Research Question: How influential is the media today? Given this level of influence, how important do you consider regulation? Choose a specific media in your answer (online media, TV, print, etc. ). With the twenty first century technological boom-giving rise to web 2. 0, ordinary citizens can become journalists and publish posts, podcasts blogs or tweets from handheld media devices.
The percentage of technological literacy in citizens is on the rise and due to massive globalization and free trade agreements we basically live in world where anything broadcast has the chance to gain huge publicity creating an echo of influence on the mass population. In this research paper we will explore how the different instruments of media that we are exposed to every day shape our thinking, influence our behaviors and consciously or unconsciously make a significant impact on developing our social identity.
The research method used to obtain information was solely based on peer-reviewed journals, articles and communication theory literature review. Thesis Statement – The media today is an immensely influential force that acts to directly influence and shape the perception of receivers of the information broadcast. Out of the traditional media choices, the media instrument that promises the most reach is television and among the new media platforms like web, mobile, satellite etc. mobile-based web media is a media choice that can virtually be accessed from anywhere and at anytime making Mobile media the best media choice to analyze. Due to the massive influence of mobile media it is extremely important to regulate its ethical standards and what content is published in terms of being in accordance to the law.
Now this statement could be talked about from a broader perspective involving the other many paradigms of today’s media influence such as with deception, disinformation, deliberate spin offs and manipulation of the human consciousness, or media’s influence on a cultural or religious group or regarding a specific problem such as violence portrayed by the media, influence of media on body image or promotion of harmful or useless products, but our goal is to understand the media and why its influential and to what scale it can be under regulation from an ethical and lawful standpoint.
Following the major evolution of technology over the last decades now means all citizens can be publishers and are subject to media laws. Given the high reach and virtually unlimited frequency of the Internet, the source of all media sharing and broadcasting, content can streamed and opinions influenced within minutes of publishing material.
An example of this can be seen with the United States presidential election, where presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have spent millions of dollars on advertisements with the sole purpose of defaming the opposing party leaders and the effects on polls can be seen within days. All forms of media are the primary source of information about the world we live in, the policies that govern the nation, emergency warnings, discoveries, scientific advancement and social entertainment to all the citizens of a variety of nations.
Therefore the influence of mobile-based web media and its global scale of reach are enormous due to its abundant availability and necessity to the public. Advertisements that are the major source of information we are exposed to daily, forms the basis of our deepest desires and wants, that help shape our social identity. “There is a rich body of literature documenting the reasons people select and use media channels, genre, and content in order to capture attention and consolidate the message they are sending.
Michael D Slater in his article elaborates on the influence of mediated communication on socialization and, more speculatively, on development and maintenance of political, religious, and lifestyle subcultures in contemporary societies “(Slater, 2007). It is easy and profitable to control and regulate media owned by large cooperation’s and in this way manipulate and censor information that is deemed too sensitive for public. Censorship does not only apply to government or corporate interests, but censorship can take place in distinct cultural groups based on beliefs.
In China, the Internet has been subject to numerous debates and has been banned due to the country’s safety and censorship laws. Based the level of reach of mobile media, a simple morning post can become a defamation suit or employer or workplace defamation. We need laws that adapt to ever-changing media environment. The question, how influential is the media today? And to answer it in a broader scope will need to include, the many negative effects of advertising. This is, because nearly all information on the web and other forms of media is a form of adverting.
Advertising includes, email advertising, affiliate marketing, product listing, blog or article advertising, placement adverting or video marketing. So YouTube, Instagram, snap chat and even Facebook are all mediums that promote exchange of communication and provide a tremendous influence on everyday perception. The media, especially mobile media influences our social tastes, our likes and dislikes based on what news and popular opinion is being followed. The way the media influence works is the larger number and more provocative context of news articles the more publicity and coverage it deserves.
Each and every celebrity or product that we aspire to be like or want has been due to the positive or negative publicity he/she/it generated. Mobile media or web based mobile services are available anywhere and are economical. Most information that we are exposed to is the mass advertising of products and services. As stated in Kitis’ journal ‘Ads- Part of our lives’ (2012), ‘Ads affect us all in different ways. ’ (pg. 305). Advertising is reached to us at least one thousand times or more a day, whether we think about it or not. Mobile advertisement is now a huge part of our lives, especially being young adults.
With technology on the rise, and every young adult owning and using a mobile phone, companies are taking advantage of the ever-growing trends and apps. Research from Smart Insight shows the average adult in Australia uses their mobile devices 2. 8 hours a day. With this growing from 0. 3 hours a day in 2008, it is obvious mobile usage is massively growing, and continues to grow. With the media’s influence reaching everyone who is part of the digital world, media laws that exist today are part of the press systems categorized by Fredrick Siebert et al. s four theories of the press (1963) which include the Authoritarian, libertarian, soviet communism and social responsibility, all principals that don’t consider the new media world.
The principals like freedom of the press and free speech and expression are notions have only gained importance in the last one and half decades parallel with the emergence of the media environment. The media laws in Australia have been subject to significant change and reform, one major reform being proposed is to media ownership laws, which are under analysis and will be updated in 2016.
Major reforms to the regulation of media corporations and the ethical and legal practices journalists have been proposed after recent inquiries into media regulation in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. This comes as an aftermath of public dissatisfaction and subsequent political pressure due to an invocation of unethical breaches of the citizen’s privacy over a period of years in England, reaching the peak of climax in the News of the World scandal all of which had a ripple effect in Australia (Polden & Pearson, 2015).
In December 2010 the minister of communications Stephen Conroy announced the Convergence Review after stating, “ the government recognizes the regulatory measures designed in the 1980’s may not be the most appropriate for the twenty first century”. The review recommended that all other ownership and control rules should be abolished and that the licensing of broadcasting services should be ended (Robertson, 2013, p3).
With the influence of mobile based media technologies on the rise and media laws based on pre digital era when newspaper and press companies acted as spokespersons for the government and the citizen’s of some nations were led to believe that their model of news adapts to the interests of the larger society in general and the media’s purpose as a news communicator is to support the government and their agenda to promote peace, solidarity and prosperity rather than to question the existing social political and economic structures that were already in place (Dutt, 2010).
The lawmakers must keep in mind the new media environment and the detailed implications for any new reforms that affect all citizen journalists. Media needs to be regulated in a manner that does not over regulate the media law or violate the principals of right to free speech and expression.