How Accurate Is It To Say That The Media Reflects Reality

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In such an era that information technology develops rapidly, media platforms have become the tools of mass communication and main data sources used by all to study about the society. There are many types of media such as Print Media, Broadcast Media, New Media and more. Media ought to be an independent body which give a function in reflect the reality, provide people to browse through the internet to know the latest news around the world effectively. However, the media gradually influence, which lose the fundamental reason which it serves. It also caused media bias and political spin. Notably, the behavior and beliefs of people in mass can be persuasive and consistent with the goals of some people or organizations (P.Fan, 1990). The strong interaction between public opinion and mass media with the invention of the internet. Hence, the influence on public opinion has increased. Thus, in this essay, we will examine how accurate to say that media reflects reality in the modern state under the influence of bias in media.

In general, television and mobile phone have become the essential tools to know the information and news. However, it is already a incontrovertible fact that the identical events are interpreted and shown differently in several countries. The authority will be altered to satisfy the viewer’s needs before the news shown on any platforms. Thus, it is possible to mention that a process of media bias and political bias exists. Parenti also defines mass media as “weapon” which may be wont to protect or against viewers (Parenti, 1986). Parenti persuaded that mass media is misleading belief and shifts it within the necessary reaction (Parenti, 1986). This also affect the accuracy of the media reflect the truth as different country only interpret and shows the news that benefits them. Mass media should be the tools which reflect the reality, but obviously, there are many components affecting the way of reflecting information and the rate of influence of certain factors by the alternation of data. From the author of “Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky”, It says that mass media along with educational system” weeds out people that are independent, and who think for themselves and do not understand how to be submissive because they are dysfunctional to the institutions” (Rotella, 2001). While working for mass media, people cannot use their brains because they must be submissive instead of independent. On the one hand, people often say that the media their preferred reflect the reality. They see the media as biased in their country or abroad. Some people only read the news which is reliable with their preferences instead of the reality. Some conscientious consumers are interest in discovering the truth. The truth restricts media bias. These two components were required to restrict media bias in a very competitive setting. The outcomes reveal the other. They discovered that media bias might increase when the conscientious consumers increase (Xiang & Sarvary, 2007, p. 611) .However, conscientious consumers who might able to recuperate more data from different news sources the more the outlets are biased will not get hurt by the increase of media bias (Xiang & Sarvary, 2007, p. 611) .As we will say that, the effect of media bias on the accuracy depends on how the reader process the data presented by media.

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In this modern state, many political factors apply a bad influence on mass media. Money and interest become a source of power that encompasses a significant impact on mass media and also affect the accuracy of media. Mass media usually influenced by a number of the companies and businesses which may gain profits to draw in an outsized audience. Mass media is serving the interests of political and company leaders, instead of the interests of average people, whom it should have served indeed (Parenti, 1986). Political spin is one in all the tools to manage or influence communication to deliver a preferred message in politics. Spin could be a deprecatory term often employed in the context of political communicators. It refers to a particular message which is heavily biased in one’s position, which employs maximum administration of media aiming to maintain or exert control over the situation, often implying dishonesty or control. For example, Mike McCurry, who was press secretary to US President Bill Clinton and has referred to as a “spinmeister extraordinaire “for his ability to keep up appeal and wit while occasionally misleading journalists, intimidating and also courting reporters and manage a series of destructive events (Braun, 2016). However, we cannot say that political spin is totally exerting corrupt influence on media. Mass media is a good platform for public to understand the world easily. The messages presented through mass media can even encourage and produce public attention to the problem which are diverse such as the global climate change round the world. It can also be used as a platform to strengthen people’s awareness of crisis and security. Many social scientists believe that by using the facility of the internet, they might create significant operational space for themselves and use it to highlight the problems that will otherwise go unnoticed (Morozov, 2018).

