How the media presents a topic to the public, effects how the public perceives and reacts to the topic. Whoever is controlling the media has the opportunity to make a huge impact to their audience. Propaganda is used all over the world to promote or expose different political positions, and ideas. In several countries the government censors and controls the media. According to The Globalist Report, the top 5 countries that censor media are Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Libya, and Syria. They use filtering software to block political opinions and negative publicity. Just recently, in July 2013, Somalia passed a draft media law that would silence their media and public debates going on during this controversy time.
Our media promotes and encourages Americans to vote. Depending on which candidates are being promoted (based on who is paying for the advertisement) you will see either a positive portrayal of those people or something very negative. It all depends on how the media wants to persuade you to vote. The media can even target various ethnic groups, based on where they are trying to encourage their votes. We even have websites, The Brookings Institute has an article called, “Ten Ways Social Media Can Improve Campaign Engagement and Reinvigorate American Democracy” which gives you guidelines on how you can use MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to target a larger audience.
The media has influenced the health of our nation and sent it down a spiraling path, which we are currently pulling ourselves out of. Smoking used to be portrayed by the media as something cool, fashionable, and relaxing, it supposedly had minor health consequences. Large tobacco firms paid for the advertisement even though they knew that smoking was known to be harmful to our health. The media however, gladly accepted the money and promoted the advertisement. Now, the media is promoting the opposite, and we are seeing commercials showing the reality of smoking and the damage it causes to the body. Smoking is no longer acceptable on airplanes, restaurants, businesses and even some cities like Loma Linda, CA (I know, because I live there). On the other hand, in 2009 the H1N1 virus reached epidemic status, and the media was able to provide up to date information regarding the flu, where to get vaccines, and where travel was not recommended.
How much influence does the media have on the values and morality of our country. Have we become desensitized, because of the repetition of the information we see and are exposed to? Are we horrified when we lose one solider fighting in a war for our freedom, or do we feel it to be just another person doing their job?
Why does it take the magnitude of 9/11 to stop our nation and made us think as well as make us take a stand.