As a student studying the media I often think about the effects the media is having on our society and on us individually. Jobs in print media are becoming increasingly scarce, with many people turning to online outlets. However, these online outlets and the Internet has changed the way the media influences our society, and it has proven that if it is done correctly it can result in many positive outcomes.
Information on the Internet can reach large numbers of people and spread world wide at rapid speeds. Lets take ‘the dress’ as an example. The blue and black, or white and gold (which ever way you see it), dress had everyone around the world putting forward their opinion on what colour they saw, and by that afternoon it had been viewed over 28 million times. This picture brought with it endless debate and divided the world – but it was all in good spirits.
Other issues where the media has been of strong influence has been related to much more serious subjects. For example, the recent royal commission inquiry into sexual abuse within the catholic church was only made possible because of journalist, Joanne McCarthy. McCarthy pushed the boundaries and ignored the advise from those around her in order to undercover the truth about sexual abuse to young boys.
The media has helped shape our society and culture. It has helped influence social ideaologies and norms which we have become accustomed to. Take the Bali Nine. The media has chosen to follow the path of emotion, by evoking sympathy with it’s Australian public. This sympathy has encouraged Australia to stand up and voice their opinions against the death penalty. I am completely against the death penalty and believe in second chances, however, at the end of the day the Bali Nine are criminals and I believe the media attention should be focusing on more important worldly issues. For example, the 200 girls in Nygeria who were kidnapped last year. This story dominated our headlines thanks to the help of celebrity exposure. However, where are those girls now? This story is no longer in our mainstream media, and what isn’t in the media no longer exists in our minds. If something like that was to ever happen in Australia the media, and therefore the public and authorities, would not stop until they had found the victims or justice had be served.
The media is our window to public affairs and issues that need to be addressed in order to be resolved. The media has the ability to instil ideas and thoughts about particular subjects into our subconscience minds. The media can work with the police by alerting the public of criminals and in turn maximise the chance of catching them; the media can help bring awareness to the public about a specific charity or event being held; and the media can help educate the public on ideas and cultures different from that of their own. The media is an important tool which we must use responsibly and to the advantage and good of our wider community.