Electronic media refers to the media that use electromechanical energy or electronics to enable the audience access information. This has contrasted the static media, mainly the print media, which are often created electronically, but do not necessarily require the use of electronics to be accessed by the audience in the printed form. The sources of primary electronic media popular to the public include video and audio recordings, multimedia presentations, CD ROM, multimedia presentations, and online content. Even though most media is in the digital format, electronic media can operate in both analog and digital electronic data. Any gadget used in the process of electronic communication can be regarded as electronic media. These are gadgets such as a desktop computer, radio, television, telephone game console, and handheld device (Logan 57).
Electronic media enables individuals across the world to connect with each other. This is because electronic media has the ability to reach diverse audiences with influential message, which impacts the society in various ways. For instance, Radio and Television has impacted people’s lives and routines, and this affects the times and contents that audiences listen and watch. Electronic media plays three significant roles, including informing, educating, and influencing people’s opinions (Croteau and Hoynes 17).
Development of Electronic Media and Its Impacts
Traditional electronic media are distinct, and includes the radio and television. The distinct feature of the traditional electronic media has been challenged by the new media. This has changed the ways in which various target audiences are informed, influenced, and educated. Television broadcasting service dates back to the 1960s whereas radio services started in the thirties (Krishnasamy par 7). During these times, people convened around the radio to listen to programs from a popular network. With the advent of the TV sets, people made use of the few that were available by convening in their living rooms to watch their favorite shows.
The development in the traditional electronic media saw the improvement in the content, in which there was an introduction of radio services in different languages. Television and radio further gave people an opportunity to take part in interactive shows in their languages, as well as networking with communities over stretched distances. Through the broadcast services, the outside world would be brought to one’s home and set the routine of people’s lives as they got ideas to talk about for several days. The old media has been a significant spring of knowledge for the audience. It also provided all these services until in the 1990s when new media came up with a fanfare of technological innovation (Logan 93).
The media culture has dawned as a cyber culture with digital data in a modern computer technology controlled by software, as well as any new communication technology. Most of the new media services are digital and characterized by the ability to network, compress, import, dense and interactive information. Examples of new media are computer multimedia, internet, computer games, DVDs, website, smart phones, iPads, satellite broadcasting, and CD-ROMs (Croteau and Hoynes 67).
Young people have been the most attracted by the new media as they access information easily with hand phones or Internet-based terminals anytime and anywhere. They find this interesting because they do not depend on a connection of a broadcasting schedule to access the information as it was in the traditional media that involved radio and TV only. At the same time, forms of interaction have been changed whereby it is no longer necessary for people to huddle together in the living room to catch a TV program or listen to a radio. One can easily catch these programs through their phones anywhere anytime (Livingstone, Ólafsson and Staksrud 35).
The development in electronic media has seen the emergence of other new media forms, including Internet blogs, Facebook, online news, podcast, and webcast among others. All these have brought a modern revolution that enables almost everybody to become a journalist of his/her own, at a little cost. In earlier decades, such things were not possible, but they are now a reality. The new media also play a significant role in the political field. It might even dictate the future of politics by determining the way to power and prosperity (Krishnasamy par. 8). The new media is a worldwide system that goes beyond institutions and national borders, allowing people to access information and gain knowledge easily.
Croteau, David and William Hoynes. Media Society: Industries, Images and Audiences. 3rd Edition. Thousand Oakes: Pine Forge Press, 2003. Print.
Krishnasamy, Nagasvare. “New Media vs Traditional Media.” AIBD. 22 Sept. 2013. <http://www.aibd.org.my/node/1226>.
Livingstone, Sonia, Kjartan Ólafsson and Elisabeth Staksrud. “Risky Social Networking Practices Among Underage Users: Lessons for Evidence-Based Policy.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 18.3 (2013): 303. Print.
Logan, Robert. Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall McLuhan. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010. Print.
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The Influence of Media on Teen Girls
Media advertisements have a negative influence on feminine gender image. It has spurred a race among adolescent girls for beauty (Strasburger, 2011). The last 30 years have seen a growing perception among young girls that thinness and blond hair are perfect references of beauty (Morris & Katzman, 2003). This perception has given rise to body hatred. According to Frost (2001), body hatred is a series of emotional complications that cause people to develop low self-esteem. The struggle to achieve a thin figured has led to self-harm, eating disorders and unhealthy practices such as taking slimming drugs and bleaching (Frost, 2001).
The various sources of media influence include television beauty advertisements, beauty magazines and other advertisements on public billboards. This paper explores the effects of media advertisements on young girls. Among the common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating (Frost, 2001). The victims of anorexia have a distorted perception of beauty (Favaro et al., 2008). Common bad habits associated with body hatred include taking slimming drugs, drinking alcohol, self-harm and suicidal tendencies (King & Hill, 2008). The common surgeries that young women undergo in the quest for beauty include liposuction, facial surgery, gastric bypass and gastric banding. Unhealthy dieting practices in the quest for beauty include starvation, induced vomiting and unhealthy pills (Espinoza et al., 2010). Besides the above self-inflicted effects, media body hatred is associated with psychological distresses such as depression, suicidal tendencies, and body dysmorphic disorders
Media advertisements have caused a lot of influence on feminine gender image. It has spurred a race among adolescent girls for beauty (Strasburger, 2011). The last 30 years have seen a growing perception among young girls that thinness and blond hair are perfect references of beauty (Morris & Katzman, 2003). This perception has given rise to body hatred. According to Frost (2001), body hatred is a series of emotional complications that cause people to develop low self-esteem. The struggle to achieve a thin figured body has led to self-harm, eating disorders and unhealthy practices such as taking of slimming drugs (Frost, 2001). The various sources of media influence include television beauty advertisements, beauty magazines and other advertisements on public billboards.
The struggle for beauty among young girls is beyond the reach because the media images of beauty are not real. They are often modified using softwares for editing photographs (Gabel & Kearney, 1998). This paper explores the effects of media advertisements on young girls. Among the common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating (Frost, 2001). Anorexia is a general eating disorder characterized by eating restrictions and unfounded fear of gaining weight. The victims of anorexia have a distorted perception of beauty (Favaro et al., 2008). To them, gaining weight is a perceived loss of beauty. Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by eating a lot of food within a short time followed by purging. Common purging practices among those who want to lose weight include induced vomiting and excessive physical exercises (Bulik et al., 1998).
Common bad habits associated with body hatred include taking slimming drugs, drinking alcohol, self-harm and suicidal tendencies (King & Hill, 2008). The common surgeries that young women undergo in the quest for beauty include liposuction, facial surgery, gastric bypass and gastric banding. Unhealthy dieting practices in the quest for beauty include starvation, induced vomiting and unhealthy pills (Espinoza et al., 2010). Besides the above self-inflicted effects, media body hatred is associated with psychological distresses such as depression, suicidal tendencies, and body dysmorphic disorders. In general, media advertisements have negative physical and psychological effects on the body image of female teenagers.
This section of the paper is a review of existing literature on the effects of the media of body image of teenage girls. There is a consensus among existing researchers that media advertisements have both negative physical and psychological effects on adolescent girls. The first section is a review of the influence of the media on perception of ideal beautiful image of a woman. The second section is a review of body image advocated by the media in relation to development and self-esteem among teenage girls. The third section reviews the relationship between body image perception and dieting habits among teenage girls. The last section of literature review assesses the existing research based trends in plastic surgery in response to media advertisement.
Media advertisements and body image
According to the research conducted by Neumark-Sztainer and his colleagues (2006), an average teenage girl has a minimum of 7 hours of exposure to the media per day. The common media materials include videos, films, television, beauty magazines, movies, newspapers, billboards, fashion designers and the internet among others. Various researches conducted in the last 20 years show that many adolescents are influenced by the media about ideal body image. A thin slender body is attributed to an ideal beauty image among teenage girls, and ugliness is equated to ugliness (Morris & Katzman, 2003). On the other hand, a masculine heavy built image is highly admired by adolescent boys as an ideal image of a gentleman. The polarised perception has led to a growing dissatisfaction among adolescents about their body images.
Blackhurst and Wilson (1999) underscore a growing desire of thinner and slender body image among the adolescent girls. This desire is exacerbated by the media notion that thin women are attractive, warm, friendly, sociable and jovial (DeLaMater, 2002). This polarization has promoted attraction of many young men to slender and thin girls. Thus, fatty girls are left struggling for weight reduction options in order to compare with their thinner colleagues.
