The mass media has been impacting the lives of thousands since a time long before mine. I want to remind every reader how our society has turned into mass consumers post WW1 and WW2 due to industrialization. It makes sense that with mass consumption comes mass media- even Andy Warhol would agree (Campbell’s Soup anyone?).
It seems like today you can’t escape mass media, especially with the rapid growth of computer technology and accessibility to anything in the world in the palm of our hands. Social Networking, big shot Corporations, and even News Stations understand how they can affect popular culture through mass media and marketing and they take full advantage of it.
I understand that the media affects me in almost anything I do: from what I buy, what I see on television, what happens over the internet, and how I communicate is always foreshadowed by some sort of mass media and pop culture. I can pick and choose what to believe and follow within the popular culture, but I have an issue with news networks partaking in the same type of mass media. The stories news stations headline aim to catch attention and gain viewers through the marketing of ‘cool’. This means the news prioritizes fast paced topics including violence, disasters, celebrity talk and sex. Mark Twain once wrote “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed”; frankly I couldn’t agree more. I don’t care what Miley Cyrus did at the VMA’s, I watch the news or read the newspaper to become informed about world topics, not celebrity mishaps.
News networks often ignore issues happening and affecting people within the country or globally, because another story is more appealing. The news networks today are set up very unequally, changing what we as a mass audience think is important. The news changes our opinions and mentality of everything it projects, often letting Canada stand in limelight where other third world countries like Kenya come across as uncivilized, violent, and poor. I know firsthand this way of thinking is not entirely correct, because I have been to Kenya and experienced their way of life. Kenya has violence and a high poverty rate, but Canada isn’t perfect either. Violence does happen here and we still have homeless and hungry people living within our own neighbourhood. So why do news networks ignore many issues such as these within Canada but highlight them in other countries like Kenya? Just because Kenya has a different way of living from Canada doesn’t mean it is wrong, yet news stations seem to make us think it is wrong.
Audiences need to realize that they shouldn’t believe everything that comes from mass media, especially news stations and their coverage. I challenge listeners to think next time they hear a news story about what the message the station is sending and whether it falls into one of the categories I listed above. Are we living in ignorance by only listening to the fast paced topics news stations are sending us?