Media Manipulation Within Society Essay

2121 words - 8 pages

'The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth'(Sitwell, E., 1994)Media as a whole has grown from a one-time leisure activity, to almost a necessity. The need to watch television, read newspapers and listen to the radio has grown over time as societies craving for information and 'gossip' continues to grow. The results of this make media an extremely powerful entity, capable of delivering stories around the world, with the majority of people placing excessive amounts of credibility in the media's stories. But when the media abuses their power and misrepresents the stories they tell, it can lead to society's views on the individuals, cultures, religions or races in question to be strongly affected. This at times can become the basis of a false stereotype. Stereotypes such as those created by the media, can often not only be harmful to the reputations of those in question, but can sometimes be extended to a physical and sometimes even life threatening degree.The media deliberately chooses to misconstrue the truth so as to make a more exciting and interesting story for their viewers. Through deliberately leaving important pieces of information out of a story, or directly positioning an audience to see a story a certain way, the media is strongly shaping how society sees the world. Society places excessive trust in the media and their stories, with a large portion not realising just how common a practice it is for the media to misconstrue the truth in their presentations. The misrepresentation of news through the media is so apparent that there is a television program dedicated solely to exposing stories where the media has deliberately misconstrued the truth, this show is called "Media Watch". Nevertheless, there still seems to be excessive amounts of misrepresented news despite the efforts of Media Watch to 'scare' the media into being more careful about misconstruing its stories.The media uses many different tactics in making their stories more interesting. The two main tactics are suppression by omission, and framing. Suppression by omission is the media manipulating their story through leaving out vital pieces of information, and at times the entire story. "Stories which reflect poorly upon the powers to be are least likely to see the light of day". (Parenti, M., Methods of Media Manipulation, http://www.media-alliance.org/mediafile/17-5/manipulation.html). Framing on the other hand, is where the media bends the truth and creates a desired impression for the viewer. Framing is achieved in many ways, including how the news is packaged, the amount of exposure the news piece receives, the placement of the article within the magazine; whether it be front page or last page, the way in which it is presented, the headlines and accompanying visuals. (Parenti, M., Methods of Media Manipulation, http://www.media-alliance.org/mediafile/17-5/manipulation.html). 'When omission proves to be an insufficient form of suppression, the...

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