In the last 50 years, media influence has grown exponentially with time. First there was the telegraph, then the radio, the newspaper, magazines, television and now the internet. The media boom has also brought a revolutionary change in the morals and ethics of society. But a moral change in a society can sometimes prove itself to be an insincere change fraught with social evils.The media has a huge impact on society and also on public opinion. They can shape the public opinion in different ways depending on what is the objective. This means that they can portray an ordinary thing so negatively that it may force people to think or act in quite the opposite way. Here are some impacts of media on our society.
Media and society:
The electronic media direct social change and values. The electronic media may be successful in stimulating the change in the tightly held ideas and rigid attitudes to bring desired change. The media can give direction to social change, and positively guide the society towards the desired goals.
The Electronic Media and Policy Dialogue:
The electronic media can greatly facilitate this exercise and help the people and government to discuss the issues concerning society, to fulfill their desires and achieve their respective objectives. In Pakistan, the people frequently need to be taken into confidence for the initiation of new policies and initiatives. The objective discussion on political and policy issues media can generate support of people for policies of the government.
Social Problems and Media:
The social problems of our society revolve around ignorance, traditionalism and backwardness. The Pakistani society is in transition, social and ethnic issues have become hard, it happens in many societies, but need to be averted in tolerance. It is an established fact that blaming circumstances, whether disorders or external factors, for what is happening for Pakistan is not going to do any good for Pakistan’s survival as a dignified an honorable nation. The electronic media can partly address the challenge of societal transformation.
The Effect of Media on National Issues:
The electronic media has also been highlighting financial irregularities, corrupt practices and inefficiencies of the government functionaries and negative fallouts on the society of the acts of the extremist elements to adopt an appropriate strategy for their eradication. “The media have a measurable effect on public affairs. In the matter of local, national, economic and social issues, they help to create an informed citizenry by clarifying the complex matters of public affairs which exist at the local and national levels. The formation of public opinion towards the civic problems is generated.” As such the media give the public a better understanding of these issues with which it must deal and influence those who have to resolve these issues.
Electronic Media Communication and Information:
Identification of social problems has always been a difficult job as they fall into a grey area and consequently hard to be known. “Advances in communication and information dissemination, such as television, videos, Internet, and CDs, have increased the circulation of ideas, symbols, and images across national and regional borders. People have access to new sources of news, facts, and entertainment. These media help rationalize, redirect, or impede changes that are underway through economic and social development.”
Objectivity and Media:
The objectivity of media is becoming increasingly questionable, the coverage of issues of national interest demand care and restraint. The media in Pakistan is devoid of objectivity, and just telecast such incidents that sometime are not factual.“The very nature of media is subjective and selective, and therefore suppressive. The general electronic media content do cover non-event-centric aspects of life in Pakistan. There is an imbalanced fixation with events, incidents, accidents and statements.” In order to improve their ratings and enhance viewer’s ship, the tool of sensationalism is used. What is important is to think as to what is being done to own sensibilities and social and moral values.
Causing Desperation amongst Nation:
These days no news is good news on Pakistani media. Media has taken away the sense of hope from the masses and has made them over sensitive to their surroundings.
Commercialism and Electronic Media:
In today’s world, there is a cross commercialization of the electronic media. Commercially driven, ultra-powerful media primarily serves their sponsors rather than the public. Pakistani media is following the saying, ‘We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art; we have no obligation to make a positive statement, to make money is our only objective.
Electronic Media and Talk Shows:
Generally the talk shows do not meet basic tests of responsible journalism; fairness, objectivity, balance and differentiation between fact and speculation. Honest discussion must be ruled by reason, not emotion alone. Most anchors try to impose their own perspective, instead of objectivity. “However, unfortunately, this role has moved from delineation to distortion. In essence, distortion is in-built into the very nature of media as it is unable to represent totality of given situation. Therefore, media managers in any ongoing situation in a society should strive to minimize that inherent tendency to distort.”
Polarization of the Society:
In some instances, the electronic media is accessed by a small segment of society; due to vested interests this group projects its identity disproportionately. The media coverage of such groups is likely to create a polarized society.
Negative Projection of the Country:
All events and happenings in Pakistan are not bad. On the contrary sometime nothing positive is discussed in the electronic media. The projection of crimes and anti- social elements all the time is eroding and diminishing the contours of our true identity across the globe.
Pursuance of Foreign Agenda:
. It is believed that some of Pakistani media has reportedly links with shady foreign characters, are being funded by different foreign elements and their anchors are on their pay rolls and thus are furthering their anti- state agendas.
Media and Youth:
Media strongly affects youth culture. The media executives are quick to defend their role in youth violence and bullying while selling millions of dollars in ads focused on youth. TV producers, network executives, motion picture companies and others in the media deny any impact of their programs on the attitudes and actions of youth. Meanwhile they continue to spend millions on special effects and marketing geared to increase appeal to youth markets. While corporations spend millions on market research and advertising to create products and campaigns targeted at a youth demographic. Music labels are increasing the level of violence and sexual content in the music geared towards the youth audience.
conclusively, I must say that it’s the time for our media to recheck the way they portray things to stop promoting chaos and panic ,to behave responsibly, because we are a country where education level is below average, so people adopt things easily and what they are told and what they watch, talking particularly about our anchor person i must say that they are the opinion makers of majority so for them it’s really a time to be honest with their profession, and to come clean because if we want a good nation and a good youth having positive approach, enthusiastic about their carriers and passionate about serving their country we need to promote positive thinking and culture of tolerance, and media particularly news channels is the best way to create this change, because in this country we have more news channels than any other entertainment channels. So people watch what they have. This increases the responsibility of media even more. It’s not too late to for media to make it up to this nation by contributing its efforts in bringing a positive change and by behaving responsibly.