Over the last 500 years, the influence of mass media has grown exponentially with the advance of technology.
First there were books, then newspapers, magazines, photography, sound recordings, films, radio, television, the so-called New Media of the Internet, and now social media.
Today, just about everyone depends on information and communication to keep their lives moving through daily activities like work, education, health care, leisure activities, entertainment, travelling, personal relationships, and the other stuff with which we are involved.
It's not unusual to wake up, check the cell phone for messages and notifications, look at the TV or newspaper for news, commute to ...view middle of the document...
New and influential media-distribution channels have appeared in the 21st century. Delivered via the World Wide Web across the Internet, we are influenced daily by blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds and myriad forms of content sharing.
Who controls the message?
Who owns the media companies that shape our values, beliefs and decisions?
A media conglomerate or media group is a company that owns many mass media businesses.
According to a recent Fortune 500 list, the top five in terms of revenue are:
• Walt Disney Company
• News Corporation
• Time Warner
• CBS Corporation
Other well-known major conglomerates include:
• NBC Universal
• Sony Corporation of America
• Together, these giants control 95% of all the traditional media we receive every day.
Back in the day, there was more diversity in companies, but they have merged over the decades so now they are few in number. Today's huge merged companies have the power to shape our opinions and beliefs and influence our decisions.
This is why it's important to be aware of what we are exposed to every day, so we can look at things from different perspectives and not just from the perspective of a medium.
How do media influence public opinion?
Media shape public opinion in different ways depending on the content.
Here's an example:
Following the 9/11 terrorism, media coverage followed accusations by government authorities that pointed toward al Qaeda as the group that carried out the attack on the United States and Osama bin Laden as leader of that group. Those news reports on the attack and the aftermath shaped public opinion to support the war on terrorism.
Other ways to influence public opinion include political advertising.
Trends for and against political candidates are measured by public opinion polls. Candidates RAISE MONEY to pay for media exposure -- political...