Monthly Archives: July 2016

Explained Perfectly With Examples

Explained Perfectly With Examples

Do you believe that the world is a savage, deceitful, and a mean place to live in? All things considered, you didn’t land at this conclusion overnight. Your psyche was beat out to acknowledge this as your existence, and the source that drove you to build up a frightful mentality about the world is the very thing that we as a whole raced to for our excitement – TV.

To understand what the mean world syndrome is and how it gets jibed with our perception of the world we live in, we first need to discuss cultivation theory. Cultivation theory was put forth by Professor George Gerbner, dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Gerbner explains television as the originator of the cultivation theory. All of his assumptions are based on people’s perceptions and ideas that are developed as a result of television viewing.

Understanding the Parent Concept of Mean World Syndrome
You ask an adult if he believes in the existence of fairies, ogres, evil witches, etc., and he will be quick to repudiate them as fairy tale concepts, even when as a kid, he thought them as real or living. Our belief or attitude is largely influenced by story telling, and this is possibly why we all have, in some point of time in our lives, believed in the existence of fairy tale characters. This is exactly what happens with television.

Television is a significant source of amusement in our lives, and the media messages that we allow ourselves to be exposed to do not necessarily paint the world in a positive light. Murder, violence, rape, torture, etc., are portrayed as everyday happenings on the television. Likewise, television also normalizes notions concerning minorities, gender roles, stereotypes, etc.

Negative Norms at Work
These portrayals form our norms, which act as our guide to the society or, at large, the world we live in. These norms that are established as a result of heavy television viewing, thus cultivate attitudes in the viewers, which are in accord with the ones presented on television, thereby affecting our perception about the everyday world.

Heavy viewers (people who spend more time watching television) are prone to think of the world as a merciless and dangerous place to live, a conclusion that followed from the cultivation theory, also known as “mean world syndrome.”

Mean World Syndrome Theory Explained
The mean world syndrome holds that crime and violence-related televised content instills fear among people and persuades them that the world is a nasty and dangerous place to live in than it really is. People who have become ritualistic in watching television hold unrealistic and unfavorable views about the world. Violent television programs culminate in a significant psychological impact.

The Fear
The more people are subjected to violent imagery, the more affrighted and insecure they become of the world. Thus, watching violence-related content on television makes violence appear far more worse than it actually is, which then redounds on people’s perception and attitude about everyday life.
Examples of Mean World Syndrome

Example 1
An example of the mean world syndrome is news programming. Prime time news feeds people with disturbing news like that of gruesome murders, rape, crime, disasters, etc., inducing people to cultivate pessimistic and fearful views about the world.

More often than not, news coverage tampers with reality in order to stir unrest, and rouse feelings of sorrow, fear, and uncertainty among people. To build sensationalism, they exaggerate and focus on a murder, almost making people oblivious to the millions of peace-loving people and triggering a fear that the world is not a safe place to live.

Example 2
Another example of mean world theory syndrome can be of old age homes. In this case, the only source of entertainment for old people is television. So heavy is their dependence on television that they don’t even realize the amount of media that is absorbed by them, which, simultaneously is affecting their perception about the outside world.

This prolonged exposure to televised messages, which incline more toward the overrepresentation of violence and crime engender heightened feelings of fear and pessimism among the old people.
By injecting fear in the minds of people, television networks don’t just imbue us with feelings of fear and cynicism, but also limit our freedom. The more mistrustful and fearful we become, the more defensive and protective attitude we take on and constrict ourselves as well as those who matter to us by taking unnecessary precautions.

Negative Influences of Media on Society

Negative Influences of Media on Society

You want to imitate an action sequence just because your favorite action hero looked ‘cool’ doing it. You want to wear the LBD just because you are a fan of Coco Chanel. You want to wear the shade of nail polish Lady Gaga wears for that frantic gaga look. You want to sport your favorite actors’ hairstyles and you want to walk like those ramp models do. You want to do everything that people from the glamor world do, you want to be like your favorite celebrity. Just like them, even you want to be in the news. Any publicity is good publicity, you begin to feel.