The existing research literature shows that many adolescent girls consume volumes of beauty designer magazines in search of solutions to their body image. (DeLaMater, 2002). According to the research conducted by Norton (2002), teenage girls provided the biggest market for Cosmopolitan, vogue and seventeen beauty magazines. The information sought for include trends in cosmetic surgery, wardrobe styles, fad diets and information on how to get noticed by a man. The result of media advertisements is body dysmorphic disorders in adolescent girls. According to Frost(2001), body dysmorphic disorder is characterised by one’s excessive concern with imagined appearance defects. This preoccupation often causes significant social and occupation impairment characterised by low self esteem. The distress causes the victims to preoccupy themselves with the search of solutions for their imagined defects in the media.
The concerns of body image among the adolescent girls are plausible. DeLaMater (2002) found in his research that 80% of adolescent girls spent most of their time with talking about their body images with their colleagues. McCabe and Ricciardelli (2001) underscored in their research that thin model images in the media generated anxiety and body dissatisfaction among many young women. The above description underscores that there exist an intricate connection between media materials and body image perception among young women. Thus, it is essential for parents and educators to educate young girls on the importance of upholding their natural body images.
Body image and self esteem
Self esteem is one of the fundamental concepts of self description or self worth. People with self esteem have a high sense of pride and knowledge about themselves. On the other hand, people with low self esteem have low knowledge about themselves (Frost, 2001). Self esteem is a psychosocial construct that stems from body image dissatisfaction (DeLaMater, 2002). Adolescence is the most sensitive stage in which many young girls get to know public celebrities and the connection between their body images and public perception. A research by Kristjan (2007) underscores the role of the media of self esteem among adolescent girls. Existing researches indicate that many young girls between 12 and 18 years conforms to the thinness culture; a psychosocial construct that takes slender body image for beauty (Clay et al., 2005).
A growing cultural prejudice that physical appearance determines the way one is treated by others is a foundation of body dissatisfaction. Many young men tend to treat physically attractive girls with kindness and care than they do with high body mass girls (DeLaMater, 2002). Thus, the later group have developed low social esteem about itself because of social rejection perception. This has made fat girls admire thin body image models of celebrities for the sake of conformity to cultural norms of attractiveness (Frost, 2001). Research shows that men have long intimate relationship with slender women that fat ones. The later are believed to age faster than their thin counterparts (Halliwell & Dittmar, 2004). The awareness of adolescent girls about this social preference has led to thin image consciousness. Low self esteem is characterised by comparing self to other people and drawing conclusions that one looks less attractive than others, seeking opinion of other people about how one looks and avoidance of mirrors among others (Frost, 2001).
A research by Fouts and Burggraf (2000) underscore that many young African American girls have low self esteem about themselves because of the media perception about their race. The researchers underscore that the use of models from the white race in media advertisements has caused African American ladies to develop a low self esteem (Falconer & Neville, 2000). Many of them undertake plastic skin surgeries and discoloration of their hair to conform to the media prejudice. The most common effects of low self esteem are suicidal tendencies, excessive alcohol consumption and unhealthy weight reduction practices (Frost, 2001). Those young women who indulge in excessive drinking of alcohol use it as an escape from their psychological frustrations.
Drinking alcohol keeps them off from their concern about how they look. Suicidal tendencies arise from the feeling that they are less attractive than others. Many fat ladies believe that they are not the best preference for handsome men (DeLaMater, 2002). This perception makes them feel insecure and unsure about their relationships. The result is preoccupation with suicidal tendencies. Those who develop body dysmorphic disorders go to the extreme of carrying out plastic surgeries to change their appearance. Others cover themselves to avoid the perceived attention of the public their ugliness.
Unhealthy practices related to body image dissatisfaction include excessive exercises in the guest of loosing weight. Other take slimming drugs to lose body weight. In general, low self esteem is a destructive construct that affects social position and productivity of the affected people. Ladies with low self esteem feel insecure in their relationships (Halliwell & Dittmar, 2004). Most of them think that their male partners have hidden affairs with other perceived beautiful ladies. As a retaliation, many of them end up untrustworthy in their relationships (Frost (2001). A research conducted by by Fouts and Burggraf (2000) showed that many fat ladies believe that their male partners have sexual relationships with their slender and beautiful secretaries. Because of this perception, they prefer male secretaries for their partners.
Self esteem is also instrumental in the academic performance of adolescent girls. Research indicates that low self esteem in adolescent girls begins early in life (DeLaMater, 2002). Many parents are attracted to the cuteness of their slender daughters. Thus, they react aggressively to their chubby daughters. This reaction develops low confidence in the affected daughters as they grow up. The discovery that they were not well loved by their parents because of their body images make fat adolescent girls develop a low sense of self worth as a sociocultural cultural conformity (DeLaMater, 2002). The long term effects of low self esteem in chubby girls is poor performance in schools and other spheres of life (Von Bergen & Soper, 1996).
Research also indicates that young ladies with low self esteem because of their perceived unattractiveness have less confidence in what they do (DeLaMater, 2002). This stems from their inner self created inferiority that they are not the best in life. In an interview, the panel members are more attentive to a slender, attractive good looking ladies than fat big girls. This prejudice coupled with low self esteem makes it complex for the latter group to convince the panel for their capabilities.
Body image and dieting habits
Dieting habits entail the eating patterns and mannerisms. It also entails dieting practices in reaction to one’s body image perception. Research shows that media advertisements affects teenage girls perception about their body images (Strasburger, 2011). There is also a striking research concurrence that media advertisements on beauty causes eating disorders in teenage girls (Blackhurst & Wilson, 1999; Bulik et al., 1998; DeLaMater, 2002; Fouts & Burggraf, 2000; Frost, 2001); Victor et al., 2011).
The currents trends in media photography are deceptive. The photographs of perceived ideal media models of beauty are products of intensive computerised editions. This underscores DelaMater’s idea that the pursuit of beauty by adolescent girls is a fallacy without concrete foundation. Many designer magazines popularise the dieting practices that promote the thinness cultural construct.
Thus, many teenage girls who perceive their body weight as above popularised thin standards turn to dieting as a solution. The most common eating disorders associated with body weight control are bulimia and anorexia (Frost, 2001). Bulimic behavior is characterised by excessive consumption of food followed by purging(Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2006). In many occasions, purging follow the form of induced vomiting. Binge eating is the habit of consuming excessive food within a short time to satisfy one’s appetite. Bulimic eating disorder is a conformity to the sociocultural construct of thinness. It is a reaction to the balance between one’s excessive appetite for food and the body dysmorphic disorder. Purging is aimed at getting rid of the consumed food to avoid wait gain(Bulik et al., 1998). The end results of bulimic behavior is starvation(Bulik et al., 1998; Neumark-Sztainer et al. 2006).
Anorexia Nervosa is characterised by unjustified weight gain fear leading to restrictive eating behaviors(Espinoza et al., 2010; Bulik et al., 1998). Anorexic eating behavior often stems from the distorted sense of self image and the cognitive prejudice that thinness implies beauty. The excessive eating restriction is aimed at reducing one’s body weight to conform to the misconstrued standards of beauty. Anorexia often leads to malnutrition and starvation(Morris & Katzman, 2003).
Teenage girls are bombarded with streams of media communications on weight loss. This prejudice has promoted dieting behaviours among adolescent girls. Even those who have normal body weights practice dieting to avoid gaining. Research indicates that young American children acquire the sociocultural criteria of judging attractiveness and beauty at the age of five years (DeLaMater, 2002). Thus, they develop a culture of teasing their colleagues about their body weight and attractiveness (Frost, 2001). According to DeLaMater (2002), the practice of teasing others about their shapes, attractiveness, body weights and defects among children leads to misconstruction of beauty concept. DeLaMater’s research (2002) underscored an intricate relationship between teasing on the basis of body weight and body dissatisfaction. On the other hand, body dissatisfaction is one of the triggers of low self esteem and poor eating habits(Blackhurst & Wilson, 1999; Bulik et al., 1998; DeLaMater, 2002).
Those children who have been teased by others for being overweight and thus unattractive develop dieting practices to conform to the peer influence. On the other hand, the intense fear of losing beauty’ by those who have received positive placations exposes them to dieting (Frost, 2001). The early dieting patterns in young girls often expose them to the high risks of developing eating disorders in their adolescence stage (DeLaMater, 2002).
