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The media are guilty of many social imbalances that have happened in the past decade. This paper focuses on the results of social media and the press in the modern world. The main influence of mass media is felt through their advertising programs. On average, each person is exposed to 2000 advertisements in a day. This has become one of the most influential educational forces in the modern society.

The social media and the press have numerous social benefits. Some of these benefits include the ability to mobilize the public, efficiency in communication, networking among others. The gains harnessed from a segment of social media are, however, counteracted by unscrupulous firms who mainly aim at making profit. Advertising is a basic and economic essence of the mass media. Media will, therefore, work hard to make unreasonable profits regardless of their negative influences on the public.

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The mass media are guilty of failing to run its activities in an ethical manner. The Uses and Gratifications Theories focus on what people do with the media, suggesting that individuals choose the media they use with definite goals in mind. These objectives may differ for different individuals and can include relief of boredom, entertainment, introspection, information, finding models for behaviour, seeking back up for beliefs, serving as a foundation for conversation and social relations, helping to identify with others, or to shun interactions with them and so on. The media hold enormous power in Agenda-Setting. It may not influence whatpeople think, but may influence what they think about, by choosing which topics to publish and what to highlight. “Gatekeeping” is the control of the movement of information. This influence is sometimes used solely for profit-making without regard to people’s inclinations. Media professionals sometimes allow for advertisement of products that are a well-known threat to people’s health. They do not care about the effect, just the millions they make from advertisements.

Media consumers may turn out to be really overwhelmed by negative pictures of violence and crime. This creates the thought that the real world is a harsh and mean place. This is the result of the deficiency of regulation of the content in the mass media. As long as it is profitable, the media do not mind about their influences on the society through repeated production of negative images about the world. Intense television viewers may drop the attitudes, customs or beliefs of their cultures in favour of those they see continuously on television. Adolescents are predominantly vulnerable because of their newness and inexperienced consumption. Most advertisements are designed to target the adolescents. Since a large portion of adolescents are influenced by peer pressure, they hardly resist the main cultural messages that the media perpetuates and reinforces (Margaret and Howard 296). The effects of mass communication have been a sort of national peer pressure, which wears out the values and standards of individuals. Adults and teenagers alike are trapped in this massive money-making scheme. On the most basic level, consumers of advertisements learn the stereotypes. The creation of a mythical world is the main tool through which the advertising industry makes profits. In this world, people are hardly poor, ugly, overweight, struggling or disabled.

One significant effect of advertising and mass media is the negative way in which women are portrayed. Conclusions from scientific studies and casual viewing point towards one fact: women are almost exclusively shown as sex objects or housewives. The sex object is a shell. Women’s main attribute is portrayed as conformist beauty. Wrinkles or lines would be an indication that unpleasant taste or poor judgment that makes her look older. The ideal woman is portrayed as the one who has no scars or blemishes. She is thin, tall and long-legged. Above all, she is youthful. Advertisements are designed to include beautiful women, regardless of the audience or the product. Women are continually forced to emulate this epitome, to feel guilty and embarrassed if they fail. Through advertisements, women’s desirability is created to seem dependent on physical perfection. Women are often dismembered in commercials. Advertisements separate women’s bodies into parts that require improvement or change. Women who have “acceptable” breasts must also make sure their legs, lips and various body parts are matching.

Through advertisements and the mass media, young people have learned lots about sexual attitudes. The main approach of advertisement towards sex is pornographic (Gail 322). Advertisements reduce people to objects and discourage individuality and human contact. The result of this is a rather obscene culture; people are reduced to objects and sex to a dirty joke. The wide presence of sex in advertisements ignores its importance as a significant human creativity. The real tragedy, however, is that most women adopt these stereotypes and learn their “weaknesses”. This has contributed to the establishment of a self-achieving prophecy. If one agrees with these mythical and demeaning images, to a large extent, one objectifies them. By remaining ignorant of the significant seriousness of the pervasive influence, the unnecessary message and the subconscious influence of advertisements, we overlook one of the greatest “educational” influences in the culture. This force significantly affects our self-conceptions, our capacity to relate to other people, and successfully destroys any consciousness and action which may change that climate.

Social media incorporate online tools that accelerate communication and information distribution through the Internet. Social media are a popular method for communication (Ellison 5). In the 21st century, social media interacting is critical in daily life. Social network sites have captivated millions of users. In the challenging urban life, people lack time to see their dear ones. Social media helps to fix this defect in the society. Youths around the world use social network sites to communicate with acquaintances. People purpose to know new people, who share similar aspirations and concerns, via social media. The use of social networking sites has become habitual for most youth (Ellison 2). One of the greatest risks of the social media is that of impersonation. An individual may, therefore, end up being strongly attached to individuals with fake profiles. This has a profound effect on the victim when he/she finally finds out the truth; a common occurrence is online dating sites (Ellison 8). 

Press coverage of Social Network Sites has revealed the increased potential for privacy bleach amongst adolescent users. Social Network Sites increase the potential ability to recreate users’ social security numbers with information often located in profiles, such as date of birth and hometown. The “privacy paradox” arises when teens are not conscious of the public character of the Internet. Addiction is yet another negative effect of the social media. Individuals spend most of their time engaging friends in social networks; time that could have been utilized to generate wealth through the Internet (Valenzuela 3). With the high rate of unemployment, most Internet-educated individuals in the world today are earning a living through freelance writing. Social networks are mostly associated with risky behavior. Other than unsafe disclosure of delicate information, the risk of contacting dangerous communities is exceptionally high (Valenzuela 7). For example, Facebook allows for like-minded people to come together through a ‘fan page’. Such platforms could turn to a form of peer pressure towards dangerous activities such as drug abuse. The American Psychological Association revealed that most teens who manage accounts on social network sites, show extra-narcissistic leanings. On the other hand, young adults who use social network sites show more symptoms of other psychological disorders. These include mania, antisocial behaviors and aggressive tendencies. 

Although social networking sites are guilty of numerous negative effects on people’s minds, they can be used to bring change in the community. This is an era of dwindling audiences and dented credibility in public organizations (Besley 3). The media must, therefore, assist citizens to associate with society and accelerate civic action. Social network sites have performed a crucial role in achieving social change. An appropriate example is the recent Arab Uprising that saw the overthrowing of the former president of Egypt. Furthermore, social network sites may accomplish many of the promises of ethical journalism, such as delivering shared, pertinent information to its users and facilitating the exchange of ideas. In spite of the harsh criticism, the media have played a decisive role in influencing the world in many ways. Most people agree that education is the vaccine against HIV (Besley 3). Many media organizations are, therefore, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and educating their audience about the facts of the epidemic and the means of stopping it. Mass media plays a decisive role in energizing citizens to monitor the actions of officeholders and use this evidence in their voting resolutions. This can enhance government accountability and responsiveness to its citizens’ needs (Besley 4).

Social and mass media have brought about new social challenges that the world is fighting. However, the efficiencies in communication and business that come about with both social and mass media cannot be ignored. Media continually feeds us with information. It is the role of the consumer to decide what to believe. All these social imbalances and problems are not caused by advertising. Instead, advertising images only influences them by creating an environment in which the selling of women's bodies, distorted body image ideals, dismemberment and the use of children as sex substances, is seen as conventional. 

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