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The power of media is unquestionable. Whether the medium is print, audio, visual, or digital, the impact of media is profound and far – reaching. Media’s affect may be positive or negative, but it is seldom neutral. At its best, media serves to inform, communicate and entertain. At its worst, it skews perceptions of reality and manipulates emotions. It creates artificial needs through advertising that drive consumerism and result in the depletion of global resources.
As media critic George Gerbner states, “For the first time in human history, most of the stories about people, life and values are told not by parents, schools, or others in the community who have something to tell, but by distant conglomerates that have something to sell.” (The 1998 Screen Actors Guild Report: Casting the American Scene, 1998, p.2.) Analyzing and evaluating who owns and controls media enables us to critically reflect and think about the content and purpose of the stories told by mass media.
Related issues and topics include:
  • Concentration of ownership and convergence;
  • Power and profit;
  • Propaganda, social engineering;
  • Bias in media;
  • Critical analysis of media;
  • Selection and omission of news items;
  • Marketing and advertising strategies;
  • Freedom of the press: regulation, ethics, legislation, and censorship;
  • Public control and citizen journalism;
  • Alternative media and social justice;
  • Stereotypes;
  • Psychological influence (objectification, sexualisation, body image, fear);
  • Violence;
  • Rise of infotainment;
  • Power and influence of advertising (pervasiveness, embedded messages, product placement);
  • Popular culture and social mores;
  • Culture of consumerism and environmental consequences

(Information from Manitoba Education, Grade 12: Global Issues)