When first the term was coined, it came from the root ‘medium’, which means carrier, which means something through which you reach people. Media has great impact on masses these days. It pretty much includes all such modes like newspapers, magazines, TV , internet, radio and billboards. The purpose of media should have been to educate, inform and entertain people; however it has taken some dysfunctional forms in today’s world and times. Let’s take a look:
- Educate: Show people about things which they may be unaware of and which help them learn and grow, like cooking, gardening, languages and culture. However, the efforts in this direction are very disappointing because the big corporations as well as the government don’t gain much by educating people, there is no money or immediate returns in it. Hence they do not pay too much attention to this objective. It is imperative that this is taken seriously and given its due importance. The government can actually start educational channels for areas where schools and colleges are difficult to start and run.
- Inform: News from all over the world, on any topic, can be shared across a large audience group, fast and effectively, at little cost. Political news, situations in various countries, events, happenings, everything can be informed through media easily. People then take a decision if it impacts and affects them. Informing people can be easily manipulated to suit the agenda of a corporation or political party. There have been umpteen cases in history where a company bought over a media house and then ran informational programmed that suited its own commercial gains. Public announcements were actually intended to misguide people into believing what the political party wanted them to believe. And just because it is very easy to believe what is being said on the big screen to a huge majority, they were even able to achieve this end and influence people negatively!
- Entertain: There is a lot happening in this area. There are films, TV shows, music and many other things that get covered under this objective, which also makes it tricky because it needs to be highly responsible and aware of the potential impact it can have. TV shows that show regressive messages of exploiting women, caste system, racial discrimination or violence can actually have a huge impact on the minds of gullible people watching it. There needs to be a high level of awareness and accountability on the parts of people who are making and running these shows or films.
I feel that media can be good or bad. If used well and effectively, it can surely change the direction of a community and a country, creating greater happiness and opportunities around. Do share your views on what you think in the comments section below..