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Blog #4

Of the four media theories that were discussed in class and the book, the most intriguing theory to me was media effects. This theory struck me as the most interesting one because as an average person who uses various media outlets daily it is neat to take a step back and really think about and examine how we as people are being influenced by the media presented to us each and every day.
Within the concept of media effects, the book examines various different theories that support and examine media effects. The first theory that the book outlined caught my eye. This was idea of the “hypodermic model”. The hypodermic model suggest that media has “a direct and powerful influence on the public” (231). The book gives a few examples of this theory in effect. For example the book discusses the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds and the effects it had on society. I remember learning about this broadcast in high school and was astonished to learn that people across the country truly believed aliens were attacking us. This is a great example of the hypodermic model in effect, but I do not think this theory is as accurate today as it was back during that broadcast. Media was limited back then so it was harder to access information. People had to rely on the means they had available which were more limited back then. Had that broadcast happened today, enough people would have googled the situation or tuned into another news source to determine weather or not it was true. I think it is harder for the hypodermic model to exist today because people have the ability to receive media from various different sources, which provide different information, sometimes reliable and sometimes not. We as individuals have more room for our own interpretation of the media we receive and more ability to control how it influences us.

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  1. Kathleen
    October 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Nice post on media effects, Erica. War of the Worlds is certainly an interesting example of this theory’s assumptions in action.

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