In general, “media” refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and the newspaper are different types of media. The term can also be used as a collective noun for the press or news reporting agencies. In the computer world, “media” is also used as a collective noun, but refers to different types of data storage options. And in our lives in the 21th century, we can hardly live without media.
Oscar Wilde has once said that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism，conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies the public’s demands. This showed that the media has a function in passing information. But there are other functions of the media, like its ability to monitor the social environment, provide entertainment, educate the public, and guide mass values, as well as the coordination of social relations, and the inheritance of culture. We accept most of the information provided through the media, so what we see, think and feel is related directly and indirectly to the information received. Under this circumstance, we gradually build our understanding of society with information we get from the media.
Take some time ago in Beijing Hotel where a girl was dragged as an example. As the event was reported constantly, people continued to focus on it and they probably thought that this matter was particularly important, subconsciously. Then people gave more attention to the details and development of the event. Although something like that is not likely to happen to most people, the coverage portrays society as a dangerous and horrible world. After specific events, the media focuses more on how to prevent similar incidents from happening, like distributing security manuals, boosting the public’s sense of safety through various media: the internet, TV, radio, and newspapers, etc. This is an educational function of the media, and also the way the media affects people.
At the same time, we have to realize that most people are “mobs” of the media and they generally do not have their own common sense and judgments. Especially in today’s era of information explosion, people are affected by the media more obviously. A variety of media stimulate people’s senses. All kinds of information spring up like waves coming to us. Therefore, in today’s mobile Internet era, people generally lack of thinking, lack of deep thinking. So, sadly, most of us probably are “kidnapped” by the intermediary, without even thinking when we get information from the media.
Needless to say, the media is quite an important platform for people to receive information and plays a far more vital role in our lives. But, however, the impact of the media on people is not always static. It will change according to the attainment of the working staffs in media business, credibility and public trust of the media, and the education level of the audiences. Take our audiences as an example, different level of education is affected by media differently. Generally, the lower level of education is, the lower ability to judge information. And this kind of audience has lower ability to distinguish right from wrong due to the lack of skepticism. They will be led by the nose by the media and will no doubt about the information reported by the media, and therefore the influence of media turns out to be greater.
For me, the influence of the media can be concluded in four points. First is the stage of understanding. When the media reports some events, I will have my preliminary understanding of the matters, analyzing and doubting as well. Second is the stage of the cognition. During this process, I will have further understanding and personal opinion of the event as more details of the event are reported constantly. Third is the stage of changing minds. As different opinions of the event rush out, I will distinguish them and revise my own to meet temporal cognition status. Last is final formation stage. After a heated discussion of the event people focus less and stop discussing gradually. In the process, some of my views of the event come to final formation and reappear again when similar events are reported next time.
- The definition of the media: http://www.iwebtool.com/
2.The function of the media: http://hope.journ.wwu.edu/tpilgrim/j190/190.8functionslist.html