Media ispowerful. It has the fundamental role of gathering, framing, and disseminatinginformation to the public. It is almost impossible to imagine the world withoutit.
Similarly, media isubiquitous. It is everywhere. It surrounds us. The moment we turn thetelevision on to burn our boredom, the time we tune in and listen to radio, andto the minute we go online on our social media accounts are all indications of today’smedia dependence. These make most people guilty of how media have been a hugepart of our lives.
Media isimpactful. Media’s motive of influencing public’s opinion is based on howreceptive and critical people can be. People now live in a global village as itwas coined by Marshall McLuhan inhis book The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962), a Canadianphilosopher, where the world population is considered a single community now dueto the people’s association through telecommunication. Media has a significantpart in this phenomenon. In a world where everybody has something to say andeverybody wants to be heard, media immensely made a way in making this areality for all. What are the perceptions the public has towards media? How dothey affect one’s reception undertaking? In what extent media have been part ofpeople’s lives? Media’s core functions include Surveillance, Correlation, andTransmission.
It not only provides information about what is going on in ourenvironment through keen observation but also present relationships about differentelements in the society and socialization to adopt values and beliefs of acertain group. Some may say media expand our vision in life. It gives multipleperspectives that can broaden one’s understanding. However, others argue itdoes the opposite that it shrinks one’s view to only what may sound right totheir ears or agreeable to their beliefs.
Public can perceive media as a placeof unity of diversity where people respect and tolerate differences or a hub ofcompetitive beings coercing others to think the way they think. Everyday empiricalexperiences have uncontrollably formed these perceptions towards media. Theseperspectives decide whether the public would consume the information instantly orcritically. The way we grasp the world can depend on the information we obtainfrom media. Thus, it is crucial what our minds consume from it. The way peopleutilize the information decide what kind of people they can become. Therefore, theshape of the society depends with how most people use the perceived informationfrom media.
An American media critic Herbert Irving Schiller (1982) introducedthe idea of “packaged consciousness” on Cyrano’s Journal’s premiere edition. Itclaims corporations’ creation and distribution of information influences thepublic’s opinions, approaches and above all behavior. He says media manipulatethe public, creating another reality for everyone. With this trend, we could realize that the public’s view ofsocial and political issues get compromised. Mass media have strongly shapepeople’s perspective about a certain matter in society and politics whether werealize it or not.
Among socialissues of the contemporary world evidently presented in media involve poverty,unemployment, drug cartel, unresolved transportation failure, crimes, etc. Massmedia have deliberately or unintentionally created another reality for thepublic. All the shooting, killing, and violence media convey reveal anotherreality for most people. This is the idea of hyperreality. They may have notdistort the reality but exaggeration is no different with falsification. Warpingthe lens of media to a particular point of view can result to misconception andignorance to the public. Media’s focusing more on the problem than to thesolution may somewhat bring weariness and hopelessness to the audience thus mayshape their view on the society.
It is important for media companies tomaintain impartiality, credibility, and integrity to their field. Moreover,people should learn to rethink and reevaluate the information accessible frommedia. Unfortunately, media could provide us canned or prepackaged thoughtsabout everything. Because of this, it no longer allows us to reexamine thing.It leaves no room for research. People do not go extra mile in verifying whatthey get from media. More often than not, people only rely on majority’sopinion to call their own. Furthermore,we see government people always fill daily news.
We hear different stories ofaccusation and allegations of dishonest officials. Whether guilty or not, thesehave underlying effect to the public’s reliance to those who lead the country.Corruption is among the top issues topics dealt with in a regular basis.
Another political issue is the dynasty. In a country where people value familythe most above others, leaders find it hard to loosen the grip to theirpositions and handover them to the next line of leaders. Instead, they chooseto pass on their positions within the circles of their clan, can be to theirchildren or wife. Media expressing this fad to the public gives awareness to thereality of today which I believe is very significant. Depending how optimisticthe viewers could be, this could either give discouragement or could light afire within to make an act upon them for the betterment of the country. Afterfurther realization, the perceptions of the public towards media have now changeddramatically overtime. From mere consumers of data to producers of information,this brought sense of responsibility, accountability, and emancipation topeople. The public have chosen to stay informed to any social, political andeven in environmental issues of today.
Media have helped the public torecognize that need. People have become more vigilant and critical inprocessing the information received.