The Medias Dumber Democracy Essay

The Medias Dumber Democracy Essay

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For the average American there is no escape from mass media. It can be found within our news papers, movies, television and internet, which account for most of our news and entertainment source. In Michael Parenti's book, Make Believe Media, the Politics of Entertainment, Parenti attests that this mass media clouds our society's perception of reality by propagating prefabricated images that create and validate a superficial ideological world. Unfortunately, people are denied the opportunity to obtain and interpret information, which impacts our society, by media conglomerates that wish to keep their industry profitable and on the rise. Effectively, the American public's information and entertainment sources are controlled by some ten media giants who instill a similar ideological propaganda that is anything but democratic in nature. According to Parenti, such things as story-telling through political entertainment, product control and cultural gate keeping all keep the industry successful while maintaining a dumb democracy.

Parenti traces the power of influential entities back to our childhood when story tales and fables influenced our imagination. Our gullible minds at that age believed almost anything anyone ever told us. This fundamental exchange of information can be seen as a form of storytelling in which we learn and interpret things from ones sayings or teachings. Today, however, much of our information exchange is embodied in the form of media. Television becomes the ultimate storyteller by becoming the most efficient means of communicating large amounts of information and entertainment to large groups of populations.

George Gerbner, who has studied the effects of media on the mass consciousness, agrees w...


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...en in the world, effectively giving them the power of dictation over our primary medium of information exchange.

If we as an American democracy want our information medium to engage in the democratic aspects of our social realities, we need to first become aware it. We need to break loose from the "retarding of our capacities," as Parenti describes it, for the media has created a culture that is unaware of its own social realities. Becoming politically aware outside of the mainstream media may seem hard, but there are various other resources within our grasp to enlighten us developing news. Political awareness is the key to preventing the "retarding of our capacities." Parenti solidifies this when he states, "By creating larger and stronger realms of political protest, we create more legitimacy for representations of realities that are so often suppressed."

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