Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How does mass media affect the public's agenda on issues?

We as a human race are very impressionable, and the media knows this. By giving certain issues more media attention, it inevitably grabs our attention. When a story or issue is covered over and over, society assumes its importance and they start to discuss it themselves. This is one way to induce reform. By informing the general public, especially repetitively; they will start to take notice as well as form their own opinions on the topic. Another way to induce reform is by disclosing shocking information. By riling up the public’s hearts, there can be catastrophic feedback. An instance where media has vastly shaped the public’s opinion was Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. It spiked major reform for the treatment of factory workers as well as factory safety, hygiene and humanity. It was actually read by Teddy Roosevelt himself as he ate his breakfast sausage, and he immediately focused on the reform of this issue. The media essentially organizes our thoughts by projecting information they want us to think about.

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