The Effects of The Media (Negative)

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Submitted: November 07, 2011

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Submitted: November 07, 2011

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The Media

Can we trust the media? We cannot and should not trust the media. The media lies to us on a daily basis in everything from simple advertising to news stories, the media offers us false hope and creates a culture of fear that can be seen all around us, and the media blinds us from real issues that affect the world. Even Adolf Hitler once said,” Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” (Adolf). Adolf Hitler was responsible for the genocide of approximately fourteen million European Jews during World War 2. He led this extermination by promoting anti-British propaganda through the media of Germany. This just goes to show how seriously misled we can become if we trust the media.

Firstly, we must determine what is the media exactly? All media are constructions of reality that have powerful, yet subtle, social implications (MacPherson). These social implications influence how we think, shop, dress, behave, judge other people and feel about ourselves (ibid). This means something as simple such as a magazine article can actually change the way a person feels about themselves. These covers usually depict a beautiful, young, thin, successful model holding some sort of product. This gives the consumer the implication that if they buy that product they will look like a beautiful, young, thin, successful model. This is an obvious lie, since no product in the world today can actually alter a person’s looks or somehow make them more successful. The corporation that created the product is lying to the public just so they could sell more of their products. The media even lies to us in things such as news stories. News stories usually show African-American males committing some sort of crime ranging from fraud to armed robbery even though there are just as many ,if not more, Caucasian people involved in crime (Freedom). If one were to ask why they decided to lie to the public like this, they would deny it and say that they were simply choosing what they reported on. This is completely unfair not only to the public as a whole but also to African-Americans since it promotes a fake stereotype that says all African-Americans are criminals and should not be trusted. This will lead to segregation and discrimination towards black people. Eventually, if the discrimination continues, violence will erupt and there will be killings on both sides.

Secondly, the media offers us false hopes and creates a culture of fear that can be seen all around us. Advertising nowadays is filled with young, beautiful celebrities gracing the covers of magazines, billboards, and appearing in television commercials all promoting some sort of product. They give the consumer the idea that if they do buy the product, they can become beautiful and famous. This is of course a sick lie generated by corporations and perpetuated through the media. “Some of the best creative minds are employed to ensure our faith in the corporate world view. They seduce us with beguiling illusions, designed to divert our minds and manufacture our consent.”(The Corporation). This shows how corporations deceive us into believing we need their products even though we really do not. Most advertising usually shows a person without a product and they are suffering in life. However, after that person gets the product, their life becomes magically transformed. Soon they find themselves to be more successful, sexually attractive, and overall happier. Of course, in real life things do not work this way. When someone actually goes out and buys the product after seeing that advertisement, usually there will be no major differences in their lives. This is an example of how the media gives us false hope. The media has also created a culture of fear that can be seen in all parts of the world. Recently a documentary called ‘Built for the Kill’ was aired on National Geographic (Built). The show focused on killer plants and warned people not to trust even what was growing in their garden (ibid). This shows unnecessary fear mongering from the media which can easily cause people to start being more afraid of the things around them. This can cause them to go out and buy something to make them feel safer. This shows us that as certain media brings about fear in the consumers, corporations will benefit from it.

 

Thirdly, the media blinds us from real issues that affect the world. United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg once said, “"The hand that rules the press, the radio, the screen, and the far-spread magazine rules the country." (Senator). This means that if someone had the ability to control the media, they would have complete control over the country. The person would be able to choose what the public sees, where they see it, and even how they see it. The Columbine massacre, which involved two high school students bringing guns to their school and killing twelve fellow students and one teacher, happened on the same day that the United States started bombing several countries at that time. Yet, the Columbine incident was more televised than the bombings. This shows how by selecting what is shown in the media, the government can protect itself by hiding behind other news. Even celebrities play an important part as to why people nowadays are so blinded by the media. People care about which celebrity is in a relationship with someone or what type of dress they are wearing more than they do world issues such as global warming, poverty, or the state of the economy. Basically, the media is causing people to become less aware of world issues.

In conclusion, we should not trust the media because it causes us to believe lies, buy into stereotypes, become more afraid of the world we live in, and become dumber due to a lower level of awareness. However, if used properly, the media could be extremely beneficial for people.

The objective of this essay is to look at the negative impacts of media on teenagers in North America. This essay will show how the media affects the level of violence amongst teenagers. It will also look at how the media can cause certain sexual issues to arise among teens. This essay will also address some of the health issues that come up as a result of the media. 

