Questions in a World of Blue

Today's question — Has the media influenced your view on the world?

Ask a Media graduate

The fourth estate has influenced everyone's view whether they know it or not. We have all been subject to the paradigm shifts in media consumption from the injection model to the interactive model and beyond in our new world order of media. At university in 2009 I learned all about Abercrombie and Longhurst's Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination, which is a really interesting theory if you're into that kind of thing. 

Since then I've been concious how media affects and controls us and, kind of like how a magician is no longer entertaining when you know how the tricks are done, how media is the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy is the consumer. Once you look behind the mask, you see the manipulative old men with their flash bangs and smoke machines. 

A visit to a local newspaper
A visit to a local newspaper

Of course, the media has many fingers spoiling many pies and the only way you can safely ensure you are not completely hoodwinked is to either completely abstain from consumption or be more selective in your choices. For example not limiting yourself to one source of news but broadening your aspect and looking at different view points across the world (Western media is controlled by a sinister cabal of manipulative rich old men — read some Al Jazeera or Russia Today for a broader outlook but be conscious of their biases too) which, I suppose, is why I'm happy to gravitate to the more peer reviewed versions of news and media (eg reddit, instapaper, Pocket and Mix) than traditional means these days. 

Yet more choice can also mean lack of variety. When presented with multiple options we tend to cling to the familiar and become reluctant to explore beyond our own self created boundaries which in turn means we become unaware of newer options or areas where we may have an interest but have not discovered it. I suppose guiding the consumer to areas of media where they may have had an interest is what some social media platforms intended to do before they became embroiled in East-Germany-esque mass control fascism and political manipulation. Now guiding us away from the less lucrative and more towards the more capitalist centred options. 

Media, once the gentle guiding hand of morality and observation of the left, now the forceful hand of coersion and manipulation for the right.

So has media influenced my view on the world? Show me this entry in 2004.   


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