Role of Media in the Society
The key role media plays in the society is the provision of information. In the process of provision of information, other roles of the media in the society exist. The explanation of these other roles can be done by the use of the culture theory. According to this theory, the audience plays a significant role in the way they receive information (Smith 2001). In this case, people tend to form their views in relation to the information the media organizations provide. Therefore, people play an active role in the creation of information in this news station rather than being passive (Smith 2001). Socialists according to this theory state that media owners have limited authority in trying to manipulate information transmitted to the viewers or readers.
In case, the cultural theory is leading to the creation of democracy in the society. This is because media owners cannot be able to manipulate the information they are providing the audience (Smith 2001). This means that if there is no manipulation of information because the viewers have an opportunity to select what they feel suits them. For example, if the media owners were manipulating the information, they would be brainwashing the audience leading to a dictatorship in the society (Smith 2001). Therefore, because the audience has the power to control information, it is creating democracy in the society. The culture theory is showing that media plays a crucial role in creation of the democracy in the society.
In addition, the culture theory shows that one key role of the media is to add value in the society. According to this theory, there is no manipulation or distortion of information provided to the audience. This means that real news add value to the society in comparison to manipulated news (Turner 2001). This is because the audience is receiving honest information they can use to make decisions. For example, manipulated news is one sided, and it tends to exploit the society. As a result, it is not creating value in the society. On the contrary, democratic news adds value to the society because it is honest information (Turner 2001). In this case, the audience can be able to make valuable decision in the society. Therefore, this theory shows that one of the roles of the media is the creation of value in the society.
Finally, the culture theory states that one of the roles of media is to maintain a culture in the society. When people are viewing or reading information from the media, they tend to choose the media they associate with in terms of culture and race among other issues (Smith 2001). In addition, people make views about certain information from the media in relation to their culture, race or religious beliefs. This is because the information media is providing is true and free from distortion. Additionally, the information is informative and has value since it is democratic (Smith 2001). For this reason, people are able to associate well with their cultures at ease. Therefore, the media helps in maintaining the originality of these cultures in the society. Henceforth, culture theory shows the cultural roles of the media in the society.
However, on certain occasions after a clear evaluation using the conflict theory, the role of the media in the society is exploitation. In this case, the owners of large corporations use the media to manipulate the minds of people for their own personal gains (Turner 2001). This is where the owners will feed the viewers with information based on their opinion to persuade the viewers into following them. Unknowingly, the people will follow their opinion (Turner 2001). As a result, people will end up using a lot of opinions of other people but not their own due to the decision they are making after receiving this information. This results in benefiting the owners while the people remain suffering in the society.
Therefore, from the above evaluation, it is clear that one of the roles of the media in the society is acting as a tool of exploitation. An excellent example is when corporations use the media to inform people that they are not beautiful or handsome if they do not use a certain product. In this case, people will follow the information and buy the product. In the real sense, they are giving money to the owners of the corporations due to manipulated information they were reading or viewing. This shows exploitation of the people by corporations.
An excellent example is the article ‘Romney vs. Obama: Presidential Debates rarely Change Votes, but Stakes Remain High’ by Russell Goldman. The article offers the readers an evaluation of what was happening after the debate between Mitt Romney and President Barrack Obama (Goldman 2012). According to the article, presidential debates do not affect the minds of voters. This means that the presidential debates do not change the voter’s decision. Goldman is using proof to show readers that there is no correlation between the winner of the debates and the winner of the elections (Goldman 2012). Based on the article, the debates are essential because they remind voters why for selecting a certain candidate during the up coming elections.
Therefore, from this article it is easy to show construction of news or information in media. First, the author has to research and acquire information of current events that would be of interest to the media organizations (Hoover & Clark 2002). This is where the author is going to place his or her opinion on the information. To create value in the information, the author must provide tangible evidence to persuade the audience that the information he or she is saying is true. For this reason, the information must contain substantial evidence supporting his or her opinion (Hoover & Clark 2002). The last process in the construction of this information is the use of culture. In culture, the author will try to show a culture that has been happening in the past proving that his or her opinion is true without manipulation or distortion since it follows a certain culture (Hoover & Clark 2002).
In this case, using the article it is easy to explain the construction of information by media organizations. Goldman first collected information about current issues that might be of interest to the media organization. In this article, the current issue is the presidential debate between Romney and President Obama (Goldman 2012). Second, Goldman places his opinion by stating that presidential debates do not convert voters. Instead, it affirms voters the issues that are making them select their candidate (Goldman 2012). From the title of the article, it is clear on that Goldman believes that these debates do not add any value in changing the mind of voters before the elections.
However, in order to persuade voters towards his views, he must add credit to the article. In this case, Goldman is providing readers with historical evidence through out the article. In addition, Goldman is using credible scholar who share his opinion to prove to readers that debates only remind voters of the reasons why they selected a certain candidate (Goldman 2012). In the process of adding value to the article, Goldman uses statistical information to show the readers that presidential debates do not have a correlation with the final tally of the elections. All through the article, this evidence affirms Goldman opinion due to the value of information the paper contains (Goldman 2012).
Finally, Goldman is using culture to predict the outcome of the elections after the debate. According to Goldman, in the past since the debate started, only elections where the presidential debate converted voters (Goldman 2012). Statistically, this means that it would be impossible for a debate to convert voters. This can be attributed that the cultural trend people are following from the past. In this case, Goldman is using this cultural trend to show the readers that the debate will not affect the elections due to the culture (Goldman 2012). After all this, the readers are able to view the finished article by Goldman.
One sociological theory to show the construction of information by the media in the society is Marxism theory. According to this theory, a ruling class exists that tends to manipulate others for their own maximum benefits (Joseph 2006). On the other hand, a working class exists that tends to perform work in exchange of services. In the context of media roles, Marxism theory states that certain people tend to use the media for purposes of exploiting others into performing activities for their own gains (Joseph 2006). In addition, the theory states that certain people will always perform their duties in accordance to what the media is telling them to do. However, the ruling class does not use the media directly, but they have a way to manipulate media in providing information in their own opinion (Joseph 2006). Therefore, certain people use the media in the society to exploit others.
Based on the above evaluation, the article does not provide a true representation of the situation. This is because the article is based on Goldman opinion. Goldman did not provide the readers with information about the other side of his opinion. He has only stated that only two debates had a correlation with the elections. Secondly, he did not provide the readers with information as to why the two debates gave such results. In this case, Romney vs. Obama debate could be having the same results proving Goldman opinion wrong. For these reasons, I believe the information in the article might be wrong.
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