Mass Media: The All-Powerful Entity
Do We Have Any Control Over It?
Mass media is an unavoidable and indispensable presence that has the power to shape our society, yet we seem to have no control over it. Although some may disapprove of its current content, the majority of us simply stand by and tolerate it; allowing the media to create its own ethical boundaries and often inch them forward.
The power of the media conglomerates of our world is immeasurable, as its influence ranges from news outlets, to financial institutions, to men and women with the highest positions. We are forced to accept the content these media corporations choose to display because we are powerless against an entity which effectively possesses a monopoly on the information and entertainment we receive, almost entirely shaping public perception of social reality. The implementation of various deregulation policies also attributes to the lack of say we have. Deregulation is the removal or loosening of governmental barriers on the ownership of media outlets. This process reduces the diversity of information provided, as well as the liability of the providers to the public – the ultimate consequence being a poorly informed public. We see the image of the world that these conglomerates project and as the consumers, we have no choice other than to simply accept it.
It is certainly not the case that all news outlets are no longer reputable, or that all magazines are demeaning to women, it is that some are, yet we are forced to begrudgingly accept that as an unchangeable fact. It is almost as if we have become desensitised to vulgarity and nudity and misrepresentation in the media. It has become an inseparable part of what we see in the pages of magazines and on prime-time television. We may not approve of it, we may want to see great waves of change, but how many of us really do anything to see that happen? This behaviour of simply looking on disapprovingly, yet not taking action has allowed these companies to do as they please. They seem to have no regard for the harm it may potentially cause the young men and women who intently watch and listen. But why should they? After all, this almighty enterprise that is mass media is sets of corporations and businesses whose main goal is and always will be its bottom line. Therefore, the exponentially increasing sexualisation of the media is due to the well-known principle that “sex sells”, and we, the customers to these businesses, seem to be readily buying what they are selling. Yet therein is where our power lies; in what we buy from these sellers. As consumers, we should be mandating the lines which they can and cannot cross, but by remaining passive, we have given the media free reign.
We sometimes do not approve of what we see on television or hear on the radio, but rarely do we take action against what we feel is wrong in the media; yet this submissive, almost defeatist attitude will be our downfall. Although these corporations do not always exercise their vast powers fairly, we do not demand change against injustice. But as our right and duty, we must do so, heeding the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
These views are my own.