In media studies, the reader should learn the way to know better the ways which media add up of our world, to people and place. Through the study of semiotics and critical discourse analysis, it can empower them to make their analyses of the media rather than accept how others interpret media. Semiotic as one of the most powerful and influential ways of thinking about media. Semiotics also help us to understand the world of sign and symbols deeply. Semiotics took place in the field of media such as newspaper, advertisement and more to know the way author produces a media content and audience interpretation toward the context. Some authors use media text rather than media content, this is because media text often understood during a variety way (Arackal, 2015).Semiotic reveals on the hidden or underlying meanings on the field of media which apply semiotic on it. For example, the Superman in a comic book represents “American” hero who stands for “justice”, “American style”, “truth” and dedicated to saving humanity from itself (Arackal, 2015) .Media representation often attracts contemporary audiences through the outfit. Semiotics is a study on the ways mass media create or recycle signs for their purpose. According to Norman Fairclough, Critical discourse analysis consists of two main structures which is internal relations and external relations. Internal relations are the way of using the vocabulary and grammar in a text. These are classified under the categories of action, identification and representation (Thomson, 2019). Fairclough states that “ the analysis of text focusing on the interaction of action, representation and identification, bringing social perspective into the center and fine detail of text (Thomson, 2019) .External relations, on the other hand, which include the author social influence and personal beliefs. Readers can also unlock the ideologies and restore the social meanings expressed in discourse (Thomson, 2019).

In conclusion, the accuracy of media depends on how the reader analyses the information presented by media. Media bias and political spin that occur do affect the accuracy of media, but readers can easily analyses in their own way through the study of semiotics and critical discourse analysis. The reflection of reality, with none bias, interpretations, adaptations and other means of misleading the people are the most purpose of mass media, and should not affect the accuracy of the media in reflecting the reality. There is no clear-cut answer but is, in the words of Stuart Hall,” “it must be explanatory-not a debate between the answer “right” and “wrong”, but between equally reasonable, despite it is sometimes competing and arguing, meaning and interpretation”. Media analysis techniques become a way to motivate readers to better understand the different perspective on reality circulating in our society.

References List

  1. Arackal, F., 2015. Semiotics and Media Content. [Online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/300484241_Semiotics_and_Media_Content[Accessed 18 February 2020].
  2. Braun, S., 2016. Political spin. [Online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/political-spin[Accessed 14 February 2020].
  3. GeoMeans , 2015. Do our Media reflect Reality accurately?. [Online] Available at: https://geomeans.com/do-our-media-reflect-reality-accurately/[Accessed 28 January 2020].
  4. Leetaru, K., 2017. Does Social Media Actually Reflect Reality?. [Online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2016/02/16/does-social-media-actually-reflect-reality/#34ad4bc04e43[Accessed 28 January 2020].
  5. Morozov, E., 2018. Using Spin To Control Social Media. [Online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/2009/11/09/social-media-politics-leadership-power-09-morozov.html#4aa841d24df9[Accessed 14 February 2020].
  6. Parenti, M., 1986. Inventing Reality:The politics of the Mass Media. [Online] Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2151380?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents[Accessed 14 February 2020].
  7. P.Fan, D., 1990. Predictions of Public Opinion from the Mass Media: Computer Analysis and Mathematical Modelling. Greenwood Press. [Online] Available at: https://academic.oup.com/poq/article-abstract/54/1/144/1901801?redirectedFrom=PDF[Accessed 9 February 2020].
  8. Rotella, M., 2001. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky. [Online] Available at: https://search.proquest.com/docview/197061199/fulltextPDF/D3A7A24001E147C4PQ/1?accountid=14693[Accessed 14 February 2020].
  9. Thomson, S., 2019. Differing Opinions: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Two Articles. [Online] Available at: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-artslaw/cels/essays/writtendiscourse/DifferingOpinionsSThompson.pdf[Accessed 18 February 2020].
  10. Xiang, Y. & Sarvary, M., 2007. News Consumption and Media Bias. [Online] Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40057083?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents[Accessed 28 January 2020].

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