It is through previously established theoretical traditions and research methodologies developed in countries all over the world that enable us to form knowledge and opinion about different elements within the media. The theoretical conventions include those f the American 'Empiricism', European Critical Theory, Western 'Marxism', British Cultural Studies, Political Economy, and French Structuralism and Semiology.
Investigating these methodologies, along with exposure to media itself, can assist us in understanding the relationship between the text, the producer, and the audience, and therefore make sense f the political, economic and cultural meaning f everyday life.
The worth f media studies itself includes the preparation for media practice, as well as the preparation for skilled reception by the audience, which we are all a part of. For this reason, media studies in society is a vital skill which will continue to be relevant well into the future.
Media studies allows us to examine elements f the media and its affect on audiences, whilst investigating the influences that make up the media that we are familiar with. Cunningham and Turner describe briefly the way in which media shapes our way f thinking and allows us to further our ideas and opinions on particular issues. "We learn about world politics from our newspapers, radio news broadcasts and TV; while we may be aware that the views we receive are necessarily brief and partial, they play an important part in our conception f the world." (The Media and Communications in Australia, 2002)
It is difficult to determine exactly how he media affects its audience, as the results are different between individuals. For example, drug use in a movie may deter someone from wanting to use drugs, whilst tempting another to try them. This shows how vital it is to study the media and the particular ways in which it affects its audience.
It is essential that we continue to try and make sense f exactly how the media influences our society in order to prevent negative effects. When doing this, we should look into theoretical traditions f media is history such as the American 'empirical traditions and Western 'Marxism'
J.B Thompson states his ideas about the important role media plays in self-formation, "individuals are able to gain access to new forms f knowledge which are no longer transmitted face-to-face."Individuals' horizons f understanding are broadened... shaped increasingly by the expanding networks f mediated communication." (The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory f the Media, 1995). This proves the importance f media in everyday life in our society. We are assisting in shaping our own ideas and opinions through the media, in much the same way that we are influenced by people around us.
When speaking f such influences, we must examine further the specific elements f everyday life and the way in which theoretical traditions have influenced how we think f the media to this day. Politics are all around us. Political issues can exist in the workplace and at home, as well as in our local, state and federal governments. The general public relies on the media to communicate political messages that could possibly effect how society is run. Unfortunately,