Importance of Studying Media

Essay by talov2University, Bachelor'sA, October 2014

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The Importance of Studying Media

Media saturates today's society. Consequently, to be a functioning member of today's society it is necessary to use and consume various media products daily. In fact, media is so deeply ingrained in daily life that it is easy for people to overlook the extent of their usage, taking the media's ever-presence for granted. (Murdock and Golding 2005)Using a mobile phone to check the weather, traffic, the daily headlines or social networking become habits - instinctive, even. Media has become as present in our daily life as food. For this reason it is necessary to understand the media we are consuming in the same way that we want information on the food we eat; was the preparation location clean? Was the person who prepared it qualified? Does it contain anything detrimental to my health? These are all questions we ask ourselves (albeit subconsciously) when making choices regarding our food consumption.

Questions like these also need to be asked in regards to the media we consume. It is important to understand the media we consume not just so we can tailor our consumption to our own needs, but also so we can promote democracy and monitor problems like propaganda, corruption and ownership. (Linde 2010)

As suggested by Drs Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw the media set the agenda for what we think about, this is undeniable as evidence is everywhere in daily life amongst 'water cooler conversation'. (Buckingham 2003) Similarly, (despite the extent and nature of media influence on our opinions is debated amongst scholars and the public) it is unquestionable that mass media, particularly television, has an extremely significant impact on the way we understand, view, interpret and act in our world (Gitlin 1990). The difference between...