Write a 10 page essay on Media Literacies.
Mass media and communication technologies have become integral parts of our life and our society. One of the most important role of mass media to perform as a public watchdog. Mass media has to play a leading role in shaping, guiding and reflecting the public opinion. These functions of media help to establish democracy.
Use of media in a democratic polity creates critical awareness among the people, and so it becomes an essential component of mass vigilance to keep authorities tenterhooks. The media may not be able to perform these functions unless the access to them is ensured to a large section of our population. Media access is important in the political sphere. Access to media is access to public opinion, so essentially to protect and preserve democratic institutions. It is advantageous to both leaders and masses. Media can correct or distort facts, views and attitudes and even create euphoria. Point to abysmal media performance on any number of issues: western intervention in Indochina. the sanctions against Iraq which kill up to 200 children under the age of five every day. the machinations of business lobby groups in Brussels, Washington, London to further a ‘deregulated’ corporate-shaped global economy. the obstructionism of even mainstream business – such as the US Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers – in the face of global warming. and the attempt of the ‘greener’ oil companies like Shell and BP to keep the emerging technologies of clean and renewable energy out of community hands. In other words, mass media performance – its omissions, biases, distortions, deceptions – reflects the fact that the mass media is itself part of the same power structure that plunders the planet and inflicts human rights abuses on a massive scale.
Mass media are a mode of social interaction. Wittingly or unwittingly the dominant social institutions will make use of the media, to stabilize the existing social order. Mass media are support to act as agents of social change. Media control not only determines the character of ownership, information slant and selection. Nowadays control over media and owners in their interests have decided a particular type of views. They exert power of different ways and twist the real situations completely. Mass media have the power to impact on the audience and it can be hidden persuader. Kelman (1961) suggested that there are three main processes of social influence and they are compliance, identification and internalization, which might involve in change of opinion. But French & Raven (1953) offers a fairly comprehensive framework for studying social influence and social power of mass media. Power is based on ‘reward’ or on ‘coercion’ implies some interaction between the intentions of the sender and the needs of the receiver. Referent power occurs when an individual wishes to be more like the source and hence initiates or adapts behavior accordingly. Legitimate power is based on the assumption of a right to expect compliance present only where such a relation is institutionally defined. Finally there is expert power based on he attribution of superior knowledge of the sender. It has been suggested by studies that media help to establish an order of priorities
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