Firstly, we must determine what the media is exactly. All media are the constructions of reality that have powerful, yet subtle, social implications (Imprints). These social implications have the ability to influence how teens think, shop, dress, behave, judge people and feel about themselves (ibid). Concerns about the negative effects of violence in the media began as early as 1946, shortly after violent television programs emerged. By 1972 sufficient empirical evidence had accumulated for the U.S. Surgeon General to comment that “…televised violence, indeed, does have an adverse effect on certain members of our society” (Anderson). Things such as violence in the media can translate into violence in society. This can be caused by a teenager viewing too much violent images in the media. This can lead to things such as desensitization of the teenagers. Desensitization is when people no longer react to things such as violence and other negative stimuli the way they are supposed to. For example, after viewing many violent movies and television programs, a child may think that the idea of hurting someone else is acceptable. According to a report in the Washington Post, a one-year study found that

  • 57% of television programs contained some violence
  • Perpetrators of violent acts on television go unpunished 73% of the time
  • 58% of violent incidents show no pain, which could lead to teens believing that violence is pain free
  • Only 4% of programs provide a non-violent solution to solving problems (Hawkes).

 

This just goes to show how much violence there really is in media today. Up to 58% of these violent incidents show the victim experiencing little to no pain. This can lead people to believing that violent behavior does not incite any pain, which could lead them to committing more of these violent acts. This will eventually change their moral reasoning, leading them to believe that violence is actually a good thing and therefore they will do it even more. Some of the most tragic events in history such as the Columbine Massacre and the North Hollywood Shootout of 1997 were a result of violence being portrayed in the media. The North Hollywood Shootout perpetrators were heavily influenced by the Michael Mann movie HEAT (Bryant). The movie was found in the killers’ home and the events of the shootout were a direct replica of the one in the movie, including the bank robbery and shooting of the police and pedestrians (ibid). This shows how violence portrayed in the media definitely has a profound effect on society.

The media also depicts sexual issues that affect teenagers’ views on said issues. One of the sexual issues illustrated in the media is the acceptance of the abuse of women. This can be seen in forms such as misogynistic rap music and movies in which violence against women is accepted. Rap music is a very popular form of music that originated in the 1980s as a way for impoverished African-American people to talk about their struggles in life. However, once rap music became more and more popular the subject of the music gradually changed from rappers talking about their life struggles to singing about how successful they have become due to their large sums of money, grand cars, and beautiful women. This is where sexism began to appear in rap music. Rappers began to talk about the abuse of women in their songs. For example,

Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too,
You pay the right price and they’ll both do you.
That’s the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin’,
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin’ change off these women.
Chorus:
You know it’s hard out here for a pimp,
When he tryin’ to get this money for the rent.
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent,
Because a whole lot of bitches talkin’ shit.

Excerpt from “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” – Three 6 Mafia (Kubrin)

This excerpt from the Academy Award winning song “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” is a clear example of misogyny in rap music. This is seen as the group compares women to prostitutes and how they use women to gain money. Since the group is famous, their fans may believe that being abusive to women is something cool and they might try to emulate them. The media also shows movies in which violence against women is seen as an acceptable act. Recently, a study was conducted where college students were made to watch movies in which women were subjected to violence and then surveys were conducted afterwards. The results indicated that exposure to the films portraying violent sexuality increased male subjects' acceptance of interpersonal violence against women (Barker). This noticeably shows the media’s influence on the acceptance of sexual issues such as violence against women.

The media also changes teenagers’ views on health issues. The media nowadays is filled with young, beautiful celebrities gracing the covers of magazines, billboards, and appearing in television programs looking like the personification of beauty. These images of perfection, however, are usually faked and edited by using computer programs to make them appear more attractive. Teenagers are presented with unattainable illustrations of beauty. This is why some teenagers resort to dieting methods such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Anorexia nervosa is when people starve themselves in order to lose weight (U. Wallin). Bulimia is when people force themselves to vomit up their food so that they will not gain weight (ibid). This shows how the media presents society with impossible images of good looks which teenagers try to imitate by forcing themselves to destroy their bodies. Health issues in the media are changing teen views on the issue.

In conclusion, the media has negative influences on teen society. This is done by showing teens violence in the media, confusing teens’ moral reasoning when it comes to sexual issues, and giving teenagers negative images of health in society. This is why the media needs to be more regulated and become stricter in general.

Works Cited

"Adolf Hitler quotes." Find the famous quotes you need, ThinkExist.com Quotations.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2010. .

 Bowling for Columbine.  Dir.  Michael Moore. Perf. Michael Moore. MGM (Video &Amp; DVD), 2002. Film.

"Built For The Kill Videos - Plants Eating Bugs - National Geographic Channel." National Geographic Channel - Animals, Science, Exploration Television Shows. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2010. .

