain things and not to mention certain things.
As seen in the recent Tamil war in Sri Lanka all mainstream media outlets were banned from broadcasting out of the country. The media then proceeded not to broadcast any of it, leaving people unaware of it on a global scale, until the Tamils outside of Sri Lanka began to protest and make other countries aware of the situation. The media chose not to reveal this information and if it was not for the protest and marches held around the world it is possible, that society could have never known that genocide was being used against the Tamil Tigers.
Society needs the media to be informed on the events happening around the world, but sometimes the media may not choose to show us what is exactly going on. This can result in society not knowing how to react to what is happening in other parts of the world. Just as important as the facts the media chooses to reveal, the tone and manner in which the media presents these facts plays a large role on society’s take on events. The tone in which the media presents the facts in can be hostile, neutral or in favour.
The tone can affect society’s view on the situation, resulting in either a positive or negative reaction. As seen on May 10th when thousands of Tamils met on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, for almost 4 hours shutting down a key artery in the city’s road network. If the media had said, “The Tamil protesters are keeping Torontonians hostage in their own city” vs “The Tamil protesters are bravely doing what needs to be done to save their families”.
This could have resulted in Toronto turning against the Tamil community and possibly resulting in hate crimes, but instead the tone of the media was in favour of the protesters. Which has resulted in a positive reaction from Toronto and the Canadian government. The tone in which the facts are presented by the media, can easily change the point of view of the consumer, and can have either a positive or negative reaction regardless of the truth behind the facts. Lastly, the media uses its voice to target certain audiences for certain reactions. Who can the media target?
In the case of Victoria George-Pazzano, a 29 year old woman who suffered a severe asthma attack while on vacation in Mexico became critically ill. Victoria’s family pleaded to the Canadian government and Ontario hospitals to bring her home,but were continuously told that there were no beds and doctors available to treat in all of Ontario. The family of Victoria then pleaded there case to the media, who in return targeted the government officials and found out that either the hospitals or the officials were lying to Victoria’s family because there were more than 20 beds available at the time.
Because the media targeted the government with the right tone and direction of attention, the heat was put on the government for action because all of the attention was affecting there reputation. Without the media Attention, Victoria George-Pazzano would have died in a hospital bed in Cancun Mexico because the government of Canada pushed her aside. With these three weapons at the media’s disposal, namely the facts it chooses to reveal, the perspective it chooses to take and the people it wishes to target. The media holds a great deal of power and influence over society.
Of course, it may be for a positive effect or a negative one. Would one rather live in fear of all the rapes, assaults, robberies and murders that are reported or live happy, not knowing about every crime that takes place? That is another debate altogether. But, one thing is for certain: the people should not live blindly at the word and mercy of the media or another. There should always be room for doubt, speculation and of course one’s own opinions. Although the media may carry a great influence over society, each person is entitled to think for oneself.

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