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Media: Shaping values and practices of contemporary societies - Essay Example

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Media: Shaping values and practices of contemporary societies

Forms. There are different forms of media including analog and digital media, which are both equally prominent in the lives of people around the world. Media is understood to include the radio, film, television, video, newspapers, magazines, radio, films, compact discs, current affairs programs and advertising - all of which are considered in relation to media audiences. In the rise of technology, the Internet has highly become an addition to these media.
Media may inform us and alert us about current events and other important information. However, media may conceal deception. This indicates that although media is intended for something positive as in providing unbiased data to the public, it can be unreliable at times. When a medium is intentionally partial to one side or deletes some details of a story, the intention of that medium is dubious. On this score, media can shape values and practices in contemporary societies positively or negatively. This significant role of media can best be understood not only in relation to our daily lives but also within the context of larger social forces such as the economy, politics and technological development (Alexander & Hanson, 1999).
Characteristics. One way to understand media is to look at its certain qualities that must be taken into consideration as either positive or negative. As Pungente (1989) characterizes media, they primarily present carefully crafted constructions that are the result of many factors. For example, in the making of news, there are principles to follow and there are structures that must be adhered to. Yet, there are the factors that help shape them like ownership and control of the medium. News must be constructed and presented in such a way that it will not hurt the owners' interests. It is the same with advertising and all the other presentations, where care and timing are considered, yet effects and impacts on the audience are equally studied - again based on the objectives of the advertiser or ownership. According to Pungente (1989), each medium has its own grammar and presents reality in its own particular way. This means that almost always, the same event will be reported differently by different media
This is what it is meant by media having commercial implications. The content, the techniques used, and the distribution all have to do with ownership and control. As Pungente (1989) places it, all media products are in some ways advertising and that is why we forever see messages of the nature of good life, the virtue of consumerism, the role of women, the acceptance of authority. Media have a powerful commercial incentive to produce certain kinds of contents. Information then that media gives must be taken with care or else be manipulated. An important factor though with media is that they can have great influence in politics and in forming social change. For example, they can expose anomalies and stem corruption through their reports (Pungente, 1989).
In everyday life. Media also construct reality because they are responsible for the observations and experiences from which people build up personal understanding of the world and how it works. The more we get exposed to these messages, the more they become part of our beliefs. A look into statistics on TV ownership says a lot about what kind of information people are getting. As one of the primary socializing agents of today's ...Show more


The dictionary defines media as a means of communication most useful to deliver information to the masses locally and internationally. There are many things media has to offer, but since media is found to be able to influence the decisions, actions, and opinions of each and every single person, it is important to consider it well…
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Media: Shaping values and practices of contemporary societies essay example
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