In the UK we are very fond of the media , in fact , we have have media that often influence high profile decisions as well as of course the famed BBC which is a national institution in its own right. However increasingly discontent within society is growing about how the media reports on news and just how important the news is to everyday life. In this article we will examine the role media plays in our lives and why we are all so entangled in it.
The News has been something of a household tradition for the majority of households around Britain with many sitting down in the evening and tuning in to see what it happening in the world around them. Whilst this was a new and exciting technology in the 1950s increasingly people are so connected to the world with social media they know about news before it breaks on news channels.
Furthermore news channels are reporting more heavily on political and social issues which has caused some controversy to an extent. For example the BBC news reporting of the Independence referendum was divisive. Those on the pro independence side argued that the reporting was biased and that there were few reports highlighting the potential benefits of an Independent Scotland. This issue has also spilled into political issues in the present day. most recently the media circus surrounding Brexit has caused a lot of political discourse , fuelled economic uncertainty and also frayed tempers between both sides.
Social media is a much newer development within the media world which is still changing day by day. Social media in its most basic form originated around the start of the millennium. Its development has been rapid since its inception and now social media companies such as Facebook have over 3 billion users which is almost half the globes population. There are both positive and negatives effects that social media has had but most recently increasing numbers of people have been talking about the negative effects that social media has been having on people.
Some of the negative effects that social media has had is that it can lead to misinformation or discourse online. A good example of this was the 2011 London riots. Over the course of the riots social media was used a lot by younger people to organise riots , encourage looting and glamorise violence against the police as well as others. However on the other hand social media has also been used widely for positive change. For example it has helped raise awareness surrounding climate change as well as promoting mental health campaigns and charities to wider audiences.
To conclude there is much that can be drawn from the media as a whole. What is clear is that media serves a number of different functions and can be a very powerful tool to spread change. However in the current political and social climate we are in we need to be more conscious of what the media is doing to ensure that people can prevent misinformation and encourage citizen journalism rather than having thoughts fed to them.