Your role models are people that the media exposes you to. You want to be someone, but not yourself! And now you say media does not influence you! Oh come on, it surely does! Mass media does affect the way in which masses think and act. It influences their behavior both positively and negatively. The positive effects are surely celebrated by one and all. But the negative effects are not conducive to a healthy society. Here, we will try to understand how media influences us negatively.

Media’s Negative Influence

Blind Imitation
When you try to imitate your role models from the glamor industry, do you give a thought to whether you are doing right or wrong? It is often seen that young girls and boys imitate celebrities blindly. The impact of media is such that the wrong, the controversial, and the bad is more talked about. Sometimes, little things are blown out of proportion thus changing the way they are perceived by the audience. Media highlights controversies and scandals in the lives of celebrities. The masses fall for this being-in-the-news and end up imitating celebrities without much thought. Those at a vulnerable age, especially children and teenagers, are highly influenced by anything that is put before them in a jazzy way. At that age, they are attracted to anything that’s flashy and anything that can make news.

Wrong Message
The negatives in society are highlighted with the purpose of awakening people about them. For example, the negative effects of addiction are portrayed through advertisements. Newspapers, television and the Internet are used to convey social messages. But unfortunately sometimes, the message is misconstrued. The ‘awakening’ does not reach everyone or it reaches the masses in the wrong way. So there is a section positively influenced by the media while there are others who take the wrong message from it. Media influences them negatively. What is shown with an intent to ‘spread a message’ ends up becoming a bombardment of the bad, the ugly. The bad is overinflated and the good goes unnoticed. Depiction of the bad has a negative impact on kids not mature enough to interpret what they are being shown. It’s not just media to be blamed in this case. Parents and teachers have a big role to play in selecting what the young should see and what they should not.

Negativity
To some extent, media is responsible for generating negative feelings among those exposed to it. An early exposure to bold or violent films, books publishing adult content and news portraying ugly social practices has a deep impact on young minds. If children are bombarded with fight sequences, stunt work, sex and rape scenes, suicides and murders through books or movies, they are bound to leave a scar on these impressionable minds. And not just children, the unpleasant can impact even an adult’s mind. Adults may have the maturity to distinguish between the good and the bad, but bombarding only the bad can affect anyone at least at the subconscious level. Haven’t you had experiences of a bad dream after watching a violent movie? Or of imagining something scary happening to you after watching a horror film? Or a sudden fear gripping your mind after reading about a murder in your city? The reality should be depicted but not so gaudily that it’ll have a lasting impact on people’s minds.

Unhealthy Lifestyle
Media is held responsible for the change in eating habits of teenagers and the unhealthy lifestyle they are adopting. You ask me why? Well, because there are these junk food advertisements everywhere. There’s no one advertising the benefits of eating fresh fruit everyday, no one’s promoting drinking 8 glasses of water daily. The benefits of following a balanced diet are not being hyped anywhere. Media is exposing the masses to fast food products, canned food, fad diets, and energy drinks. This is leading teenagers to adopt unhealthy eating habits. No one’s propagating the importance of exercising to keep fit. But there are advertisements of expensive exercise equipment, and weight and fat loss programs. Watching TV or browsing the web late night is spoiling the sleeping habits of many.

Information Overload
The media in itself is so addictive that once glued to it, you tend to forget everything else. When you are not watching TV, you are surfing the Internet, when you are not on the web, you are reading newspapers, when you are not reading anything, you are listening to something. Thus, all the time, you are glued to some form of media. It is bombarding you with content, news, information, gossip, rumors – it is exposing you to everything it has, some things necessary, some not; some things important, some not, some things you want to ignore, some things you cannot. Media is everywhere, affecting every aspect of life.

Media Addiction
The negative effects of media on children are manifested in terms of their changing mental setup and the declining quality of their lifestyle. Children should invest more time reading good books, studying, playing outdoors and exercising. Due to the oh-so-alluring media, most of their time is spent glued to the television, reading celebrity gossip, listening to something sensational or wandering aimlessly on the Internet. With a ‘world’ of information and entertainment waiting on the other side of a computer or TV screen, it’s not unnatural for anyone to spend hours exploring it; it’s addictive. This affects kids and teenagers the most, as they are exposed to things they might interpret wrongly or may not even understand at that age.

