Media is the heart of expression. The world, today, cannot function without media. It has diverged into many forms: Advertising media, Electronic media, Digital media, Print media, Broadcast media, News media, etc.
It is the fourth pillar of our democracy, and has a huge impact on the society. Its effects are of course, positive as well as negative
Following are the various pros of media in our society::
Information on the latest happenings reaches people in a matter of minutes. The vision of media reaches the most remote corners of the country and makes sure that everyone is aware of what is going on in the country. The easy, constant availability of information makes media one of the most reliable sources for forming public opinion. It bridges the gap between the leaders and the masses by becoming their channel of communication. Media gives local people the power to reach out to the society.
Media has played a big role in the advertising field. Companies rely completely on media for product promotion and popularization. It gives a voice to the minorities when there is any problem being faced.
Media has also kept a constant watch on the progress of the economy, security, and the entertainment sectors of the country. It acts as a leash on corrupt practices and keeps a check on the working of the government. Media has significantly promoted social causes like literacy, health management, anti-dowry practices, discouraging female feticide, AIDS awareness, etc.
On the other hand, media has also affected our society in certain undesirable ways:
Media can adversely affect the thinking capability of individuals and instil negative or destructive thinking patterns in the society as a whole. As already said before, media has the power to form and alter opinions. This means media can portray an ordinary thing in such a negative manner that it may force people to think or act in quite the opposite way. Media glorifies violence and contains graphic descriptions or images. Movies that depict characters who portray an immoral lifestyle which includes drugs, sexual abuse, homicide, and so on, which definitely entertain people, but at the same time, encourages them to act in a way that promises adventure and thrill in life.
When viewed by the impressionable portion of society, i.e., the children, it can have grave effects on their upbringing and thinking patterns.
Movies that depict filthy rich thieves who don’t bat an eyelid before killing someone or extorting someone and the getting away with it, may entertain people but potrays something that it socially extremely undesirable.
Taking real incidents into consideration, news channels did play a helpful role in the Jessica Lal case, a few years ago. However, when the buzz was around about the mystery involved in the Aarushi Talwar case, the media took its own decisions and created many false reports about suspects, which dearly affected the ones involved.
Having analysed these various effects of media on society, there is clearly a need for setting some limits within which it should work. Media’s benefits have surely helped our society overall, and with proper control over this sector, people can be informed about actual facts, thus making it a boon rather than a bane.