Greed And Mass Media Essay

1490 words - 6 pages

In today’s society, more people use mass media sources such as Facebook, Twitter, (Internet users—21%) and major news corporations like Fox, CBS, and NBC, etc. (Television viewers—55%) for their information on politics and government (Saad). People have this information twenty-four hours a day, right at their fingertips. While these are quick and seemingly easy sources, they are not always the best choices because media companies are not always giving out information with the public’s best interest at heart. There are a large number of companies that focus on how much money they will bring in. The media, therefore, has an essential duty to always be truthful but also a duty not to betray the trust put into it by society. The media’s need for consistent viewers to bring in a profit is a prime example as to why this honestly is so important. This is where the issue of greed comes in. Media companies, while taking a stand on one side of an argument, are obligated to tell the truth so the public is well informed, but greed to get in the way: this greed results in lies and can have an impact on voters.
Although some companies may not see it this way, they all should have an obligation to the public first and their profit second. Companies need to “give voice to a variety of opinions and not to be a propaganda organ for one particular political party. Also, they have particular obligations to provide civic education, as well as to provide a platform for the different political parties” ("Different Obligations of Public and Private Media"). Mass media companies should produce truthful facts and stories for the public so well-educated political decisions can be made. By providing the public with dishonest information, people are often basing their opinions and decisions off of skewed and misleading information. “For much of American history (until the early twentieth century), most news media were clearly and openly biased. Many newspapers, for example, were simply the voices of the political parties” (SparkNotes Editors). This political bias results in an increasingly distrustful electorate over time and “their skepticism is consequential because people who distrust the media have been shown to be more resistant to learning new information about objective national events, such as changing economic conditions” (Berry, Goldman, Janda, and Schildkraut, 165). It would appear the media is not always going to be viewed as a friend, but represents a place for people to start finding out the information that is desired.
In present-day life, a democracy is unlikely to function without the press; therefore we rely heavily on the media as an information source to the public. Mass media can “help people understand the operations of government, participate in political decisions, and hold government officials accountable” (Balkin). As mass media is such an important system, it is pertinent that it be understood as such. It has been divided into four specific...

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