Does the Media Give in to Our Desires?

The mass media continues to be our main source for information on a regular basis. Our information can come from a variety of sources, if not Facebook and Twitter, than any local news station has the ability to feed us the information we need. But have you ever wondered how every news story somehow appeals to your interests? Well by looking and analyzing the following theories, it is clear that the media has its own set agenda. We are just the mannequins by which media outlets dress their stories around.

Agenda Setting
Mass media always has an agenda. This agenda determines which stories are told, how they are told and even the length of the story. All of these ideas are connected to how a news story is reported and how the audience interprets the story. This influences not only what the audiences focuses on but also what they do not focus on. Sometimes, this agenda is used for the audience to only focus on what the media wants them to focus on.

Cultivation Theory
We learn how to adapt to our environment through many different sources and one of those sources is the media. Television programs provide us with the proper ideas of what is and is not acceptable. Through the media, we learn to act, live and behave. Gender roles continue to be socialized through the media; men are painted as masculine sportsmen, while women’s interests revolve around fashion and gossip. Because of this fascination for information, stories are reported that interest the audience. Audiences know what they want to see when they turn on their TV or log on to the Internet and it is the networks jobs to give the audience what they desire. This is why more and more news stories revolve around pop culture. By giving us what we want, audience’s give networks what they want- profit.

News Manipulation
News affiliates understand their audiences and try to adhere to their wants and needs. This is why when it comes to reporting the news; they do their best to manipulate stories in favor of the audience. There are news stations for liberal democrats and there are news stations for conservative republicans. These news stations not only know who their audience is, but also how to tailor each story to the interests of their audience.

These ideas might be hard to pinpoint at first, but after a while the motivations of each news outlet will become clear. We are given what we want and this is to ensure a consistent and dependable audience.

Saying the media has an affect over our lives would not be far from the truth, but how we interpret the information is our own decision.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Allison Curran.

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