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The Media Is Manipulative

Essay by   •  June 15, 2012  •  Essay  •  969 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,303 Views

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The media is an influential giant that wield unprecedented power in today's world. Ranging from printed newspaper to non-print broadcasts and in today, virtual social networks, and media constantly surrounds us, sometimes smothering helpless individuals. Detractors may argue that newspapers and commercials have neither the intention nor the ability to influence the population; however, with the false television portrayal, biased news coverage, erroneous stereotypes and the submersion of information, the manipulation of media is beyond self-belief.

The media can be described as a societal, educational and commercial tool. In the perfect situation, one would expect the media to providing of information and delivering multiple perspectives and promoting awareness. Furthermore, the media can also step up and positively impact the society to educate, unite and keep societal trends in check. Nonetheless, media also serve commercial purposes in entertainment, as an industry or to advertise for commercial benefits. It wouldn't take much for one to realize which aspect most of the money goes to. The media is a tool, and it does exactly what the owner wants it to. Hence, to determine whether the media is manipulative depends on the desire of media tycoons to influence the population, usually in their own interest.

Media is manipulative because perspectives are induced into information feed to the public. Media corporations no longer have to go against integrity to manipulate the general population. They cannot do so anyway, since that will undermine the trustworthiness of their reports. The media employs multiple tools to convey perspectives across to the population. Omission and high selectivity of materials focusing only on one perspective, and sensationalizing the flaws in alternate opinions has gradually led to biased reporting. One example would be the boycott of certain Chinese newspapers in Malaysia following Bersih 2.0, a peaceful demonstration to fight for fairer elections. The newspaper allegedly omitted claims from the demonstrators and took the government stance. The paper even highlighted minister accusations of the demonstration and claim the peaceful demonstration to be a violent and aggressive one. Similarly in 2012, police were on arrest frenzy for reporters during Bersih 3.0 to confiscate evidence of police violence. These deliberate omission of information in which the government play the role of the media 'regulator' and demonstrated the desire to influence through media. However so, it is worthy to note that the ability to manipulate is shrunk by the gradual competitive media market including those that are non-profit but cause driven. The availability of alternatives that serve as checks and balances for main sources of media prevent distortion through selectivity, omission, sensationalization and eventually manipulation.

Media is manipulative because the key controllers of media want to influence societal trends. Some may argue that media is a reflection of life, but I personally choose to believe that media reflects what mankind will seek to become. What is deemed



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