The 4th estate or as the media houses often like to refer to themselves in the third person, acts as a cornerstone, to most democracies around the world. The ability to get relevant news before others could well make all the difference between success and failure. In general, news organizations enjoy the unrivaled power to the point that they can derail local governments by publishing a negative story about the government of the day. And today we are more dependent on news organizations to provide us with a minute to minute updates on important events that happen all over the world. That’s why news organizations often vie with each other to be the first to publish the news.
Positive impact of media:
- Minute to minute updates: most of us are attuned to various media channels for we need to know what taking place all over the world. And these various media channels help to do just that be it from the midst of battlefield or reporting from 1000 feet below sea level, they make sure that we get the news we are looking for well ahead of others. Of course, the news in question may also include a personal angle but that just makes the news item all the more interesting to read. But it is thanks to these media houses that we have access to the latest information on all topics and can take the relevant decision.
- Help develop awareness: Media organizations with their in-depth coverage of various events can help develop our awareness of events that take place around us. It would help us to hone our abilities and skillset as we develop our awareness. With media channels now saturating social media sites with minute by minute updates, we can now get news being reported on events as they take place.
- Social skills: As most media channels blast out their daily news, we often find it hard to stay immune to the same. We have to react to the same and depending on the news item in question we start interacting more with others, either online or offline and in the process develop key social skills.
Negative impact of media:
- Privacy: Media channels, including news channels in their quest to get the latest news item often tend to give journalistic principles, ethics a miss and fail to respect the privacy of others in the process. More often than not, it is the famous personalities who often had to face the brunt of ceaseless reporting, to having their intimate moments being splashed across the front pages. In fact, the death of Princess Diana can be attributed to the actions of a select few reporters, chasing her car which eventually caused the car to crash.
- Negative body image: It is no coincidence that most of the reporters who work for various media houses tend to be thin, tall, cute or beautiful – in short, these media houses always hire those who fit in with their concept of the perfect body image. If that was not bad enough, few media houses have even taken to editing images so that it resembles the perfect body image. This has resulted in several teens becoming bulimic to fit in with the concept of perfect body, as propagated by these media houses.
- Objectivity: News channels, be it a media house or a local rag are supposed to publish objective news reports. But sadly, such forms of journalism are one for the books since most of the news reports that are published these days are slanted one way or the other. The problem is that news organizations are meant to report in an objective fashion so as to enable others to take an informed decision. But instead with certain parties that can even include governments, most media houses are encouraged to report news with a certain slant, favoring one side or the other. As a result of this biased reporting, these media houses often attempt to influence the public, just before elections
Even a close perusal of the positive and negative effects of media should make it apparently clear that media houses do play a pivotal role In our society especially when it comes to information dissemination. While it is true that there are a few negative effects, the positive far outweighs the lot as far as media goes.