The Corporation. Dir. Jennifer Abbott. Perf. Jane Akre. Zeitgeist Films, 2003. Film.

Freedom of Speech. Griffin, Eddie. HBO. 8 Apr. 2008. Television.

MacPherson, Cam. "Looking At the Media." Imprints. Ed. Joe Banel, Diane Robitaille, Cathy Zerbst. Canada: Gage, 2001. 132-133. Print.

N.A. "N.A." Imprints. Ed. Joe Banel, Diane Robitaille, Cathy Zerbst. Canada: Gage, 2001. 129. Print.

"Senator Frank R. Lautenberg."Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2010. .

Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. "The Effects of Media Violence on Society." Science/AAAS 29 Mar. 2002: 2377-2378. Science's Compass. Web. 18 May 2010.

Barker, Martin. Ill Effects: The Media/Violence Debate (Communication and Society). 2 ed. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.

Bryant, Jennings. Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research (Lea's Communication Series). 3 ed. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print.

Colton, Patricia, Marion  Olmstead, Denis  Daneman, Anne Rydall, and Gary  Rodin. "Disturbed Eating Behavior and Eating Disorders in Preteen and Early Teenage Girls With Type 1 Diabetes  —  Diabetes Care ." Diabetes Care . N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010. .

Hawkes, Charles. Images of Society : Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology. Toronto: Mcgraw-Hill Ryerson, Limited, 2001. Print.

 Imprints 11 (Short Stories, Poetry, Essays, Media). Meh: Gage, 2001. Print.

Kubrin, Charis, and Ronald Weitzer. "(Page 2 of 41) - Misogyny in Rap Music: Objectification, Exploitation, and Violence against Women authored by Kubrin, Charis. and Weitzer, Ronald.." All Academic Inc. (Abstract Management, Conference Management and Research Search Engine). All Academic, Inc., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010. .

Michael Moore Limited Edition DVD Collector's Set (Bowling for Columbine / The Big One). Dir. Michael Moore (Ii). Perf. Michael Moore. Mgm (Video &Amp; Dvd), 2002. Film.

U., Wallin, Kronovall P., and Majewski M-L.. "IngentaConnect Body awareness therapy in teenage anorexia nervosa: outcome after...." IngentaConnect Home. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010. .

 

The Media

Can we trust the media? We cannot and should not trust the media. The media lies to us on a daily basis in everything from simple advertising to news stories, the media offers us false hope and creates a culture of fear that can be seen all around us, and the media blinds us from real issues that affect the world. Even Adolf Hitler once said,” Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” (Adolf). Adolf Hitler was responsible for the genocide of approximately fourteen million European Jews during World War 2. He led this extermination by promoting anti-British propaganda through the media of Germany. This just goes to show how seriously misled we can become if we trust the media.

Firstly, we must determine what is the media exactly? All media are constructions of reality that have powerful, yet subtle, social implications (MacPherson). These social implications influence how we think, shop, dress, behave, judge other people and feel about ourselves (ibid). This means something as simple such as a magazine article can actually change the way a person feels about themselves. These covers usually depict a beautiful, young, thin, successful model holding some sort of product. This gives the consumer the implication that if they buy that product they will look like a beautiful, young, thin, successful model. This is an obvious lie, since no product in the world today can actually alter a person’s looks or somehow make them more successful. The corporation that created the product is lying to the public just so they could sell more of their products. The media even lies to us in things such as news stories. News stories usually show African-American males committing some sort of crime ranging from fraud to armed robbery even though there are just as many ,if not more, Caucasian people involved in crime (Freedom). If one were to ask why they decided to lie to the public like this, they would deny it and say that they were simply choosing what they reported on. This is completely unfair not only to the public as a whole but also to African-Americans since it promotes a fake stereotype that says all African-Americans are criminals and should not be trusted. This will lead to segregation and discrimination towards black people. Eventually, if the discrimination continues, violence will erupt and there will be killings on both sides.