Self-hatred
Women with petite bodies and girls with a barbie figure are always shown to be more popular or attractive while the overweight are portrayed as less popular, having less friends and being bullied. This leads to a notion that thin is sexy and fat is not. When this thought grips the minds of youngsters, they take to fad diets or turn to cosmetic surgeries to get that so-called perfect body. The craze for models or actors and actresses, makes teenagers want bodies and facial features like theirs. To get rid of a big nose or to get those big pouty lips, teenagers are ready to go under the knife.

Health Problems
Media has negative effects on the physical and psychological well-being of society. People spending hours in front of a television or surfing the Internet experience eye problems. Lack of physical activity leads to obesity problems. Media influences public opinion and impacts the choices that people make. The media does play a role in portraying thin as beautiful and fat as ugly. It has led to a general opinion that size-zero is the in thing and fat and chubby are out. This makes the overweight feel out of place. They are ready to starve themselves to lose weight. This can, and has led to increasing cases of anorexia. An inferiority complex and lowered confidence in people with not-so-perfect bodies can lead to eating disorders. In a survey done on fifth graders by the National Institute on Media and the Family, it was found that kids had become dissatisfied with their bodies after watching a video of a certain very popular artiste and a certain scene from a popular TV show (names omitted on purpose).

Changed Outlook
The media has, in its own way, changed people’s outlook towards life. Media is the interface through which millions look at the world outside. Media claims to depict the ‘today’, but not all types of media show only the truth. With the intent of stressing their point or for grabbing greater attention from the masses, media hypes or exaggerates things to a certain degree. Not everyone is able to filter that element. Most believe everything to be real, especially kids and teenagers.

Fact-Fantasy Confusion
Vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts – where did they come from? Fairies, superheroes, angels – where did they come from? It’s not only media to be blamed, as these characters belong to folklore. But media did play a role in propagating these characters and making them seem real. Aren’t there ghost and vampire stories that media claims as real? These characters enter our world through books and movies. There is no denying their amusement value or entertainment quotient. But isn’t it too much to blindly believe that they exist? Fiction is amusing only till the distinction between fact and fiction is clear. The reel entertains only till its difference from the real is understood. When the two worlds mix, life becomes difficult.

Right-or-Wrong Dilemma
The media is so overwhelming that the masses end up believing everything it says/shows. Media sources are so many in number and all of them so convincingly make their point, that it is hard to distinguish between right and wrong. The media is constantly bombarding us with information. How far do we go to check its authenticity? How deep do we dig to get to the root of something that’s making news? How critically do we judge the reality of reality shows and the truth behind true stories? We don’t think, we believe. We don’t judge, we get influenced. And that’s how impactive media is.
While a certain amount of exposure to media is essential for introducing ourselves to the world outside, excessive exposure, uncontrolled access and belief without thought won’t lead us anywhere. They will only make the negative influence of media more obvious.

The Solution
The solution to avoiding the negative influence of media lies in limiting media exposure and choosing what to watch. News sources often bombard you with the same negative stories over and over again, in order to increase the impact. Sometimes, small incidents or events in the lives of celebrities and politicians are hyped, in order to make them more sensational. Refrain from watching such programs or news. Instead, watch good programs that carry healthy content, engage in positive activities, and encourage others to do the same. As a responsible adult (parent or teacher), exercise control on the media exposure that kids and teenagers get.

Media portrayals give rise to stereotypes, affecting your mindset. Advertisements carry subliminal messages influencing buyers’ psychology, or carry direct messages that bear a negative influence. It’s not possible to insulate yourself completely from the effects of media, even if you limit the exposure. And there are so many things you see around you, without choosing to watch them. The only way to shield yourself from them, is to not allow them to influence you. Don’t take media portrayals by their word. Don’t believe in them without thinking. Use your judgment before following or falling for anything. Put things in perspective, and don’t let the media influence you to do the wrong things.

Guide to the Different Types of Mass Media

Guide to the Different Types of Mass Media

Mass media refers to communication devices, which can be used to communicate and interact with a large number of audiences in different languages. Be it the pictorial messages of the early ages, or the high-technology media that are available today, one thing that we all agree upon, is that mass media are an inseparable part of our lives. Entertainment and media always go hand in hand, but in addition to the entertainment, mass media are an effective medium for communication, dissemination of information, advertising, marketing, and in general, for expressing and sharing views, opinions, and ideas. Mass media is a double-edged sword – there are positive as well as negative influences of media.

