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Media Essay

762 words - 4 pages

The American media industry is very massive, is run by private businesses, and got its start in the 1600’s. However, the business did not become very popular until the mid-1800’s. There are six companies that control the media. These include Disney, Time Warner, General Electric, News Corporation, Bertelsmann, and Viacom, and there are many other smaller companies as well (“Chapter 1: Living in a Media World”). These companies own the main broadcast stations, movie studios, and much more. Although there aren’t too many main companies, these have to do a lot to be successful and make their audiences happy. With this in mind, it raises the question of how media can affect a person.
There are many theories that try to explain the influence that media has. The Limited Effects Theory obviously concerns the fact that media does not have very much effect on the public (“The Role and Influence of Mass Media). People have their own beliefs, and what they watch or read reflects that. “This theory originated and was tested in the 1940s and 1950s. Studies that examined the ability of media to influence voting found that well‐informed people relied more on personal experience, prior knowledge, and their own reasoning. However, media experts more likely swayed those who were less informed” (“The Role and Influence of Mass Media”). This theory makes sense; however, the fact that this theory was tested over 60 years ago doesn’t really make it a valid theory for today. The Powerful Effects Theory states the direct opposite. It does believe that the media has a strong influence on people. “Today, according to Gerbner, it is television-not parents, teachers, or religious leaders-that establishes the values of young children and the ethics they will hold for their lifetime” (“Impact of Mass Media”). This makes sense, because children are very impressionable, and if they are exposed to a lot of television, then the attitudes and opinions expressed on the television program will influence the child.
The Class-Dominant Theory concerns the fact that the media is controlled by corporations, and that the views that that group have are the ones that are put out into media (“Impact of Mass Media”). This means that only a small number of people have...

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