Media Effects Blog
The media continually influences our lives and whether we like it or not we must abide by the media in order to receive information. Without the media we would be ignorant to the events occurring within our community, nation, and world. Not only does the media inform us about current events, it covers what is going on within our government and informs us on changes that occur within our government. The media plays a huge role in our democratic society by broadcasting about current issues and informing the media on opportunities to take action whether it is referring to voting, supporting a bill, or discussing current economic issues. Researchers have created models such as the hypodermic model and the minimal effects model to suggest how the media impacts the voting and political process.
The hypodermic model is described as “the media injecting a message directly into the ‘bloodstream’ of the public.” This model refers to the media manipulating the general public and influencing their opinions to be the same as the media. This can affect voting results by the media manipulating the viewers to do what they want. This can be prevalent when candidates spend thousands of dollars on media advertisements in order to make themselves look like the best option for the voters. A similar situation we have learned about this quarter would be the conglomeration of media industries. With media industries merging, less opinions and information are available to the public. While the media isn’t necessarily injecting a certain message into the public, it is limiting their options for media in order to make an educated, independent decision.
On the contrary, models such as the minimal effects model discussed how people morals and status in society would be the main factor of their opinion regardless of what the media says. For example, a person will form their opinions on their religious beliefs and not consider the media.
In addition, media effects have a greater impact than on the voting spectrum. Media greatly influences the younger generation. As stated in our textbook, “high school students say they rely on the mass media more than on families, friends, or teachers in developing attitudes about current events.” Considering high school students do not have as strong of values as adults, they are more susceptible to the hypodermic model. This is important to consider taking into account that this generation is our future. If the media manipulates this generation, independent opinions and ideas will be lost in oblivion. Children are growing up among the media and it is inevitable that their opinions will be influenced if not made strictly by the media.
The concept of media effects is fascinating because it is so prevalent in our society. The media has the ability to not only influence our society, but control it. While the two models I discussed are legitimate, I believe the media influence falls somewhere in between the two. It would be ignorant to say that the media does not influence opinions at all, but it would be equally as ignorant to believe that humans are gullible enough to be completely manipulated.