Print Media

Print media encompasses mass communication through printed material. It includes newspapers, magazines, booklets and brochures, house magazines, periodicals or newsletters, direct mailers, handbills or flyers, billboards, press releases, and books.

Newspapers

Newspapers enjoyed the position of the most preferred medium to reach a wider audience until electronic communication emerged on the media scene. In the early days, newspapers were the only medium that masses at large depended on, for daily news. A newspaper carries all kinds of communication related to a variety of topics like politics, socialism, current affairs, entertainment, finance, stocks, etc.
Apart from this, it also includes topics, which are in lighter vein like cartoons, crosswords, Sudoku, movie reviews, book reviews, puzzles, crosswords, etc. This captivates the imagination and interests of readers from all age groups. Newspapers are an important platform of mass communication, as they reach every nook and corner of the world where electronic media fails to reach. It plays a pivotal role in providing authentic firsthand information, building opinions, updating the knowledge of the reader, and serves as a good platform for advertisers to promote their products. However, with the emergence of Internet, which updates information every second, and is just a click away, the popularity of newspapers has reduced.

Magazines

Magazines are another type of popular culture print media. They usually cater to a specific type of audience who are looking for information based on a particular subject. Magazines cover a plethora of topics, like current affairs, business, finance, consumers, gadgets, self-help, luxury, lifestyle, beauty, fashion, entertainment, travel, etc. Magazines like TIME and Reader’s Digest include information, which is all-pervasive.
The frequency of magazines can be weekly, fortnightly, bi-monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly. These magazines are the best forum for advertisers, as they have a niche readership. The readers look for a specific type of information, say for example, a camera ad in a Gadget magazine will definitely have a direct brand impact on the reader who wants to buy a camera. Also, the shelf life and brand recall of magazines is far better than newspapers, which have a short life span.

Booklets and Brochures

Booklets and brochures are a part of the promotional literature of a product, or an organization. There are two types of booklets and brochures.

Pre-buying promotion
Usually in malls and stores, promotional literature is distributed free to all (with discount offers, or other schemes which seem profitable). For example, a free booklet about cosmetics will include information about the products, latest trends, contents, the benefits of using them, the available range, or colors, discount coupons, etc. This, will most likely, have a positive impact on your decision-making.

Post-buying promotion
These booklets and brochures are usually given with a product for better customer experience and easy usage, post purchasing. You must have observed when you buy any new item, it is usually accompanied with a small booklet giving details about the benefits of using the product, usage directions, cleaning and storage instructions. The guidelines are usually followed by a series of ‘how to’ images which facilitate easy information about the product.
These booklets may also include the ‘Other offerings’ section. Organizations also have their own profiles in the form of brochures, which they give to their stakeholders to create a favorable image. It highlights the information about the company, its capacity and capability, services and solutions offered, milestone achievements, sustainability, innovation, awards, etc. In this case, people “do judge the book by its cover”, and hence, these booklets and brochures are designed in an attractive format.

House Magazines, Periodicals, or Newsletters

Many organizations today invent various platforms, like house magazines, periodicals, or newsletters to keep the stakeholders posted about the news related to the company. Usually, the house magazines include data about a company’s achievements, employee engagement activities, and information about the offerings. A periodical or newsletter, is more or less, designed on similar lines but its size is restricted to a few pages only. Mostly, it includes similar information, but in a very short format.

Their frequency ranges from weekly to yearly. It has an encouraging impact on the stakeholders because of the ‘feel-good factor’. They believe that the company cares to communicate with them, and this also increases their confidence about the prospects of the company.

Direct Mailers
Direct mailers are small pamphlets, which are devices for direct advertising and marketing. Usually, they arrive at our doorstep through the postal mails. Direct mails are a relatively cheaper option of marketing as bulk advertising is cost-effective through post. Most of them include colorful advertisements, discount and gift coupons, pre-approved credit card offers, automobile, realtor, and political promotion.
Direct mailing system is best suited for B2B business. People have a tendency to remember what they see in the advertisement, and recall it while making a purchase, or a voting decision. Also, the attractive offers on a commercial direct mailer prompt many to make a positive buying decision.

