The influence of the mass media in shaping people’s ideas
The mass media, including TV, radio and newspapers, have great influence in shaping people’s ideas. This statement is quite relevant considering that the mass media play a fundamental role in determining social communication in modern society. The values and meanings promoted in this way apparently shape people’s ideas and perceptions about the surrounding world. The mass media represent a medium of expressing and influencing both positive and negative opinions, behaviors and social norms (Ndiayea & Ndiayea, 2014). However, it should be considered that such values and norms are demonstrated in various ways, depending on cultural and historical traditions available at each country. It can be also suggested that the mass media frequently manipulate the audience by establishing an improper sense of reality, with the idea to deliver specific information to people.
The manipulative nature of the mass media is evident in the way such means of communication structures people’s thoughts and behaviors. It has been argued that the owners of mass media express the opinion that the audience prefers to see specific types of programs, or read certain types of information. This aspect somewhat explains the speculative character of the mass media publications in contemporary society (Jeffres, 1997). Moreover, it is important to note that the influence of the mass media in shaping people’s ideas implies that neutrality may not be considered a main facet of mass media. This is due to the emergence of the manipulation process associated with the influence of the mass media. The mass media, through various forms and mediums, facilitate people to think, feel and react in a specific manner.
Jeffres, L. W. (1997). Mass media effects. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
Ndiayea, I. A. & Ndiayea, B. (2014). Sociocultural stereotypes in media and intercultural
communication (Africa in the Polish media). Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 154, 72-76.