Secondly, the media offers us false hopes and creates a culture of fear that can be seen all around us. Advertising nowadays is filled with young, beautiful celebrities gracing the covers of magazines, billboards, and appearing in television commercials all promoting some sort of product. They give the consumer the idea that if they do buy the product, they can become beautiful and famous. This is of course a sick lie generated by corporations and perpetuated through the media. “Some of the best creative minds are employed to ensure our faith in the corporate world view. They seduce us with beguiling illusions, designed to divert our minds and manufacture our consent.”(The Corporation). This shows how corporations deceive us into believing we need their products even though we really do not. Most advertising usually shows a person without a product and they are suffering in life. However, after that person gets the product, their life becomes magically transformed. Soon they find themselves to be more successful, sexually attractive, and overall happier. Of course, in real life things do not work this way. When someone actually goes out and buys the product after seeing that advertisement, usually there will be no major differences in their lives. This is an example of how the media gives us false hope. The media has also created a culture of fear that can be seen in all parts of the world. Recently a documentary called ‘Built for the Kill’ was aired on National Geographic (Built). The show focused on killer plants and warned people not to trust even what was growing in their garden (ibid). This shows unnecessary fear mongering from the media which can easily cause people to start being more afraid of the things around them. This can cause them to go out and buy something to make them feel safer. This shows us that as certain media brings about fear in the consumers, corporations will benefit from it.

 

Thirdly, the media blinds us from real issues that affect the world. United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg once said, “"The hand that rules the press, the radio, the screen, and the far-spread magazine rules the country." (Senator). This means that if someone had the ability to control the media, they would have complete control over the country. The person would be able to choose what the public sees, where they see it, and even how they see it. The Columbine massacre, which involved two high school students bringing guns to their school and killing twelve fellow students and one teacher, happened on the same day that the United States started bombing several countries at that time. Yet, the Columbine incident was more televised than the bombings. This shows how by selecting what is shown in the media, the government can protect itself by hiding behind other news. Even celebrities play an important part as to why people nowadays are so blinded by the media. People care about which celebrity is in a relationship with someone or what type of dress they are wearing more than they do world issues such as global warming, poverty, or the state of the economy. Basically, the media is causing people to become less aware of world issues.

In conclusion, we should not trust the media because it causes us to believe lies, buy into stereotypes, become more afraid of the world we live in, and become dumber due to a lower level of awareness. However, if used properly, the media could be extremely beneficial for people.

The objective of this essay is to look at the negative impacts of media on teenagers in North America. This essay will show how the media affects the level of violence amongst teenagers. It will also look at how the media can cause certain sexual issues to arise among teens. This essay will also address some of the health issues that come up as a result of the media. 

Firstly, we must determine what the media is exactly. All media are the constructions of reality that have powerful, yet subtle, social implications (Imprints). These social implications have the ability to influence how teens think, shop, dress, behave, judge people and feel about themselves (ibid). Concerns about the negative effects of violence in the media began as early as 1946, shortly after violent television programs emerged. By 1972 sufficient empirical evidence had accumulated for the U.S. Surgeon General to comment that “…televised violence, indeed, does have an adverse effect on certain members of our society” (Anderson). Things such as violence in the media can translate into violence in society. This can be caused by a teenager viewing too much violent images in the media. This can lead to things such as desensitization of the teenagers. Desensitization is when people no longer react to things such as violence and other negative stimuli the way they are supposed to. For example, after viewing many violent movies and television programs, a child may think that the idea of hurting someone else is acceptable. According to a report in the Washington Post, a one-year study found that

  • 57% of television programs contained some violence
  • Perpetrators of violent acts on television go unpunished 73% of the time
  • 58% of violent incidents show no pain, which could lead to teens believing that violence is pain free
  • Only 4% of programs provide a non-violent solution to solving problems (Hawkes).

 

This just goes to show how much violence there really is in media today. Up to 58% of these violent incidents show the victim experiencing little to no pain. This can lead people to believing that violent behavior does not incite any pain, which could lead them to committing more of these violent acts. This will eventually change their moral reasoning, leading them to believe that violence is actually a good thing and therefore they will do it even more. Some of the most tragic events in history such as the Columbine Massacre and the North Hollywood Shootout of 1997 were a result of violence being portrayed in the media. The North Hollywood Shootout perpetrators were heavily influenced by the Michael Mann movie HEAT (Bryant). The movie was found in the killers’ home and the events of the shootout were a direct replica of the one in the movie, including the bank robbery and shooting of the police and pedestrians (ibid). This shows how violence portrayed in the media definitely has a profound effect on society.

The media also depicts sexual issues that affect teenagers’ views on said issues. One of the sexual issues illustrated in the media is the acceptance of the abuse of women. This can be seen in forms such as misogynistic rap music and movies in which violence against women is accepted. Rap music is a very popular form of music that originated in the 1980s as a way for impoverished African-American people to talk about their struggles in life. However, once rap music became more and more popular the subject of the music gradually changed from rappers talking about their life struggles to singing about how successful they have become due to their large sums of money, grand cars, and beautiful women. This is where sexism began to appear in rap music. Rappers began to talk about the abuse of women in their songs. For example,

Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too,
You pay the right price and they’ll both do you.
That’s the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin’,
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin’ change off these women.
Chorus:
You know it’s hard out here for a pimp,
When he tryin’ to get this money for the rent.
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent,
Because a whole lot of bitches talkin’ shit.