Handbills or Flyers
Handbills or flyers is a form of communication, which is printed on a small paper. It is easy to carry, colorful, attractive, and legible to read. They are handed out to all the passers-by. These are useful mainly for restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, political campaigns, delis, concerts, rallies, political campaigns, etc. People are more prompted to throw it away without reading. Hence, many a time this fails to be an effective medium of mass communication.

Billboards

Billboards or hoardings are huge advertisements that are put up at a height in strategic locations to fetch more attention. They usually attract the targeted audience by their bold colors, attention-grabbing headlines, creativity, designs, special effects, etc. Initially, billboards started by hand painting huge boards, and eventually graduated to putting up printed sheets. Later came a trend for incorporating neon signs, videos, and graphic cut-outs, etc.
Such billboards are called bulletins. They command the best customer exposure. Communication in these types of billboards should be in minimum words. The images should speak louder than the words. They are a successful medium of communication as they are good at captivating and retaining customer attention.

Press Releases

A press release is an important device of communication because it takes the relevant communication directly to the press. Whenever government, organizations, NGOs, retail outlets, design houses, celebrities, etc., have a newsworthy announcement to make, they draft a press note which is then sent to the members of the press in the form of a hard copy, fax, mail, or CD. A press release is also distributed in a press conference.
A press release answers all the “W type” questions like what, who, where, how, and when, in its content. A quote of the spokesperson is also added to give it credibility. This is issued on the letterhead of the organization. It begins with a headline and dateline, and closes with the media contact for the organization. Most of the matter in a press release gets picked up by journalists, hence it should be worded wisely and strategically.

Books

Last but not the least, books are a significant medium of mass communication as they have a large reader base. The expressions and opinions of the writer are taken to the readers in the form of a compiled book.
The printed form of communication was popular earlier. However, with the advent of electronic media, print media has taken a backseat. Although, it is said that the electronic, or new age media have replaced the print media, there exists a majority of audience who prefer the print media for various communication purposes. However, it is true that, print media harms the environmental balance with its requirement for paper and chemical ink. Also, disposing off redundant print material is a problem. Most of the people today have television sets, radios, and Internet access which are sustainable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective forms of communication. Moreover, print is a one way communication, while electronic media allows interaction.

Electronic Media
Electronic media is the kind of media which requires the user to utilize an electric connection to access it. It is also known as ‘Broadcast Media’. It includes television, radio, and new-age media, like Internet, computers, telephones, etc.

Television

Television appeals both the auditory and visual senses, and hence is an important communication device as it beholds the attention of the audience. For many people, it is impossible to imagine a life without their television sets, be it the daily news, or even the soap operas. Television has become an advertising hub where advertisers are ready to spend huge amounts for an ad of few seconds, especially for programs with high viewership.
An apt example would be, Super Bowl Season. It offers various programs to appeal the masses of different age groups. It is a popular means of communication which provides both information and entertainment. This category also includes electronic media like movies, CDs and DVDs as well as the electronic gadgets.

Radio
It has a significant reach. A considerable number of Americans tune into radio every week while on their way to work. Advertising on the radio with catchy jingles and phrases is a tried and tested means of communication. The radio lost its popularity with the boom of television. But till day, it remains one of the favorite means of electronic communication. Moreover,it is an interactive means of communication with all dial-in programs which give the listeners an opportunity to feature on radio.

New Age Media
With the advent of Internet, we are now enjoying the benefits of high technology mass media, which is not only faster than the old school mass media, but also has a widespread range. Mobile phones, computers, and Internet are often referred to as the new-age media. Internet has opened up several new opportunities for mass communication which include email, websites, podcasts, e-forums, e-books, blogging, Internet TV, and many others, which are booming today. Internet has also started social networking sites, which have redefined mass communication all together. Sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have made communication to the masses all the more entertaining, interesting, and easier!

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have become a boon to mankind. It has made communication possible at anytime, and from anywhere. Nowadays, mobile phones are not only used for interaction, but also for other technical utilities, like operating pumps from remote locations, etc. You can also get alerts of your monetary transactions on a mobile phone. Today, we can stay in touch with the whole world via Internet on our mobile phones.

