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The effect of the media.

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Introduction

The effect of the media. Sociologists have studied the effect of the media since the early 50's, by looking at TV, radio and newspapers. They noticed that the media is very powerful and effects the general public greatly and can alter their opinions and thinking about certain beliefs and topics. From politics to celebrities media supplies us with headlines and stories which may or may not be biased and effect our way of thinking about that certain person/story. Sociologists have different views about the power and effect of the media, and how it can effect our actions. Some sociologists believe that there is a link between a film, which includes killing, and a boy that has watched that film then going out and murdering someone. However some sociologists disagree and believe there is no link between the power of the media and violence and actions of the minority of people. One of the main groups of sociologists is the Glasgow University Media Group, which has looked at the effect of the media in great depth, and have made studies to try and prove their theorys. There are 4 effects that sociologists have discovered- 1.Hypodermic syringe 2.Two-step approach 3.Uses and gratifications 4.Cultural effects The hypodermic syringe approach suggests that everything the media presents us with (whether that be TV, newspapers and radio) ...read more.

Middle

their own version being one-sided and biased about a particular story or political group e.g., labour, the sun bluntly had the headlines 'VOTE LABOUR' on the day of the elections. This effect is very powerful, as it proves, as Tony Blair won the election, and that the opinion leaders do have a great effect on their audience. This effect is very similar to the hypodermic effect, though it doesn't show the public as being sponge like but that there are different people to influence our opinions about topics in the media. Unlike the others, the third approach, 'uses and gratifications', concentrates on the audience and the way they use the media and not the way the media is presented and the effects of it. The key element of this effect is not what does the media do with people but what does people do with the media. There are many different ways in which people use the media e.g., TV on as company, diversion, personal relationships, and background music e.t.c, e.g. people may choose to watch soaps so that they can relate to certain characters or storylines. ...read more.

Conclusion

He could be called an opinion leader from the two-step approach as he saw what was going on around him used the media to tell people about his opinions towards racism to try and stop it. I again think that this is contradicting the hypodermic syringe approach as it showed that not everybody agreed with him and had their own opinions about the issue of racism. I can see that through the work of Martin Luther King through the media it has made a large cultural effect as in today's society racism is only a small issue and generally people no longer judge other people by their colour. There are many other cultural effects where the media has changed our views over a long period of time, but they are forgot about because people just see these issues as being normal as they have been used in the media for such a long time. There has been many studies on this effect and like the other effects they are just theory's and are hard to prove, but at least with this effect you can look back at media in the past and see how it has changed the publics view. I think all four effects are hard to prove and affect different people in different ways. ...read more.

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