Blackhurst & Wilson (1999) underscore in their work that transition from childhood to adulthood is characterised by a remarkable physiological growth. Some of the common changes include an increase in the levels of body hormones, physical growth and appearance of sexual features such as breasts (DeLaMater, 2002). Weight gain is part of the intricate process of growth during this transition process. Thus, dieting practices among adolescent girls unveils great challenges that may hinder growth. Many American teenage girls practice dieting as a means of controlling their body weight thanks to the media influence. 60% of dieters ar believed to have learnt the practice from their parents who are victims of the media influence (Frost, 2001; DeLaMater, 2002). A striking revelation is that 75% of the dieting adolescent girls are deficient of calcium, iron and other relevant nutrients(Espinoza et al.. 2010).
The fact that dieting is an age old practice of maintaining the beauty while the problem is still looming underscores that the eating habit does not work. There ought to be a better way of maintaining the beauty if beauty is achievable at all. This is call to parents and other educators to inform teenagers that the struggle for conformity to the prejudice of the media is baseless and void.
Body image and plastic surgery
Research has shown a rising trend in plastic surgery among teenagers in the last 20 years (DeLaMater, 2002). The statistics of plastic surgery in the United States of America in the year 1995 revealed that 95% of the patients are women. According to Blackhurst and Wilson(1999), the main triggers of plastic surgery is body dysmorphic disorders. Most common practices of cosmetic surgery involve liposuction, the removal of excess fat deposits from various parts of the body. There is a substantive research based evidence that liposuction and breast surgery among adolescent girls stems from media advertisements(Bulik et al., 1998; DeLaMater, 2002; Fouts & Burggraf, 2000; Frost, 2001). The issue of concern from the worrying trend is whether the patients of plastic surgery are making informed decisions concerning it. The genesis of cosmetic surgery is the sociocultural perception that thinness is the ideal image of beauty. Dissatisfied fat teenage girls opt for surgical operations as a way of reducing their weights. Some teenage girls with a perception of big breasts’ opt for breast surgery in the hope of conforming to the thinness culture of the media (DeLaMater, 2002).
Other teenage girls with high body mass opt for gastric banding to reduce their weights. Gastric banding is a surgical operation of reducing the size of the stomach (Bulik et al., 1998). Gastric Bypass is a surgical procedure that is aimed at reducing the size and functionality of the stomach. The operation first divides the stomach into smaller upper and larger lower compartments (Zuckerman & Abraham, 2008). The small intestines are then connected to both the upper smaller and lower larger compartments, rendering the latter less functional. The procedure is aimed at reducing the size of the functional stomach and hence the amount of food one consumes (Zuckerman & Abraham, 2008). Both gastric bypass and gastric banding are aimed at reducing the body weights of obese patients. Another common surgical operation for those with body dysmorphic disorders is facial surgery. The growing weight based, and appearance teasing among teenagers have prompted facial surgery (DeLaMater, 2002). Facial surgery is aimed at deconstructing the patient’s natural appearance to conform to the media cultural construct of beauty.
In general, people undergo surgical operations for different medical reasons. However, a research carried out in George Washington University school of medicine between year 2000 and 2007 showed a rising trend in cosmetic surgery (Zuckerman & Abraham, 2008). This underscores a rising trend in surgical operations for non medical reasons. Many women practise cosmetic surgical operations to change the way they look.
The above review shows that media advertisements influence dissatisfaction among teenagers. The common areas of influence include the relationship between the media materials and body image. The second influence is body image and self esteem of teenage girls. The third area of influence is body image and dieting habits. The last area of influence is body image and plastic surgery. The streams of media materials through designer magazines, television, billboards and videos/films have negative physical and psychological impacts on teenage girls. The sociocultural construct that placates thinness for beauty makes teenage girls to develop hatred for themselves. Those with a large body mass develop low self esteem and body dysmorphic disorders. The results of these complications are suicidal feelings, self harm, development of eating disorders and cosmetic surgical operations.
The most common eating disorders are bulimia and anorexia. They often result from unhealthy eating patterns aimed are reducing one’s body weight. Common cosmetic surgeries among teenage girls include liposuction, gastric banding and gastric bypass. Liposuction is the cosmetic surgery of reduction of fats from various parts of the body. On the other hand, gastric banding and gastric bypass comprise a series gastric surgeries for reduction of the size of the stomach. Facial surgery is aimed at changing one’s natural physical appearance. It can be initiated for patients with facial deformities. In general, cosmetic surgeries are aimed at reducing body weight and the patients’ appearance. There is a common agreement among researchers that media materials and their triggers responses among teenage girls are destructive. In view of this, the following recommendations can help provide a natural solution to the problem.
The role of educators and parents: The World Heald Organization has a health promotion agenda for educators and counsellors schools. Educators are obliged to assess the reaction of school going teenagers to the media materials. They should help learners with low self esteem and body dysmorphic disorders in coping with their self perception. Teachers and Parents are supposed to help fat teenagers in engaging in healthy weight control practices. This may involve increasing their nutritional knowledge and self acceptance.
Self assessment of one’s body image: Teenage girls with imagined body hatred should be helped by educators and their parents in developing a healthy dietary program for weight control. The program should aim at providing a balanced diet sufficient for the body. Regular enjoyable physical exercises should also be recommended to supplement weight control measures. Acceptance of one’s condition is essential in ensuring that teenage girls take weight control programs positively.
Coping with sociocultural media influences on body image: Parents in collaboration with teachers should help teenage girls in assessing the effects of media dietary advice on how body weight control. This will help teenagers to understand those misleading media dietary advice. Many youths are prone to media advice without verification. They should also be helped to understand that some of the media beauty models are edited photographs. This information is essential in helping them understand that not all promoted attributes of beauty are achievable.
Appreciation of natural beauty: It is also important for educators and parents to help young girls to understand that all human beings are coincidentally beautiful and handsome. Those who are excessively thin should be made to understand that it is a natural design for them to be thin. Also, those with high body masses should be reminded that they have unique beautiful body images. It is easier for the youths to cope with their variations in body image sizes if they understand their all people are unique naturally. Educators should also help teenage girls in assessing the long term effects of cosmetic surgical operations to their bodies. They should understand that plastic facial surgery is not beauty since it is not part of one’s natural body. The baseline message should be that media popularised beauty is beyond the reach by all people.
Areas for further research
There is scanty research on the long term effects of plastic cosmetic surgeries. Liposuction, gastric bypass, gastric banding and facial surgeries have been used effectively in fixing appearance and body weight complications. Researchers should research on the long term effects on the above operations on the body image and lifespan of patients. The research findings will help teenage girls in doing a cost benefit analysis before making a rational decision.
There is little research based information on the effects of media materials on teenage boys. A few existing researches have explored the relationship between media materials and hegemonic masculinity only. This is characterised by taking steroid hormones to stimulate muscles’ growth. Furthermore, there has been a looming public opinion that average men prefer ladies with high body masses over thin ones. The latter is believed to be sources of stress to men. This information has no substantive research based backing. Researchers should verify this information to establish its validity. This will help teenage girls to assess the perceived advantages and disadvantages of thinness before engaging in body weight reduction.
Blackhurst, A.E. & Wilson, N. L. (1999). Food advertising and eating disorders marketing body dissatisfaction, the drive for thinness, and dieting in women’s Magazines. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 38(2), 111-122.
Bulik, C. M., Sullivan, P.F., & Kendler, K. S.(1998). Heritability of binge-eating and broadly defined bulimia Nervosa. . The Biological Psychiatry 44 (12), 1210-1218.
Clay, D., Vignoles, V. L., & Dittmar, H. (2005). Body Image and Self Esteem Among Adolescence Girls; Testing the Influence of Sociocultural factors. Journal of research on Adolescence, 15(4), 451-477.
DeLaMater, J. L. (2002). A study to Determine the effect of the media on the perception of adolescent female body image and the resultant relationship to academic achievement. University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, 1-46.
Espinoza, P., Penelo, E., & Raich, R. M. (2010). Disordered eating behaviors and body image in a longitudinal pilot study of adolescent girls: What happens 2 years later? Body Image, 8(1), 70-73.
Falconer, J. & Neville, H. (2000). African-American college women’s body image: An examination of body mass, African self-consciousness, and skin color satisfaction. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24, 236-243.
Favaro A, Telconi, E., & Santonastaso, P. (2008). The relationship between obstetric complications and temperament in eating disorders: a mediation hypothesis. Psychosomatic Medicine 70 (3), 372-7.