Computers

With the invention of computers the impossible has become possible. We virtually get information about everything from pin to piano with the help of computers. It has added speed and multimedia to the information, which was earlier available only in the print format. Also, anyone can voice their opinions through computers. Computers have added a new breakthrough in the mass media by combining human intelligence with the cutting edge technology.

Internet

It’s the most important device of the new age media. The discovery of Internet can be called the biggest invention in mass media. In the earlier days, news used to reach people only with the morning newspaper. But today, live updates reach us simultaneously as the events unfold. For example, the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William was watched live on the Internet by millions of people around the world. It’s inspired interaction and connectivity through its social networking medium.

Emails

Emails or electronic mails have drastically reduced the time for drafting and sending letters or mails. Electronic mails have also facilitated lesser usage of paper.

Websites

Internet has a plethora of websites dedicated to various people, companies, brands, causes, activities, etc. The most significant utility of these websites is for providing information, search engines, downloads through libraries, and interaction through the social networking sites. Because of these websites, carrying out e-commerce transactions has also become easy.

Podcasts

Podcasts are mediums of mass communication that include short video or audio files. They can be seen and heard on mobiles, computers, and portable media instruments. They are engaging devices of communication.

eForums

eForums are bulletin boards on websites where people start threads on topics. These are usually hosted on a website. These forums are open platforms to discuss a range of topics right from which wall color is appropriate for a baby girl’s room to the research on the God particle. People give their opinions and share their experiences on various topics.

Blogging

A blog is a space on the Internet where a single person or a group of people record their information, opinions, photos, videos, etc. It is an interesting and free platform to talk about any topic. Interaction happens in the form of comments or feedback.

Internet TV
It is also known as online TV. It usually has an archive of programs. You have to choose the program, you wish to view from the list. You can either view the programs directly from the host server, or download the content on your computer. It is an effective means of communication.

Facebook

It is the most popular social networking website. Facebook has several applications which people utilize. It is the best platform to meet old friends, or make new ones. Advertisers also like this forum for communicating about their products.
Twitter

It is also a famous social networking website. Twitter is a microblogging site, which allows interaction and feedback of different people. There was a time when it was very popular among celebrities and individuals. Today, the governments of various nations have understood the importance of “tweeting” information to the public, and regularly share information through Twitter.

YouTube

It is a website which uploads content in a video format. It houses a range of interesting videos that appeal to people of all generations. From films to educational videos, you will find everything on YouTube.
Visual media like photography is also a crucial medium, since it communicates via visual representations. Public speaking, and event organizing can also be considered as forms of mass media. Though print media is still popular, it is not environmentally viable. More and more people are shifting to e-newspapers, eBooks, e-brochures, etc. Internet has completely transformed the traditional ideas of communication. Mass communication, over a period of years, has depicted an evolving trend, and with the advancements in technology, it will continue to do so in future too. All you have to do is keep yourself abreast with the latest innovation in mass communication!

Media Have Any Positive Effects

Media Have Any Positive Effects

unduhan-19How does media influence us? Does it change the way we think? Does it change how we live? All things considered, it makes us more mindful, keeps us upgraded, and gives us a successful intends to convey what needs be. Here is a glance at the beneficial outcomes of media.

That’s what media is capable of. It can influence society both positively and negatively. While it can lead to blind imitation, it can also serve as a source of inspiration. Overexposure to media can cause information overload, but its right use leads to a global exchange of information. Wrong choices may have a negative impact on society, especially on children and teenagers. However, if used wisely, media proves to be a boon. It gives us a platform to voice our opinions on social and political issues. Owing to its reach and ease of access, it increases general awareness. It is the best source of information, entertainment, and inspiration. It provides us with effective means of communication, making the world a smaller place. Advanced technology has only multiplied its effects. In this Buzzle article, we talk about how media affects us positively.

Positive Effects
Increased Awareness
Exposure to the different forms of media leads to an increased awareness about what’s happening around the world. Newspapers, web portals, and modern-day mobile apps that serve us news feeds, lead to a speedy spread of information. The latest in every field, be it entertainment, sports, or any other, news about major events across the globe, and information about what’s new, what’s trending, what’s in, and what’s out, reaches us within minutes, thanks to media. It makes us aware of the changing social or political scenario in not just our country, but the entire world. The changing economy, speculations about a rise or fall in the prices of goods, predictions about the growth or decline in jobs, and statistical studies in various other fields can help us plan for the future. An expected dip or rise in temperature, snow or rainfall, and harsh weather conditions are reported through weather forecasts in the news media. In case of epidemics, natural hazards, or man-made disasters, media spreads awareness about the associated risks and safety measures to take. Government or non-government organizations working for an environmental or social cause can use social media and its other forms to spread their message, thus making the commoners more socially aware and environmentally conscious.

