Assess the role of the media

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Assessing The Role Of The Media

In society the media is, arguably, one of - if not the - most powerful of institutions however some sociologists would argue, for example Baudrillard, that its’ power is diminishing or weak. The media is debated widely both assessing its’ influence and functions, or in some cases dysfunctions. The media’s primary function is to inform the masses  which is the origin of its’ overwhelming power in society because obviously through manipulating what the masses are informed of - censorship - and the altering the portrayal of parts of the news the media - propaganda - they are able to control our thoughts - ideological control.

The media is associated with not only informing the public but furthermore representing the public and bringing up moral, political and social issues on behalf of the public. Also the media gives the public freedom to express and broadcast their views and opinions; take Youtube for example, Youtube allows anyone to broadcast online videos, newsfeeds and blogs it enforces freedom of speech and Youtube along with other independent media sources, such as The Independent, ITV etc. increase and extend democracy in the UK. Dahl, a pluralist would agree with this view of the media, that the media informs us, and he says that the media demonstrates thousands of millions of different views and opinions, it broadcasts many different takes on various events and portrays parts of the news in millions of different ways. The wide range of media sources, Dahl says, are good because it allows individuals to sift through all the information and opinions and form their own views - it gives us choice in what, or who, we listen to.

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Interactionists and Functionalists would support Dahl’s theory and acknowledge that there is choice concerning what sources of information we listen to and those we may choose to ignore. The argument that supports the Pluralist view on the roles of the media are the Post Modernist and to some extent the Post Structuralist view. Post Modernist, Anthony Giddens says that the media has weakened the power of tradition and that it’s been a major part of the globalisation (merging the social and cultural boundaries) of the UK. He says that the media is continuously making our society more permissive - reducing ...

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this essay has moments of great clarity in describing some very complex theories. However, the theories are too often jumbled together and not sufficiently evaluated or criticised. To get higher marks the candidate should have made a plan which would have helped him/her to structure this better.