Mass media and public opinion

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Mass Media and Public Opinion The generalized idea of every individual's personality is "I have my own thoughts." When this statement is examined closer, the question arises of what influences one to believe the things they do? Mass media plays an immense role in the form shaping of people's opinions and views through means of ownership, commercialization and news coverage.

The rich keep getting richer, including corporations. One way they do so is through owning and merging media outlets. Because single monopolies are illegal, five shared monopolies have conquered over fifty percent of the market. This benefits corporations immensely because the focus is only on the products they choose to advertise. It also gives them the key opportunity to define the importance and necessity of their product or idea. They create images and identities so one will evolve a desire to invest in their product. Seven corporations own all of the television networks, and of those, four produce ninety percent of all sitcoms and films.

This exclusive possession of the market distorts social reality and gives misleading perceptions by fluffing the "truth" and never revealing a negative side.

Commercials are a primary focus in advertising. The idea of "selling the American Dream" and "buying is the answer to fulfillment" is what corporations aim for in distributing their goods. The way they go about catching one's attention is through emotional association between the viewer and the product. Reaching the consumer is a task in itself. Sex, happiness and upper class values are often used to do so, which becomes rather repetitive but seems to still work. No one needs ten pairs of jeans or a certain brand of computer. It's the idea of luxury and necessity portrayed in advertisements that effect the decisions of the consumer. Society has acquired the...