Do you Trust the Media?

Do you trust the media?

means

Do you believe what you read in the newspaper and what you see on TV?

The Role of the Media

The role of the media is an important role.

In modern society, people use the media to get information about what is happening. For this reason the role of the media is very important.

Medium – Media

The newspaper is a medium which is becoming less popular.

The use of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, has in many ways eclipsed the use of traditional media like newspapers and television.

Traditional Media

Traditional media refers to newspapers and television and radio stations.

Traditionally people have used these media to get information about society, politics and the economy and to help them choose which political party to vote for in elections.

Kyoto Cafe
by Junku

Large – Medium – Small

Newspaper is a “medium” and television is a “medium” and they are “media” but the word “medium” has another meaning as well. Look art this conversation in a coffee shop:

– What size coffee would you like?
– Could I have a medium latte with one sugar, please?

Read about shopping and coffee at this link: Shopping and Coffee

Listen to a conversation over a cup of coffee: in the Coffee Shop

Elections

Are there free election in your society?

In a modern democracy there are elections every three or four or five years. The people elect representatives from various political parties and the elected representatives form a government.

elect – verb
election – noun
elections – noun plural
elected – adjective

People get information about government, the economy and society from the media.

Do you trust the media?

It is important to be able to trust people.

Ownership of the Media

The issue of trust and the media is bound up with the issue of ownership of the media.

“To bind” means “to tie” or “to connect” Look at the verb:

bind – bound – bound

If the newspapers, radio stations and television stations are owned by a few people, those people have the power to limit the information which people receive. This could influence the outcome of an election.

The outcome of the election is bound up with the information people get (from the media) about the candidates.

Advertising and the Media

The issue of advertising and the media is also bound up with advertising.

Newspapers and television stations traditionally get their revenue from advertising. That means it is in their interests to tell stories which benefit their advertisers. By the same token it is in their interests to avoid stories which are critical of their advertisers.

If a large electronics factory pollutes the river and a television station reports on the incident, the owner of the factory might withdraw advertising of electronic products from the newspaper and place ads in a different newspaper.

Listen to a conversation about advertising at this link: The Advertising Industry

The Soviet Union and Totalitarianism

During the Soviet period in Russia there was state control of the media.

Is there state control of the media in your country?

If the government controls the media then the people cannot get a fair and balanced view of events.

Corporate Control of the Media

If large corporations control the media then the people cannot get a fair and balanced view of events.

Do large corporations control the media in your society?

If the media are owned by the same people who own banks, oil companies, mining companies, logging companies and weapons manufacturers, is it really possible to have democracy?

Manufactured News

Manufactured news is news which is not really news.

Recently the Courier Mail ( a newspaper in Australia) ran a headline saying:

Most Queenslanders Blame Renewables for Rising Power Costs.

The information for this story came from a poll which was specially commissioned by the Courier Mail.

Nobody can see the questions on the poll.
Nobody can see the poll for themselves.

The story is not really news in the sense that it does not talk about the cause of rising power bills. It does not mention this simple fact:

The energy industry was privatised and prices increased.

The news article is like gossip. The sources are hidden (an exclusive poll) and the content is superficial. It is not really news. It is drivel. It does not contain facts. It contains “he said ..” and “she said ..”

Rhino Eye
at nicklawes

Journalism has sunk to a New Low

The standard of reporting in
many countries has sunk to a very low level. The media does not uncover facts and expose the truth. The media commissions its own surveys and publishes drivel.

“Drivel” is a word for “meaningless information”.

It is just drivel!

Can you see a solution to this problem?

The Courier Mail

The Courier mail is a newspaper.

In Australia people laugh about the Courier Mail because the standard of journalism is very low and people believe the newspaper publishes lies and half-truths.

Despite the disgusting low level that the standard of journalism has sunk to in this paper, it still reports itself as the most popular newspaper. But there is no competition. NewsCorp, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, owns and controls all the newspapers.

Fake News

Did Donald Trump coin the term “fake news”.

Fake news is news which is not true. It is not reported. It is manufactured. That means it is made up to suit a particular political viewpoint.

Questions

Why is freedom of the media important?

What is the situation in your society?

Links to More Lessons

I used to write with a pencil

Advertising is a Powerful Force

Politics is Confusing

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