Monthly Archives: May 2016

Media is known to be the most powerful means of communication. Print media, electronic media and the Internet are all the subsets of mass media. Newspapers, newsletters, magazines and brochure are included in print media, while the electronic media consists of the television, radio and other modes of communication. Internet is without doubt the fastest known way of communicating with millions of people across the globe. Effects of mass media can be positive as well as negative.

The best thing about the mass media is that it immediately provides us with the latest information about the things happening around us. It reports news from all the fields such as politics, sports, international relations, wars, natural calamities, meetings, entertainment, etc. Because of the keen efforts and dedication of the people working in the media and the entertainment sector, our knowledge remains fresh. With this gained knowledge, we become more smart and outgoing. Many times, we understand what is good and bad for us. For example, the anti-tobacco and anti-narcotic programs launched by the media, have benefited many people to date. The information conveyed about various diseases and their possible treatments has saved the lives of many of us. The contribution of mass media in the fields of arts, education, technology and health care is laudable. We also get the correct information about the various crimes and illegal activities happening in our surroundings quite easily. Media is a boon for youngsters in many ways. They get useful information related to their career and higher education mostly through the mass media.

Media plays a very important role in shaping the personality of people. It has been observed that citizens become more sensible and capable to shoulder their responsibility towards the nation and the society because of media. We get our role models by hearing about the appreciation of their great deeds from the media itself. Over the years, mass media has played an important role in making people understand the meaning of democracy. We also come to know about the strengths and weaknesses of the economy of our country, the population figures, the various problems faced by the nation, achievements of the nation in different sectors, through the prompt and precise reporting of different forms of media. Media plays an important role in building the sense of unity and pride among the people of the nation. In those countries where there are many castes, religions and languages spoken, media has even more tough responsibility of conveying the true news to the citizens. Media makes the citizens aware of their fundamental rights and their duties towards their families, state and the nation. Utility of the mass media in the areas of advertising and marketing is simply great.

Though the positive mass media effects are many, there are some cons associated with it as well. The news which is published without having bothered to check whether it is a fact or not, can create unnecessary confusion and extreme feelings among the common masses. There have been many instances of huge fights and controversies emerging, because of improper reporting. It becomes the duty of media to provide only relevant and precise information to the masses.

Hopefully, you will be satisfied with the above mentioned information. Over the years, the media has become an inseparable component of our daily lives and hence, it is its prime responsibility to keep the confidence of people alive by reporting only true details of any particular event.

There was a time when one could always rely on the various types of media for accurate information. But in recent times, the media has gained for itself a reputation, for sensationalizing certain events or news pieces, where emphasis is drawn on unnecessary details. The various forms of mass media are known to influence the minds of the audience to a large extent.

Does this mean the media controls the world at large? What about our reliability on journalists and organizations worldwide? Journalism is a powerful tool when it comes to influencing the minds of people, but are we ready to have them give us only half the truth, or none at all? Let's take a deeper look into the types and reasons of media bias.

Types of Media Bias

Religious Bias
This sort of bias has been witnessed by us innumerable times, where certain nations either highlight the prominent religion of the state or country, or speak ill of the religion that governs the same. While many countries would see this as illegal, others aren't respectful when it comes to how they portray religion to the audience.

Information Bias
Some media houses deliberately leave out information, that they see as unfit for the audience to get their hands on, often blurring the line between the good and bad side of ethics. Newspapers, television news channels, and the like, will snip information that is exceedingly explanatory (but important), choosing to go with what can be conveyed in a nutshell.

Corporate Bias
The media is always looking to please someone, and in this case, it may be a major corporation that they heavily rely on for funds or exposure to audiences, to gain popularity amongst the rest.

Sensational Bias
When certain media houses give an audience the impression, that bigger not-so-common events are rather common, they befuddle the minds of people into thinking that everyday accidents and events, don't hold any sort of importance. In other words, they highlight rare instances and make them sound like a big deal, when small (but significant) events are kept in obscurity.

Advertisement Bias
Like corporate bias, advertising conglomerates have to be kept pleased by media houses, since a large part of funding comes from them. The same goes with political parties who have a stronghold on the media, where the reins are in their grip, with zero freedom to exercise expression and honesty.

Gate-Keeping Bias
This is when a media house takes the decision to withhold a story from the people, deciding to release the information at a later date, or never at all. This sort of bias is quite common, where a debate of how to release (if they do, that is) the story is first decided, possibly clipped down to size, and finally produced to the unsuspecting audience.

Causes of Media Bias

Media bias can happen due to various reasons. It occurs when journalists (or people) connected with the reporting of a particular event, have a prejudiced opinion about certain things, which ultimately results in a distorted version of the story.
Sometimes, there are certain media that may show a political bias towards certain news events. This happens when the publication or channel is in favor of a particular political party or a candidate.
A journalist may also be biased towards a particular incident and may add his/her personal opinion to the news report. This kind of media bias is purely based on the journalist's own opinion which is not considered to be purely ethical, to begin with.
Certain stories are showcased in the media depending on what pleases corporate giants; money and popularity being the deciding factor.
Racial and religious bias can happen when the journalist or news reporter, gives a report in favor of a particular religion/race.
Public Relations firms know how to control media houses, influencing their decisions on what to release to the public. They have years of practiced research to back their beliefs, since public opinion (and reactions) are heavily studied beforehand by PR experts.

These are some points that highlight how media can influence the minds of the audiences at large. In a time, where competition is running high, it's no wonder how outside influences are bound to affect the presentation of news events.