Essay On Mass Media

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The fulcrum of humanity, media systems are widely acknowledged as the binding knot between citizens and the political, cultural, social and economic structures of their society. In its capacity as the powerful ‘bringer and giver’ of information, there has been significant conversation on understanding our interactions with media as well as substantial theories and studies about both “what the media do to people as well as of what people do with the media” The entire study of Mass Communication, says McQuail (am 118), is based on the premise that the media have significant effects on audiences. Concerns for how media texts impact and influence its users are by no means unfamiliar dating as far back as the Plato era but the pragmatic proof in identifying these effects as well as their potency remains a source of debate amongst scholars. Within the investigation into media effects, a concern for the “influence of media on children has been a prime source of social anxiety and a significant stimulator of research funding” (Oliver Boyd Barrett pp 7 module 8 guide). Children have access to a wide variety of communications media, all of which are potentially influential (Robinson and willet pp 27) however much of the research has focused on the relationship between children and television with a special focus in relation to advertising and violence. Researchers such as Postman (1983), Buckingham (1994) among others posit that children due to their youthful experiences and their inability to maturely analyse media images are more susceptible to the influence of television presenting both benefits and disadvantages. Others like Jones (1997), Halloran (1968) et al argue that children are active participants in the media experience who ca... ... middle of paper ... ...eventually lose its initial potency with repeated exposure. It also posits that not only will viewers display weakened emotional responsiveness to screen violence, but that this response can also become generalized to real world violence (Drabman and Thomas, 1974,1975) and Catharsis - viewing screen violence can actually reduce personal aggressiveness among observers. Violence on film or television can provide a way for viewers harmlessly to purge themselves of their aggressive impulses by identifying with the on-screen action (Feshbach and Singer, 1971). Television advertising states is often accused of promoting ‘false needs’ and irrational fantasies or reinforcing exaggerated gender stereotypes but it is the children more so than the adults who are at risk of influence because of their inability to decode the persuasive intentions of advertising Bukinghm, (134)

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