Excerpt from “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” – Three 6 Mafia (Kubrin)

This excerpt from the Academy Award winning song “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” is a clear example of misogyny in rap music. This is seen as the group compares women to prostitutes and how they use women to gain money. Since the group is famous, their fans may believe that being abusive to women is something cool and they might try to emulate them. The media also shows movies in which violence against women is seen as an acceptable act. Recently, a study was conducted where college students were made to watch movies in which women were subjected to violence and then surveys were conducted afterwards. The results indicated that exposure to the films portraying violent sexuality increased male subjects' acceptance of interpersonal violence against women (Barker). This noticeably shows the media’s influence on the acceptance of sexual issues such as violence against women.

The media also changes teenagers’ views on health issues. The media nowadays is filled with young, beautiful celebrities gracing the covers of magazines, billboards, and appearing in television programs looking like the personification of beauty. These images of perfection, however, are usually faked and edited by using computer programs to make them appear more attractive. Teenagers are presented with unattainable illustrations of beauty. This is why some teenagers resort to dieting methods such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Anorexia nervosa is when people starve themselves in order to lose weight (U. Wallin). Bulimia is when people force themselves to vomit up their food so that they will not gain weight (ibid). This shows how the media presents society with impossible images of good looks which teenagers try to imitate by forcing themselves to destroy their bodies. Health issues in the media are changing teen views on the issue.

In conclusion, the media has negative influences on teen society. This is done by showing teens violence in the media, confusing teens’ moral reasoning when it comes to sexual issues, and giving teenagers negative images of health in society. This is why the media needs to be more regulated and become stricter in general.

Works Cited

"Adolf Hitler quotes." Find the famous quotes you need, ThinkExist.com Quotations.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2010. .

 Bowling for Columbine.  Dir.  Michael Moore. Perf. Michael Moore. MGM (Video &Amp; DVD), 2002. Film.

"Built For The Kill Videos - Plants Eating Bugs - National Geographic Channel." National Geographic Channel - Animals, Science, Exploration Television Shows. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2010. .

The Corporation. Dir. Jennifer Abbott. Perf. Jane Akre. Zeitgeist Films, 2003. Film.

Freedom of Speech. Griffin, Eddie. HBO. 8 Apr. 2008. Television.

MacPherson, Cam. "Looking At the Media." Imprints. Ed. Joe Banel, Diane Robitaille, Cathy Zerbst. Canada: Gage, 2001. 132-133. Print.

N.A. "N.A." Imprints. Ed. Joe Banel, Diane Robitaille, Cathy Zerbst. Canada: Gage, 2001. 129. Print.

"Senator Frank R. Lautenberg."Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2010. .

Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. "The Effects of Media Violence on Society." Science/AAAS 29 Mar. 2002: 2377-2378. Science's Compass. Web. 18 May 2010.

Barker, Martin. Ill Effects: The Media/Violence Debate (Communication and Society). 2 ed. New York: Routledge, 2001. Print.

Bryant, Jennings. Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research (Lea's Communication Series). 3 ed. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print.

Colton, Patricia, Marion  Olmstead, Denis  Daneman, Anne Rydall, and Gary  Rodin. "Disturbed Eating Behavior and Eating Disorders in Preteen and Early Teenage Girls With Type 1 Diabetes  —  Diabetes Care ." Diabetes Care . N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010. .

Hawkes, Charles. Images of Society : Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology. Toronto: Mcgraw-Hill Ryerson, Limited, 2001. Print.

 Imprints 11 (Short Stories, Poetry, Essays, Media). Meh: Gage, 2001. Print.

Kubrin, Charis, and Ronald Weitzer. "(Page 2 of 41) - Misogyny in Rap Music: Objectification, Exploitation, and Violence against Women authored by Kubrin, Charis. and Weitzer, Ronald.." All Academic Inc. (Abstract Management, Conference Management and Research Search Engine). All Academic, Inc., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010. .

Michael Moore Limited Edition DVD Collector's Set (Bowling for Columbine / The Big One). Dir. Michael Moore (Ii). Perf. Michael Moore. Mgm (Video &Amp; Dvd), 2002. Film.

U., Wallin, Kronovall P., and Majewski M-L.. "IngentaConnect Body awareness therapy in teenage anorexia nervosa: outcome after...." IngentaConnect Home. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., n.d. Web. 18 May 2010. .

 


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