Fouts, G. & Burggraf, K. (2000). Television situation comedies: Female weight, male negative comments and audience reactions. Sex Roles, 42,, 925-935.
Frost, L. (2001). Young Women and the Body:A feminist Sociology. New York, NY: McMillian Publishers.
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Halliwell, E. &Dittmar, H. (2004). Does size matter? The impact of model’s body size on advertising effectiveness and women’s body-focused anxiety. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 105132.
King, L. & Hill, J. A. (2008). Magazine adverts for healthy and less healthy foods: Effects on recall but not hunger or food choice by pre-adolescent children. Appetite, 51(1), 194-197.
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McCabe, M. P. & Ricciardelli, L.A. (2001). Parent, peer, and media influences on body image and strategies to increase and decrease body size among adolescent boys and girls. Adolescence, 36 (142), 225-240.
Neumark-Sztainer, D., Wall, M., Guo, J., Story, M., Haines, J., &Eisenberg, M. (2006). Obesity, disordered eating, and eating disorders in a longitudinal study of adolescents: How do dieters fare 5 years later? . ournal of the American Dietetic Association, 106 , 559-569.
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The Influence of Media on Teen Girls 4
Violence and Sex in the Media
Violence may be defined as the actual use of physical force or threat intended to physically harm an animate or group of beings (Wilson et al. 53). It is so unfortunate that the society we live in today has embraced violence through every channel available to them. Everyday we bare witness to dozens of explicit content being fed to us by the media. i.e news broadcasts, advertisement, movies and even animated footages that keep children glued to the screen literaly the whole day. The media is not to blame of this brutal reality, but at the same time, we cannot rule out the possibility of them not getting involved. Moreover, human beings have become devoid of inexplict material to an extend that a scene from a program becomes distastfull if violence is not included in it.
We have heard terms like media violence that necessarily do not reflect what Harris describes as Phsychological vandalism (Harris 186). The media effect in the society is very fierce and its power may only be compared to that of a launching nuclear project somwhere in the United States. Diener and DeFour established that viewers exhibit no preference when choosing media fare, and only give a higher rating to media content that exhibits both conflicts. We no longer have control over what we see, or what we would like our children to see, however we can limit the frequency.
Violence appeals more to an uninformed audienced. An audience that is gullible to hypocrisy, immorality and self-judgment. A good example of such targeted groups are the youths who hold a remarkable record of owning media device such as phones, tablets, computers and other high tech gadgets capable of simulating human intelligence. The youth have become slaves to such malicious expedients, especially with the spurge of social media. Ours is a culture that glorifies violence, profits from it and sells it with the most advanced technology known to mankind… ( Ellis A26). It is still unclear when such issues will be addressed and their solutions found, but untill then we will keep our fingers crossed and continue hoping for a reformed agenda on media violence.
When sex education was finaly introduced in schools, I thought it could have been the end of irresponsible indulgence of the act by the young ones, but unfortunately it was not. Besides, how could it possibly be if they literaly have access to pornography materials everywhere they go?. The aptitude of sexual content in the media is alarmingly high. Studies have proven that the exposure to sexualy explicit media content may cause varied effects on the subject. For example, watching a scene that involves a rape case may cause serious perversivness to the subject, otherwise, watching another scene from a XXX movie may cause hormonal anxiety and eventualy lead to other events likewise occuring. We are bound to such absurd materials in our everyday life unaware of the risks it poses to our personal judgment.
Sexual arousal is capable of enhancing aggression and, likewise, aggression-linked arousal is capable of intensifying sexual experience Says Zill- Mann (1984). Human sexual intercourse was depicted as an act of honour and respect between two consenting adults back in the Roman eras. It has nowadays turned to a selfless act, a right of passage’ to many youth and a collaborative tool for associates in the oldest profession. We are exposed to sexual content almost in every source of media, DVD’s, magazines, internet and many others. However the DVD’s and magazines do not produce themselves. Some cartel of immoral culprits are behind their distribution and making a lot out of their sales. However the situation may turn things around, the media plays a big role in defining what needs to be aired.
Finaly, there is no better way to seek information than to rely on media. The society values and appreciates the positive contents it airs and it is of great help to them, but I can not help to ask myself, is it realy necessary to disguise ourselves as saints yet at the back our minds we embrace the negative contents being fed to us by the media?
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New Media and Political Communication
Today we live in an information age, where groundbreaking technology has put the media at the disposal of many people compared to any other period in the history of humankind. Platforms such as YouTube, Wikipedia, blogs, MySpace, and, Facebook and many others can be readily accessible through mobile phones and updates of news in the media reach the audience in a matter of seconds after it isthey are released. In this new media environment, the voters have the platform to critically engage politicians and with the media through posting comments on blogs, asking questions, sharing interesting news articles and videos with friends. This has in turn catalyzed activism through the new media. The modern voter is no longer an inactive observer of the media; with the new media environment, the voters actively engage in the media. Modern politics has seen a significant increase in the use of new media not only as a source of information, but also as well as platform to support different candidates.
History of New Media Use in political Campaigns
The use of new media in political campaigns can be traced back to the 1992 presidential elections when Bill Clinton made the internetInternet a central campaign platform (Hendricks& Robert, 2010, p. 3). The use of internetthe Internet in the 1992 campaigns led to significant expansion of internetthe Internet as the Clinton administration allocated $2 trillion on infrastructure and created the Office of Electronic Publishing and Public Access Electronic Mail (Hendricks & Robert, 2010, p. 4).
In the 1996 campaigns, candidates did not fully utilize the internetInternet,; however, the leading news networks broadened online coverage of the campaigns with some posting video coverage of campaign events (Hendricks & Robert, 2010, p. 4). The internetInternet was gradually gaining ground as a tool for political communication. By the turn of the century, the internetInternet had developed into a practical tool for political communication. Candidates such as Steve Forbes and John McCain, both from the Republican Party, made use of the internetInternet in their political campaigns. By 2004, voters in the U.S.
embraced the use of internetInternet in political communication. Hendricks & Robert, (2010, p. 4) argue that 63 million Americans made use of the internetInternet for political information and an additional 43 million discussed the 2004 election through emails, 13 million made their political contributions through the internetInternet, and 52% of online users admitted to have used online information in making their voting decisions. The use of new media began gaining ground in 2006.
Prior to 2006, the iInternet was mostly a single way communication, where politicians could only post their information and give the public a chance to read and comprehend it, and the interaction would end (Ho, 2010, p. 5). The new media offers an enhanced communication platform on the web and brings interactivity through social media sites as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The 2006 mid-term elections in the U.S. wasere a rehearsal for the U.S. in terms of blending new media and the political candidates. The 2008 presidential elections wasere the year when new media was fully exploited.
Whereas it is true that many other candidates had attempted to make use of new media prior to 2008, none of them matched Barrack Obama in terms of the extent of its placation and the level of success registered. In 2008, Obama`’s campaign team led the rest in collecting voter information, creating email databases, and mobilizing voters. New media providesmakes available the technology to influence voters` decisions by providing presidential candidates with powerful avenues to pass their message and interact with new voters. Through social media sites such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook and interactive websites for the individual candidates, short messages, and political blogs presidential candidates atre able to reach to the many voters and sell their policies.
Effects of New Media on Political Communication
New media use in political communication has become so strong to the extent that many voters in the U.S. believe that it will remain the determining factor in future presidential elections. According to Samit (2012, p. 1), in order to remain competitive in any election cycle, candidates must engage with new media from the outset in an effective manner. Politics has become social and the use of new media has significantly reduced campaign costs. With the new media, information is readily available and it can be shared towith friends and relatives by a simple click of a button, which in turn generates third party endorsements. New media advertising provides more value for the money as the candidate is able to engage the audience compared to traditional advertising that offers a one-way communication channel. New media has also served as a platform to counteract mainstream media whenever they have got it is got wrong in political communications; a case in point is Dan Rather`s attempt to falsely injure George Bush`s repute.
Similarly, new media has significantly changed the voting behavior among American voters. The modern voter is able to make use of emails, friends in the social media network and websites to research about any candidate, what they stand for, and what they do and say. Voters today no longerdo not depend on the mainstream media any longer. It is this cThe change in voter’s behavior, which explains why politicians like President Barrack Obama who was able to the embrace new media in 2008 elections trounced McCain whom could not make use of the new media.
