How does manipulation of language in the media (print, online, television, etc.) affect the way people behave?
Instruments of mass media play a very significant role in the lives of people; they get us information we have no means of acquiring otherwise. Through the use of print and electronic media, one can quite literally get in touch with the entire world. Marshall McLuhan, a well known entity in the world of media theory, termed media as the "the medium is the message" (mediatalk.guardian.co.uk). Language and the use of language is an integral part of the entire media network, be it a newspaper or the television.
McLuhan go ones to state that the media is Hot and Cold depending on how passive and active the audience is to constructing the message i.e. this basically points to the fact that audio and visual media are HOT because the audience has to gauge meaning on its own in contrast to COLD media such as the print media where the reader is automatically told exactly what the message is (Marshal McLuhan: Medium is the Message, Gingko Press Inc; 2001) Similarly, Denis McQuail's (2000) Uses and Gratification Model, which emphasizes how different people use the media in different ways in order to obtain different sorts of pleasure or fulfill different sought of need (Haralambos; 2000:964 ).
McQuail talks about a person's reception and perception of different media messages.
Specifically, when we talk about language we need to also focus on perception and perspective. The use of words or manipulation of the same can affect a person's perception of an event or an individual. There are two ways for one to get affected by language; one through emotional exploitation and the other by affecting a person's rationality or reasoning.
A very good example of...