Easy and Speedy Access
Due to the rapid spread of media to all parts of the world, the access to information is easy and fast. Owing to the web technology, almost everyone has access to information from anywhere in the world. Owing to technological developments, media is not limited to big cities. It has reached the world’s remotest parts, thus increasing the accessibility of information. Imagine living without the TV or the Internet. Seems difficult, right? With the television reaching almost every household, access to sources of information and entertainment increased. The speed and ease of access was further boosted by the spread of Internet technology. Today, there are several websites, TV channels as well as newspaper columns and supplements dedicated to specific fields like food, travel, animal life, etc. Experts in the field can provide guidance to the readers/audience using these platforms. Thanks to modern communication media like mobile phones and email, people at distant locations can be reached within seconds. With the increasing reach of media, service providers are eager to advertise themselves through these channels. This in turn, increases the audiences’ access to different products and services, giving them more options to choose from.

Media as a Platform
Social media has served as one of the best means to voice our opinions on any and everything in the world. Blogs are a great way for anyone to express his ideas. Conversations in the form of comments on social or blog posts, and discussions in online or news forums can help in the exchange of vital information or sharing of views. Media often acts as the link between talented/skilled people and those in search for them. For example, job portals serve as a link between recruiters and job seekers. These days, there are many talent shows on radio and TV, that give budding artists a platform to showcase their talent. Also, there are websites that allow you to exhibit your art. You can demonstrate your performing art, make a video, post it on one of these websites, promote it on your social profile, and see it go viral. Web, TV, and print media are some of the most popular advertising platforms. Businesses use these to market their products and increase their reach.

Source of Inspiration
Movies, documentaries, and books that portray lives of great people inspire many. True stories are told in a way that appeals to the readers/audience. Movies like Gandhi and Lincoln proved to be inspirational because they presented the struggle in the lives of these heroes. Books like The Secret and The Alchemist are popular as inspirational reads. Documentaries, telefilms, and TV shows that narrate true stories of a fight with life’s difficulties, have a similar effect on the audience. Media also helps by enabling a small idea or message to spread far and wide, thus inspiring people to come together for a cause. A call for help can reach the masses and also encourage them to contribute. TV channels conduct talk shows and interviews with successful people. Knowing about their achievements and their struggle proves to be motivational for many.

Truth is Uncovered
Media is often blamed for sting operations, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that it is also media that brings the reality into light. There are several instances of news media (print, radio, or television) giving voice to the poor and the neglected. The common man can voice his concerns and the media ensures that they are heard by the right people. It acts as a communication medium between the common man and the government, by sharing government policies with people and having their voice reach the governing authorities. Thanks to media, scams are uncovered and millions are saved from losses. Media exposes to the world, cases of corruption, crime, scandals, and acts of abuse. Their cameras help bring out world’s dark realities and make the common man aware of them. Corrupt people, criminals, and abusers fear the law as well as the media, for they know it can expose their reality. Media’s power poses a serious threat to those acting wrong.

Media as an Industry
The media industry has opened doors to many new careers and led to a growth in many others. News reporters, correspondents, writers, musicians, designers, developers, animators, recordists, camera operators, makeup artists, costume designers, and engineers; the media industry needs them all. There are specializations in most media careers and considering the growth of this industry, the demand for these professionals will only rise. With the increase in media channels, there is a rise in the demand for advertising and marketing professionals too.
It is clear that media influences daily living. Media content contributes to a change in the values of society. It can bring a change in our system of beliefs, attitude towards life, and personality as a whole. It can change the way we think. Its persuasive nature (for example, advertisements) can influence our thoughts and behavior. It exposes us to a new world, that we can associate ourselves with. It won’t be wrong to say that society is shaped by mass media. But it is also true that media is a reflection of society.