New media has a bright future given its availability and ease of use. As a result, all candidates must effectively embrace the use of new media especially social media if they are to remain relevant. The new media remains a popular instrument of truth to the public, while the mainstream media has been losing popularity and it is evidenced inby the drop of advertising revenues and customer base; the new media is gaining ground. According to Emarketer (2012, p.1), the number of Americans with smart phones is projected to reach 259.6 million accounting for 79% of the population. This indicates the high potential of new media in the future. With these changes, political campaigns and communication will be entirely based on new media, and mainstream media must commit to truthful reporting and avoid being the mouthpiece of any political party.
Emarketer (2012). Smartphones Continue to Gain Share as US Mobile Usage Plateaus. Retrieved on 3o June, 2013 from: <http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphones-Continue-Gain-Share-US-Mobile-Usage-Plateaus/1008958>
Gibson, R.K. (2009). New Media and the Revitalization of Politics. In Representation, 45 (3), 289 – 299. London: Routledge
Hendricks, A. & Robert E. D. (2010). Communicator-in-chief: how Barrack Obama used new media technology to win the White House. Lanham: Lexington Books.
Ho, V. (2010). The Web Evolves: The new Internet is not a number; it is a journey of purposeful and powerful communication. Information management 20 (2010): 1-5.
Samit, J. (2012). All Politics is Social: Social Media Engagement wills Decide Election 2012. Retrieved on 30 June, 2013 from: <http://www.downticketdems.com/all-politics-is-social-social-media-engagement-will-decide-election-2012-by-jay-samit-2/>
Running Head: NEW MEDIA AND POLITICAL COMMUNICATION 1
NEW MEDIA AND POLITICAL COMMUNICATION 5
The Media’s Influence on Young Adults
Media plays an essential role in the contemporary society in bringing information to the mass. In analyzing its role, various stakeholders have highlighted the influencing role of media on various categories of people, especially the young adults or the youth. Media in this case, refers to various channels through which information reaches the mass. They include television, radio, and the print media. Media further includes electronic media that involves the use of computers with Internet connection (Carter and Weaver 9). This means that the mass media is everywhere, and thus, its influence on the public cannot be denied.
Because the influence of the media on the mass cannot be denied, the young adults are the most influenced. This is because the young adult represents the majority of the population and most of them have leisure time to spare for media. The Media’s most focus is to advertise to enhance business popularity through advertisements. Advertisements, on the other hand, are made possible through the use of various images and personalities. The use of images in advertisements is the major source of influence to the youth. The youth mirrors themselves through the image in the mass media adverts because the youth is conscious of their image. Eventually, the influence of the mass media images captures the attention of the youth who then begin to behave according to what they hear or see (Robinson and Matheson 577).
The media have influenced the minds of young girls to believe that they should be skinny models. This has affected their body image, such that if they do not appear as they see in magazines, they become frustrated. They even feel that they are unacceptable in the society, and this makes them become very conscious about their weight. As a result, they stick to strict diets, as well as eating disorders, which are on the rise today. Boys are not left out by the media influence. They see well-built men in television shows and in magazines, and this makes them obsessed with their body. Many of them have ended up with obsessive weight, resulting from the use of dietary supplements and anabolic steroids. They apply all efforts to build bigger muscles, and to get the stamina from lifting weights (D’Arcy 16).
The media has also eroded societal morals and the most affected are the young people. On the issue of sex for instance, the media has made it look normal and popular. The young people have therefore engaged in sexual relations at a very tender age, causing unwanted pregnancies leading to abortion (Robinson and Matheson 579). They are also open to talk about sexual health and sexuality and the way they behave with their girlfriends and boyfriends is depends on what they hear or watch.
On the issue of violence, the media have made it appear as a normal activity, and the young people have embraced it in the same way. What they do not understand is that what they watch is a written script that is acted, but not real. That is why aggressive behavior is rampant in the current society amidst the young people. The movies and television shows young people watch has normalized violence. They have been made to believe that violence is a way of solving conflicts and they therefore engage in it in case of any conflict hoping to win. Potter (8) claims that violence has become so real to them such that the young adults cannot differentiate fantasy and real life. This calls for an action by parents in reducing the negative influence that the media has on the young people. They can help by monitoring and limiting programs that are watched by children. They should also teach children about self worth, self-esteem, their inner beauty and alternatives to violence. This is because a close intervention by a parent or by any adult reduces the rate of influence to children.
Studies by the Media Awareness Network (par. 2) indicate that in the contemporary society, the youth watch Television shows for at least four hours in a day. Considering that this is double the recommended time, this becomes the major cause of the increased influence of the young people. Given that the four hours spent in watching are not inclusive of the time they use in interacting with other media sites, such as the Internet, this shows why the young people are been influenced drastically. Cases of childhood obesity are also on this rise in the society today because of much watching with little or no physical activity (Powell and Chaloupka 576).
Parents and the adults in the contemporary society may argue that it is almost impossible to protect children from direct exposure to the media. However, with the understanding of the potential effects that the media has on the young people on the negative side, precautions can be put in place. The negative effects should therefore, be counteracted and the young people equipped with the relevant and necessary tools, such that they can effectively and accurately process the influences of the media. It should be noted that young people require a lot of information as they grow. Failure to provide it as a parent will trigger the youths to search for it elsewhere and this is how they become negatively influenced by the media.
Carter, Cynthia and Kay Weaver. Violence and the Media. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2003.
D’Arcy, Jan. “Media Influences in Young People’s Lives.” Can Child Adolesc Psychiatr Rev 13.1 (2004): 2-16.
Media Awareness Network. “Young Canadians In A Wired World: The Student’s View.” 2012. Media Awareness Network. 22 July 2013 <http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/special_initiatives/survey_resources/students_survey/students_survey_report.cfm>.
Potter, James. On Media Violence. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishers, 1999.
Powell, Szczpka and Braunschweig Chaloupka. “The nutritional content of television food advertisements seen by children and adolescents.” Pediatrics 120 (2007): 576583.
Robinson, Borzekowsi and Kraemer Matheson. “Effects of fast food branding on young children’s taste preferences.” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 161 (2007): 792797.
Are video games harmful or helpful to a youth culture?
Computer games have become highly popular over the last decade especially among the youth. They are quickly becoming the most persuasive, influential and profitable form of recreation across the world and in the United States. The effects of these video games on the youth have become a topic that has been discussed by many.
Parents and education experts frown upon video games as time wasters and consider them to corrupt the brain of children. However, researchers have found video games to have some positive impacts on a child’s development.
In their research, Green and Bavelier (2003) argued that playing aggressive games enhanced eye-hand coordination. According to Anderson and Bushman, Violent video games do not cause young people to be aggressive (2002 b). According to Gentile, witnessing aggression and violence in video games has negative impacts on children (2003).
Video games are persuasive in nature on American youth culture. Some games like FPS are about tactical strategy. Such games provide good mental health exercise. However, excessive playing of video games leaves young people with little time for outdoor activities and this is unhealthy. When the video game content is filled with graphic killings, it is not healthy.
From my perspective, Video games can be both a constructive or destructive form of entertainment. If video game content is chosen wisely, they can be used as a teaching tool to enhance the skills of the player. When I was in high school, I bought myself a PS3 gaming console. I spent most of my time playing video games until my mom limited the time I spent on my PS3. From my experience, I did not become violent from playing video games. The excessive time I spent playing the games is what was unhealthy.
Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2002b). Media violence and the American Public revisited. American Psychologist, 57, 448-450.
Gentile, D. A., & Sesma, A. (2003). Developmental approaches to understanding media effects on individuals. In D. A. Gentile (Ed.), Media violence and children (pp. 1937). Westport, CT: Praeger.
Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2003). Action video game modifies visual selective attention. Nature, 423, 534537.
The Role of the Media in the Run-up to the Iraq War
Many people have the notion that the media acts as an independent force, which operates without a constraint from the state or society. However, the period between the September 11 attack and the raid of Iraq illustrated a great failure of the American media. No newspaper, radio or website was functioning effectively. The media decided to maintain the national image, rather than questioning the rationale for invading Iraq. When a country goes to war, citizens need to be informed of its consequences and progress. This study will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the media in covering the events prior to the Iraq war.
