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Media, Its Past And Present And An Analysis Of The Future Of Media

5426 words - 22 pages

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Introduction

Media or mass media are instruments used to communicate to a very large population. With the advent of television and radio, media has been able to reach a larger audience. Media has later been further revolutionized with the coming of the internet in the late 1980's. The term "mainstream media" thus became widely used since the media could now reach people the world over.

A decade ago, media was considered almost completely inoffensive, and therefore was welcomed. However, in today's age, the role of media, its influence on people and its objectivity, are all put into question. With more and more importance given to media, media ...view middle of the document...

However, they took till the 19th century to be able to reach a mass-audience.

The 20th century has known a rapid growth in mass media due to advances in technology, allowing massive production of material. An improvement in printing and film duplication allowed books, newspapers and movies to be distributed to a wider public. With the advent of television and radio, information could be shared electronically and reach people in the whole country. Media could later reach a public the world over in the late 1980's with the coming of the internet.

Media Influence on children and teenagers

Media has an enormous influence on people, particularly the children and teenagers. Studies show that by age eighteen, teenagers will see between 20,000 and 40,000 murders on television and around 200,000 acts of violence. However, media violence affects people in different ways.

Media violence has many effects on behaviour of the masses. A Study by the American Medical Association back in 1996 stated that one of the biggest problems with media violence is that it causes people to be disrespectful to others. In the worst of cases, a lack of respect for human life can lead to murder. Without any doubt, media violence make people, especially the youngest think that violence is a common or acceptable behaviour. Eventually, people become desensitised to it and may become less outraged when they are exposed to violence in their lives. Studies have verified that many people, in particular those who are still in early adulthood, are no longer shocked about violence, they feel it is inevitable.

Media theorists believe that most people are exposed to media violence during childhood. Studies show that teens and young children tend to be more aggressive when they have been exposed to media violence over a long period of time. As a result, they may respond violently to some situations. The media censorship lobby has since long argued that children cannot see the difference between cartoon violence and real violence. Besides, media violence can cause fear in some people. This is due to the fact that violence is present in all forms of media; from books and television, to the internet and even video games.

The most dangerous consequence or effect of media violence is imitation. Children and teenagers sometimes try to imitate what they see in the media. This happened after the movie "Money Train" opened in 1995. In the film, a madman sets a subway token booth on fire and the clerk barely managed to escape. After the movie, a real subway token booth was torched and the clerk was killed. On the animated show "Beavis and Butt-Head", a similar situation occurred. After watching the program, a little boy started a fire in which his sister died.

Imitations also occur when children try to imitate their cartoon heroes. In March 2008, a 10 year-old boy died when his playmates buried him head-first in...

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