Impact of Mainstream Media on Perception of Events Term Paper

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The media has a pivotal part to play in giving the public information on what occurs worldwide, especially in areas wherein audiences lack direct experience or knowledge. In this paper, the effect of media on the formation of public attitudes and beliefs and its association with social change will be examined. The paper will draw on diverse empirical research findings and assess media coverage influence in areas like disability, economic growth and climate change. These findings will offer insights into how media shapes public discourse as regards establishing agendas and making the masses concentrate on specific topics. With regard to the issue of disability, for instance, a link has been established between hardened attitudes towards the disabled and negative coverage by media channels of those availing themselves of disability benefit. Additionally, it has been discovered that media channels severely restrict information for audiences to understand such issues, with alternative resolutions of political issues conveniently removed from the public discussion platform. Other evidence has also emerged on how media coverage may limit the understanding of social change - related possibilities. In a research on climate change - related news reporting, media construction of uncertainties surrounding the subject has been addressed, besides how this results in disengagement relative to potential personal behavioral modification. Lastly, the paper will address policy and communications - related implications and how new as well as conventional media vehicles contribute to more informed public discussion development.


Media channels, including the TV, internet and the press, contribute significantly to informing the masses of things going on across the globe. People belonging to areas lacking direct experience or knowledge rely particularly on media vehicles for information. Mainstream media forms the key to agenda establishment and making the masses concentrate on specific issues, limiting the scope of perspectives and arguments informing public discussion.

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This digital media age has revealed that our world comprises of a corpus of disjointed, circulating, typically conflicting information. Mass media vehicles have traditionally allowed effective information flow between the diverse societal groups, systematically editing and interpreting the body of information and making sense of this world for people. Specific areas of knowledge given precedence over others, being effectively accorded the privilege of being correct, reliable and trustworthy. With regard to shaping content, it may be argued that numerous privileged entities (e.g., lobbyists, public relations sector, political and social institutions, etc.) play a part in producing media accounts. These diverse entities intersect and influence problems open to debate. However, the outcome may seriously restrict audiences’ information access. After all, the media has the potential to effectively remove certain subjects from the public discussion. Hence, media content analysis – what information is divulged and what isn’t – is a matter of great concern (Happer & Philo, 2013).

Content analysis

This research approach is founded on the theory that all controversial areas are characterized by conflicting means of giving explanations for occurrences and their associated history. They are linked, typically, with diverse political stands and may be considered ideological when they are related to legitimating means of understanding their connection with social interests. Thus, ideology (an interest - related outlook) and groups’ legitimacy struggle are closely related. While news, at times, seems like a chaotic debate and information flow, it is supported by major assumptions concerning societal linkages and how one must understand them. Lying….....

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Briant, E., Philo, G., & Watson, N. (2011). Bad news for disabled people: How the newspapers are reporting disability (Report). Retrieved 4 July 2018 from

Happer, C., & Philo, G. (2013). The role of the media in the construction of public belief and social change. Journal of social and political psychology, 1(1), 321-336.

Philo, G., & Berry, M. (2011). More bad news from Israel. London, United Kingdom: Pluto Press.

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