Strengths of the Media
According to Cardaras, the media has the responsibility of being loyal to their audience, listeners, viewers, readers and citizens (152). Their role is to sensitize and explain to people what is happening around them while standing on the truth and accuracy of their information. The media played a chief role to inform the public of the intended invasion of Iraq by the U.S. since it is their role to publicize the news. A significant percentage of citizens in the U.S. had accepted the assertions made by the Bush Administration. According to the media, 49 percent of citizens, in 2006, believed that the government of Saddam Hussein indeed possessed WMD (weapons of mass destruction).
From the beginning, the media managed to make citizens feel sympathetic to the idea of attacking Saddam Hussein, although majority of them were not for the idea of going to war (Kull, Ramsay, and Lewis 569). The Bush administration asserted that going to war was the best precaution against a potential threat. The public was compelled to believe that Saddam Hussein was establishing weapons of mass destruction. As the war progressed, the media decided to ignore it, and this resulted to people ignoring the war. As the 2008 presidential campaigns began, CNN released some polls indicating that the Iraq war was far below the economy, according to the electorate’s priorities.
Weaknesses of the Media
One of the notable weaknesses of the media was its failure to point out the reasons why the U.S. invaded Iraq. To engage in war with another country is an extreme decision, which should be clear to every citizen. The media fell on the administration’s side, thus, keeping the public in the dark on why the U.S. decided to attack Iraq. Many questions were raised as to why the media failed to prevent the Bush Administration from rushing to war with Iraq (McLeod 131). Opinion polls illustrated that the media report create a misperception that existed among citizens before the public could realize the assertions were inaccurate.
It is the role of the media to inform citizens whatever is happening in the globe. In case of war, the media inform citizens of the intended consequences, as well as why both sides decided to start the war. However, the Bush administration restrained the media from showing photographs of U.S. soldiers being transported back home in coffins while the president himself could not attend the burial of soldiers killed in Iraq (Cohen 141). The American citizens could not support the war since the media did not give enough information about it. Citizens opted to support what the administration allowed.
If the media were capable of tabling the evidence that the U.S. had indeed found the weapons they claimed to be of mass destruction, then the war would have been justified as a self-defense. When a conflict like this emerges, the media should begin by identifying all parties that are involved, rather than focusing on the main party alone. After presenting all viewpoints and perspectives, the media should evaluate the evidence before rendering any decision, regardless of the parties that are involved. It is the responsibility of the media to stay as neutral as possible.
Cohen, David. What Matters: The World’s Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time. New York: Sterling, 2008. Web. <http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=1uYC-XU3A-YC&pg=PA143&dq=The+Role+of+the+Media+in+the+Iraq+Run-up&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qfnbUdeiNsrJhAeG8oDQAw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=The%20Role%20of%20the%20Media%20in%20the%20Iraq%20Run-up&f=false>
Cardaras, Mary. Fear, Power, and Politics: The Recipe for War in Iraq After 9/11. , 2013. Web. <http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=EtFmYkapl8UC&pg=PA145&dq=The+Role+of+the+Media+in+the+Iraq+Run-up&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qfnbUdeiNsrJhAeG8oDQAw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=The%20Role%20of%20the%20Media%20in%20the%20Iraq%20Run-up&f=false>
Kull, Steven, Ramsay, Clay & Lewis, Evan. Misperceptions, the Media, and the Iraq War. Political Science Quarterly Volume 118 Number 4, 569-598, 2002. Web. 9 July 2013. <http://www.abdn.ac.uk/sociology/notes06/Level4/SO4530/Assigned-Readings/Seminar%2011.2.pdf>
Mcleod, Douglas M. Derelict of Duty: The American News Media, Terrorism, and the War In Iraq. Scholarship.Law.Marquette 113-136, 2009. Web. 9 July 2013. <http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4928&context=mulr>
Phone block Campaign
In any marketing and advertising campaigns, the target audience is important; it is the particular group of people in the targeted market, at which the message of the product is focused on. The phone block products should select their target audience, identify their needs, apply the valuation approach used to valuate segments, and position the marketing strategy. The target audience is to be reached through identification of their geography in terms of location, climate region, demography and segmentation, which include gender, education, income, age and occupation.
Psycho graphical segmentation includes considerations on similar lifestyles, values and attitudes of the target audience. For the product to be competitive and be retained in the market, the products should have new features introduced to the existing products and new products being introduced to the target market. The media identify the location of the target audience and put more emphasis to the region that is, identifying the most effective way to reach out to the target audience despite the location and climatic aspects of the region.
The degree to which the media will support the promotions is crucial, as the more emphasized and renewed the promotions are, the more effective the product is meaningful to its customers. Creative strategies are important in the advertising plan, as it involves forming a connection between the firm and the products being advertised in the target market. The phone block product campaign can use visuals when promoting the product that captures the eye of the audience, in that, the advert should be large enough, colorful and one that makes the audience excited to look at (Business, 2003, p.656).
Phone block product can be advertised using the Television network. Advertising on TV makes the entire package interesting to customers as the advert captures the audience’s attention and targets market in unidentified geographic locations. It captures a larger audience and most importantly, it is attractive to many through its sound, action and wording permutation. The TV also offers certain Zip codes that are able to reach particular audience segments. The phone block product should not be advertised greatly using Magazines or newspapers. This is because it will be limited to a certain audience, leaving some niche markets unreached.
It may also fail to bring out the message to the targeted audience, fail to capture their attention, and therefore fail to achieve its objectives. Large colorful billboards can be interesting to the customers to look at and get the message easily. The billboards can be used locally to cut costs of advertising but the TV adverts can be used for both local and national advertising since it covers different locations at the same time, thus transmitting the message quickly. The TV adverts should be aired more often so that the message can be remembered and retained in the minds of the consumers. The billboard adverts should be renewed often to avoid monotony to the audience (Silk, 2006, p.46).
Media Vehicle Use Calendar Month
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In conclusion, Phone block is based on the concept that brings out the concept of customizability and points out that sellers need to come in to conclusion of the standards of making phones and also give up their distinguished points of differentiation that firms like Samsung pride is based, but unfortunately, it is a bridge far away for many mobile providers.
Business: The ultimate resource. (2003). Beijing: Citic Publishing House.
Media Schedule – Chanimal. (n.d.). Chanimal – The Ultimate Resource for Software (and Hardware) Marketing. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
Silk, A. J., (2006). What is marketing? Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.
PHONEBLOCK CAMPAIGN 5
Running head: PHONE BLOCK CAMPAIGN 1
Victims and the Media
Currently, media is seen as a source of all social problems in the world. Media not only provides access to but also constructs social problems in view of their multiple effects on people. It has been blamed by wide group of people including critics and theorists for promoting crimes against humanity such as violence, sexism, racism, homophobia, and other oppressive phenomena. Media has caused social harm by negatively influencing children and youth, pornography, degradation of women, and promotion of excessive materialism.
This study focuses on crimes, victims, and media. It is acknowledged that media focuses on most serious crimes and victimizations. On the contrary, the community is burdened by lower-level crimes pertaining to property and white-collar offences. The focus of media on violent offences is also selective and unrepresentative (Wilson, 2006).
Media and Victims
A critical exploration of media coverage of crime victims is crucial in the development of crime policy and popular imagination. Not all victims of a crime receive equal treatment in the media news. In most cases, intense media coverage is devoted to victims with a questionable past are regarded as ideal’. The ideal victims refer to a person or individuals who receive a legitimate status of being a victim upon being hit by a crisis. This category of victims includes defenseless, innocent, vulnerable, and worthy of sympathy victims. Elderly women and children categorically fit into this group. On the contrary, young men, homeless people, drug addicts, and others marginalized in the society may find it difficult to attain the status of legitimate victims (Nielson, 2003). In addition, media may misrepresent, under-represent, or over-represent victims of crime.
For instance, media repeatedly misrepresented Chicago gun myths by giving out false information about gun crime. Whether it was out of negligence or intentional, the mainstream and the right wing media have continued to perpetuate lies about guns and homicides in Chicago. The falsehood is repeated through blogs and social media on a regular basis. This has negative effect on the Chicago myth. A reasonable person can argue that equipping everybody with a gun is not a good idea and whether gun laws are effective or not. However, bloggers, journalists, and presenters are responsible for ensuring true arguments based on accurate data is presented to the masses. False information is not only a waste of resources but also misleading (Luyendijk, 2009).
In an article called Deadly Distinction: Chicago Has Highest Murder rate in US, BET news presented that the rate of murder in Chicago was the highest in all parts of US. The article went ahead to state that gun violence was an issue in various US cities but Chicago was the worst and had alarming rates that is almost double that of New York. The mistake made in the article was top compare Chicago with only one city, New York. The single comparison did not justify their conclusion on security situation in Chicago.
