This paper will discuss and evaluate various examples of effectiveness o that media have on individual and society in the context of privacy.
Media impacts on privacy would be massive were it not for the obscuring effect of some prevailing condition under which the media operate. Whatever the validity of these excuses in principle, the obscuring conditions seem likely to continue. In this connection, there are certain obscuring conditions.
It is not surprising that most people believe that the mass media have powerful effects on the public's thoughts, feelings, and actions even it has also certain impacts on privacy. For one thing, people in developed countries devote three or four hours a day to television and other media. American children, for example, reach age eighteen having spent more time in front of the television set than in front of the teacher in the classroom. From so much exposure one naturally expects sizeable effects.
A second basis for assuming massive media impacts is that in most non-socialist developed countries, hardheaded, hardhearted business people -- who are purported to know if nothing else, the value of a dollar -- spend vast amounts of their company's money on mass media persuasion campaigns. Surely, they and their corporations have good evidence that ads are cost effective? Timing is a third reason for assuming massive effects of television. (Noelle, 391-414) Soon after television spread rapidly after 1950, there was a flamboyant social revolution involving decline of family ties, rising drug abuse, lessening of racial and other demographic discrimination, the sexual revolution, etc.
A fourth, particularly powerful, explanation for pervasive belief in massive media impact is self-interest. One's needs channel belief, and belief in massive media impact is in the interest of all major factions -- the buyers and sellers of...