In general, “media” refers to the tools of mass communication. Media refers to mass media such as broadcast media, print media, and web media. Television and radio are considered broadcast media while newspapers, magazines, and journals are known as print media and internet news, the web media. The media can give us information to tell us what a product, service or message is. The media is an important source of information through its news segments, entertainment and allows for an exchange of ideas, suggestions, and comments. In fact, media influence has become so powerful today that they can easily influence people positively and/or negatively.
Consumers nowadays have a variety of media outlets compared to a few decades ago. We also live in a society that depends on the media as a source of entertainment and information. The advent of the Internet and services provided through it has enabled many of us to gain access to instant and a variety of news and entertainment. Indeed, the media affect both individuals and society which includes women, men, teenagers, and younger children. While the internet has been hailed as the most important advances humankind has made in the 20th century, it is nevertheless open to abuse and exploitation that presents a danger to humans. In a positive way, media makes our lifestyle easier, for example, we can get to know what is going on out there, locally or globally, within a short space of time.
Today, our life will remain incomplete without media. However, although most of us get our news through the media as many of us have little time to read books or journals, the news presented to us can be biassed and one-sided. During the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the United States and its allies, casualty figures of their military personnel were highlighted and hardly any news on the figures for Iraqi civilians and its military personnel. News reported on websites appears more reliable and transparent though one has to be careful about the accuracy of the facts reported.
In many Asian nations, there are limits to press freedom. Although the media is allowed to present news and its views as well as perspectives, it is barred from providing news that can potentially create unrest and violence. It has the power of influencing the viewer’s thinking and making them think of things or situations which might not even be true. The government has instituted the Official Secrets Act and Internal security act that allows it to detain anybody including those working in the media for inciting racial or religious violence. Media is known to be the most powerful means of communication. However, there is still a degree of freedom in these countries’ press compared to other more conservative countries.
The media is not only an important source of news and opinions but also entertainment. Most young people usually turn on the television for movies, MTV and other entertainment programs. In conclusion, the use of media can be both positive and negative to the individual or society.
Thus, the media plays an important role in our lives as we cannot envisage a life without the daily reporting of national, regional and international news. It would be like returning to the Stone Ages. However, consumers must ensure the news reported in the media is accurate and not one-sided by looking at its contents critically and voicing their views on certain issues. It plays a very important role in shaping the traits of people.