Actually, they were just repeating what has been on media on a daily basis, but simple statistics available to the public would reveal that Chicago is not close to having the highest rates of killings. Chicago is not even in the list of top 25 and is far from having the highest murders in US. Chicago is number 26, but on the FBI list of 40,000 cities, it is number 41, a position far from number one.
Actually, even if the rate of murder had doubled in Chicago, it still would not have been among the top in the list. In fact, many cities have rates that are more than triple that of Chicago but received less media attention.
Another misrepresentation by media regards the 2012 homicides record for Chicago. Jen Christensen wrote an article on CNN titled Chicago’s record murder rate: Don’t blame the guns alone. The article gave a complex detail on the gun violence while the title and the message asserted that Chicago had a record murder in 2012. Another article by Bob Adelman, article titled “Homicides in Chicago to Establish a New Record in 2012 who is to Blame?” Went ahead to proclaim that the city was about to set another record for violence. The truth is the homicides have increased by 96 in eleven months and is a further rise of about 20 is expected by the end of the year. However, the articles say nothing about a new record, it only state that the homicides will be more than 500 by the end of the year.
The only hope is that CNN is not depending on one blogger like Adelman as a source of information when FBI has crime data that is readily available. Unfortunately, CNN has no intention to confirm the accuracy of articles posted by its bloggers.
Even the 506-recorded homicides in 2012 were not close to the city record. In 1976, the city had 970 homicides, which almost doubled that of 2012. The action of media reporting a homicide record, which is inconsistent with the real values, is irresponsible. Such an act should not be tolerated. Yet another misrepresentation of Chicago on media happened on January 2013 through headlines such as Proof Gun Control Doesn’t Work? Chicago more Dangerous than Afghanistan Warzone, that appeared in the Beforets News web site. The article said that people living in Chicago were at great risks of being killed than soldiers in Afghanistan. This false statement was spread across social media at a great speed. Around the web, bloggers were saying they had discovered how dangerous the gun control is because one person going down and avenue in Chicago is at risk of murder than a soldier in Afghanistan. The problem is on the conclusion.
The belief that soldiers in Afghanistan are safer than residents of Chicago city is misleading. The bloggers and article writers fail to analyze statistics well. The fact is there are 2.8 million people in Chicago while the troops in Afghanistan are less than 100000. Comparison between the percentage death rates of Afghanistan and Chicago reveals that the death rate of US soldiers in Afghanistan is almost 26 times that of Chicago. Therefore, instead of saying, gun control is ineffective; those in Afghanistan possess weapons of war but are at risk 26 times those in Chicago. The misrepresentation of Chicago in the media is unfair defamation of a city in US and understates the danger faced by soldiers in Afghanistan.
A reasonable person can argue that equipping everybody with a gun is not a good idea and whether gun laws are effective or not. However, bloggers, journalists, and presenters are responsible for ensuring true arguments based on accurate data is presented to the masses. False information is not only a waste of resources but also misleading.
In another article called Deadly Distinction: Chicago Has Highest Murder rate in US, BET news presented that the rate of murder in Chicago was the highest in all parts of US. The article went ahead to state that gun violence was an issue in various US cities but Chicago was the worst and had alarming rates that is almost double that of New York. The mistake made in the article was top compare Chicago with only one city, New York. The single comparison did not justify their conclusion on security situation in Chicago.
It is clear that media is on a political agenda. Instead of focusing on matters of great importance that need attention, the media pays attention to violent offenses selectively (Franklin, 1999). For instance, media repeatedly misrepresented Chicago gun myths by giving out false information about gun crime. Whether it was out of negligence or intentional, the mainstream and the right wing media have continued to perpetuate lies about guns and homicides in Chicago. The falsehood is repeated through blogs and social media on a regular basis. This has negative effect on the Chicago myth. A reasonable person can argue that equipping everybody with a gun is not a good idea and whether gun laws are effective or not. However, bloggers, journalists, and presenters are responsible for ensuring true arguments based on accurate data is presented to the masses. False information is not only a waste of resources but also misleading.
Franklin, B. (1999). Social policy, the media and misrepresentation. London: Routledge.
Luyendijk, J. (2009). People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East. New York: Soft Skull Press.
Nielsen, L. B., Beim, A., & American Bar Foundation. (2003). Media misrepresentation?: Anti-discrimination law, print media, and legal consciousness. Chicago, Ill: American Bar Foundation.
Wilson, H. L. (2006). Guns, Gun Control, and Elections: The Politics and Policy of Firearms. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
VICTIMS AND THE MEDIA 7
Running head: VICTIMS AND THE MEDIA 1
The Media’s Impact on Democracy in America
Democracy is a leadership form of government where all the eligible citizens of a given nation or country have the same say about the decisions affecting their lives. Democracy gives equal opportunity to people in participation either directly or indirectly through an elected representative. It entails the economic, cultural and social conditions that enabling free and equal exercise of political activities and self determination (Abramson, 2008).
Several alternative forms of democracy are present. The two key forms of democracy include: direct democracy and representative democracy. The two democracies concern how the citizens execute the will of the government. In direct democracy, the citizens have an active and direct participation in the government decision making process. In modern democracies such as the United States, the citizens of the nation are the vital sovereign power. The political power in representative democracy is implemented indirectly by elected representatives. The media first came into reality in the year 1780 (Cappella, 2007). This was with the launching of a newspaper called The Bengal Gazetteâ. Since then, the media has improved considerably maturing in enormous leaps and bounds. The media have played a chief role in promoting democracy in the world apart from shaping the minds of individuals about their democratic rights.
Media significantly plays a leading role promoting democracy in the United States of America. Media is present in every activity that citizens undertake in the nation. The mass media at present include newspapers, radio, books, television, the Internet, cinema, fax and email. The Internet and email form of media are the most recent form of mass media communication, although, other forms of media have coexisted.
The media have traditionally been viewed as being insatiable and aggressive in the plight for the hottest and latest news. The media are also the public watchdog in the democratic societies where the citizens must understand and know the activities of their governments. The media in democratic states are equipped with the capacity of holding the political government accountable, compelling the government to clarify its actions and decisions affecting the people represented (Easton, 2009).
According to Grossman (2005), the media or press is the voice of the citizens; thus freedom of the media and press and the freedom speech are paramount in these countries. The chief reason for press freedom is ensuring that democracy functions. Press freedom, in America, has enabled the citizens in knowing the various differing views on political issues, opening the floor to discussion and debate, all of which foster a healthy and working of a democratic society.
The Media Democracy
Information access is essential to the wellbeing of democracy. This is because information ensures that the citizens are able to make responsible and enlightened choices rather than doing things ignorantly. Information also serves to check that the elected leaders uphold the oaths of office and promote in a given country. The vital task of media is information dissemination to the masses.
America has experienced vital changes in the media environment and democracy. The new media and technology innovations have developed better ways of reaching and communicating to the audiences. In total, United States has brought in a new democratic media age. The media arena is ever evolving, most recent with the Internet growth. The media network extends beyond the functional areas of governance and democracy. For instance, the media support may produce results in the governance activities. The activities are mainly related to corruption, decentralization, and the participation among citizens in the policy process.
The electronic form of media has dominated all other form of media in the United States. New media technologies, for instance the Internet, are making the print communication become electronic. Many traditional news and media organizations have established their online equivalent to their magazines and newspapers. Further, the form, content, style and substance of electronic online communication have been radically altered. Neuman (2001) suggests that there are new styles of online electronic formats, for instance online discussions, social media groups and online chat rooms. These have created a vast public discussion spaces which has provided an unprecedented opportunity for democracy and political discourse in the United States.
The recent revolution in the American media has brought vital changes for the democratic citizenship. This is in relation to the vast audiences that are reached through the mass communication. The main aim of this paper is to examine the impact of media on democracy in America.
Role of media in democracy
The media in America play a crucial role in ensuring a healthy and beneficial democracy. Media is the vital backbone of America’s democracy. The media are responsible in creating awareness that inform the citizens of their various political, social, and economical engagements in the nation. The media are also the public watchdog in the democratic societies where the citizens must understand and know the activities of their governments.
The media in promoting the democracy of America have certainly developed and become active as the years advance. It is only the media channels that remind politicians on their promises during elections that are unfulfilled. Many television news channels provide election coverage that guide citizens, especially the illiterate citizens, in electing the appropriate candidate to power. The media compel politicians to keep their promises and as a result, remain in power.
The media are vital in democratic systems by exposing loopholes in the governments. The media in the democratic systems ultimately help the government to fill the loopholes and, as a result, make the system accountable, citizen friendly and responsive. Thelen (1996) asserts that a democracy that has no media power is a vehicle that has no wheels. In this age of technology, there is a lot of political news. With development in technology, citizens get the national political news with a click of a computer mouse. Democracy, as a result, has also developed in these democratic states thanks to the role of media.
Media’s Impact on Democracy
The invent of the new media has been the catalyst in the formation of the democratic movement where the citizens have had a superior access to the political environment as compared to the latter years. (Abramson, 2003). Mass media has played a significant role in stimulating activism and political interest among the citizens. The recent revolution in the American media has brought vital changes for the democratic citizenship. The normal citizens of United States are now able to institute effective and meaningful roles in the political arena that was largely the domain of the influential and elites. The Talk internet radio and, for instance, provide a free outlet for debates, discussions and public expression (Thelen, 1995).
According to Neuman (2001), the amount of political information shared throughout the nation using a number of diverse sources today is a record high compared to any other time in history. The political news is available for all citizens through popular networks such as the real time news stations such as CNN and MSNBC. The wide variety of media access to the citizens permits the information to be aimed at explicit audiences and segments, even those who have been not represented well in the political arena.
The cable television networks, radio call- in forums, and Internet media platforms, in specific, have allowed many citizens to get relevant information personally, and be able to contact those with similar political and social orientations. Grossman (2005) argues that the prime characteristic of the media in the United States is the interaction that the communication technology has facilitated among public officials, media personnel and citizens. Rather than simply being recipients of the political information, citizens are now able to air their views, make their opinions and political presence known. The citizens are now able to perform more tangible roles in political events of the country. A case in point, news chat programs that are televised regularly involve the citizen call-ins. News magazines conduct opinion polls on significant political events and issues where the average citizens ask candidates questions during the debates. The media in the process have promoted democracy among the citizens.
The political leaders keep abreast of discussions and radio talk shows in gauging their public opinion. Further, through the media, citizens are joining political movements and organizations. This involvement in movements and organizations democracy has been due to the interactive forums communications and media publicity. This democratic space brought by the media has allowed people to express freely their opinions, obtain information faster, and receiving of instructions (Schudson, 2008).
The media through internet networks have garnered particular awareness for their vast potential in translating radical democratic ideals and concepts into a reality. The internet media have become more integrated to the American society. The internet through main news networks and chats has facilitated conversations among the citizens and leaders. Neuman (2001) suggests that the closer the closeness of the citizens or the public to leaders and decision makers will improve the citizen’s input to the policy and political arena. Further, the media will broadcast the opinions of the citizens hence promote the democracy. This evident as the general public in America is becoming the greater source of news and stories, as the media reporters go online in soliciting for ideas, reactions and comments to issues and events.
Challenges of media in promoting democracies
The driving force behind the current political communication is profit and not the traditional sense of service to the public. (Schudson, 2008). As such, political news content and information is no longer aimed at promoting democracy but much oriented to entertainment. Many current journalists in the United States are operating under the belief that where politics is concerned only distressing news is worth reporting. The citizens are barely given the stories about the functionality of political institutions and the admiration of the government officials, although in reality this develops the main part of the news. Instead, the news media channels highlight political conflict, and scandals (Bennett, 2006). This form of news does not promote democracy in America and in other nations globally.
The citizens are evidently disgruntled with the present political media contribution. While a majority of Americans citizens deem themselves as “news junkies with a clear desire to be updated, they barely trust various news sources (Davis, 1998). The greater part of citizens believe that news from the media channels is overly influenced by political interests and powerful businesses who engage in the media’s desire of making profits. Further, the citizens are considering the news from the channels to be sensational and ridden with scandals. The citizens are majorly concerned with the accuracy of news reporting, particularly as media channels compete in breaking the news to the citizens first (Grossman 2005).
The content and tone of political dialogues in the debates that are directed towards promoting citizen the participation of, such as the radio call in programs and online news chat rooms, are scarcely national or constructive. The radio call in programs are started by the hosts and driven by the audience ratings. Davis argues that the political talk in America has become, in a great part, a venting opportunity rather than being used as an effective discussion (Davis, 1998).
The unprecedented record high levels of public distrust have produced some level of alarm, as lack of faith in the government substantially weaken the democratic values, erode the social capital and also weaken community and citizens ties (Craig, 2008).
For the greater percentage, media and political elites in America control program and agenda of public debates, and they are concerned in stimulating the public debates and the feedback. The call in television and radio programs often engage citizen callers as the support meant to initiate commentary by guest and hosts elites. The leaders and political candidates establish web sites in publicizing their campaigns activities. The online sites are filled with a lot of political information, but the opportunities interaction with the citizen is nonexistent. This in the real sense does not promote democracy in the nation.
Solution to the Challenges Facing Media and Democracy
In coming up with solutions to the challenges towards democracy, the main solution lies in the media itself. The media have traditionally been viewed as being insatiable and aggressive in the plight for the hottest and latest news. The media should strive in fulfilling its role as the public watchdog in the democratic societies where the citizens must understand and know the activities of their governments.
The media in democratic states such as the United States should fulfill its role of holding the government accountable in all the activities the government undertakes. This is because the media in promoting democracy is equipped with the capacity of holding the political government accountable, compelling the government to clarify its actions and decisions affecting the people represented. According to Cappella (2007), the media or press is the voice of the citizens, thus freedom of the media and press and the freedom speech are paramount in these countries. The chief reason for press freedom is ensuring that democracy functions. Press freedom in America will enable the citizens in knowing the various differing views on political issues, opening the floor to discussion and debate, all of which foster a healthy and working of a democratic society.
Mass communications, above all the electronic form of media, have been related to the public evaluations in promoting democracy among of the political institutions and also the leaders, particularly the government setup in Washington. The faith in the government and democracy had been waning since the 1980s, with a slight let off in the early 1990s. The media should be equipped in ensuring that it improves the waning faith in the government and democracy. The Americans citizens’ political faith in the government democracy reached record lows in the late 1990s, even though the confidence in the government has improved drastically (Abramson, 2003).
The media or press is the voice of the citizens, thus freedom of the media and press and the freedom speech are paramount in promoting democracy in America and other global countries. The chief reason for press freedom is ensuring that democracy functions. The press freedom in United States will enable the citizens know the various differing views on political issues. This will open the floor to discussion and debate, all of which foster a healthy and working of a democratic society. This democratic space brought by the media freedom will allow people to freely express their opinions, obtain credible information faster, and receiving of political instructions.
While not the lone offender, the media in these democracies have been liable for worsening the public doubt of politicians and government, and for reducing the trust in the democratic government process. Thus, the media significantly plays a key role promoting democracy in the United States of America. As noted in the paper, the news media provide an unwarranted amount of awareness to corruption, infighting and political scandals in aim of promoting democracy. The media should put up a vigorous campaign aimed at improving their credibility and faith in improving democracy levels in America
In evaluating the gains and challenges of media on democracy, it is evident that the challenges transcend the gains. There are some rewards in the political efficacy and knowledge and among citizens, particularly those with regular encounter with the interactive and populist forms of media. Media is the public watchdog in any democracy by keeping the government active and on its toes. Apart from the media being just a citizen informer, it is also played an integral part in daily activities of the citizens. With the course of time, media has matured and developed into a responsible democracy entity. The current media revolution in the United States and in the entire world has enabled citizens in making better informed decisions. This has eventually led given rise to a new era in democracy.
In conclusion, there exists, however, signs that a few citizens may be exhibit better levels of political knowledge and interest to the adoption of newer media in communication. This is in promoting democracy in America where any citizen has the right to vie for any political seat. The common talk radio callers, listeners and online media users are notably informed politically as compared to the public in general (Davis, 1998). While this is the case that the online media users and the talk radio members are inclined to seeking of information, their use of these media improves the breadth and depth of their vast knowledge. Finally, the most influential strengths of the media in any society are its ability in effecting changes, on the government democracy and social level.
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Neuman, W. (2001). The Future of the Mass Audience. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Schudson, M. (2008). Discovering the News. New York: The Free Press.
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The Media’s Impact on Democracy in America