The media has recently become profit oriented with more focus on profit-making news. The news director dilemma shows the current trend in today’s media. The director can either adopt a social responsibility view whereby he lets the public be aware of the intention of the city council to close the city park three days a week or highlight celebrity death. The city parks are places where children play and families spend time together. This quality of family time will be compromised for the sake of money. The celebrity death will fetch more sales but the question is what is the effect of the news to the general public? Most celebrities live crazy lives in alcohol and drugs, crime and financial overindulgence. This culture of over-focusing on their lives affects society especially the young people who will want to emulate them. The media has an ethical role to answer society’s need for truth, provide a forum for open and diverse discussion of public issues and provide honest updates of current events (Bivins, 2009). Important news may not be reported in today’s media while sensational news is often reported. Hunger issues in Somalia may not be reported but hours will be dedicated on Michael Jackson death.
Humanitarian and environment news are substituted for financial gain and entertainment. The media has a huge impact on people’s attitudes and perceptions. Culture speaks of how a certain people live their lives framed by what they believe and perceive to be important. The role of media is to communicate the truth of what is happening in the world. It should communicate the realities on the ground (Mathers, 2010) It should be honest and not biased. It should also communicate the existing culture which is good for true identification with the audience and also to promote a moral culture. There is also the role of media in providing good quality entertainment to reduce boredom.
There are ethical and legal issues in modern media to be considered. One of them is the issue of privacy. For those sites with platforms they have to protect the information of the people. They must have a strong information security system. Secondly the content of information on the site should not be pornographic or violent. The media has a responsibility to control what they communicate. For the people who want to view adult content sites the media is expected to ask if the person is 18yrs and above. It is believed when the person confirms this information the media is no longer liable. It is important that the media complies with these ethical and legal requirements. When sued over privacy or web content issues the fines and legal claims will run in millions. There are several channels of delivery of information. These are newspapers, radio, television, websites and mobile web. There have been changes in media in the last century greatly.
From reading printed media to reading and watching news on the mobile phone (Arrant 1999). The first technology for broadcasting news was the printer with people viewing it as the height of advanced. This was between 1890 and 1920. The next technology was news radio in 1920 providing the listener with more intimacy. People could now read newspapers and hurdled around a radio to listen to news. Color and graphics was added to media with the introduction of magazines. The television soon made its way and news was accompanied by a face and a voice.
Now there is the online transmission of news that connects people everywhere in the world. The internet was introduced in the eighties. With the transmission of news through mobile phones bringing technology has been brought even closer to home. There are several advantages of online media. People spend many hours on the internet such that online media is able to reach more people. The sphere of influence is increased. Consumers prefer digital media to traditional mediums of news. New media is also cheaper as it removes the issue of paperwork. Print and distribution costs are high. In online media more adverts can be put leading to more income. Retrieving past issues of newspapers is also easier electronically.
Consumers prefer buying goods and services over the internet. With digital news one does not have to wait for a specified time. News is constant on the websites (Mathers, 2010). The challenges of online media is that it is highly competitive. There are so many sites offering updated information. There are also the huge costs that go into data security of information and having systems that protect people’s information especially where there are interactive platforms.
Television, movies and video games
Television and movies have a huge impact on culture. Americans tend to perceive themselves in the light of what they see on the television. Their dreams and goals in life are tied with what celebrities or actresses in television have. The many advertisements for products and services have put an insatiable desire in people such that they want to buy what they have seen. This uncontrollable desire has led some people into debt through use of credit cards. The people’s views on matrimony, family and friendships have changed. No programs of Cosby show anymore. Shows with conflict such as divorce, physical and sexual abuse, drug abuse, fraud, adultery are selling much more causing people not to believe in the family unit anymore. The televisions and movies tend to glamorize a certain lifestyle. Media will broadcast news according to what they value. News companies value drama and conflict since they sell a lot. On broadcasting this they focus the audience attention on these two topics constantly affecting the moral values of society. News can affect someone positively and negatively. The media play a big role as media is part of people’s everyday’s lives. News can either focus on negativity or positivity. When focusing on celebrities it serves to enforce or push for the culture and ideas of these social minority group on the entire public (Bertrand, 2010)
When it comes to video games, many arguments have been put across. The first one is that they increase obesity. As much as they are entertaining they increase the people not to exercise. People spend the whole day just playing games contributing to unhealthy lifestyles (Bailey, 2010). The editions released are more and more addictive every year. There is also the issue of opportunity cost. What could the person be doing during that time they are engaged playing video games? The other major issue is that there are violent video games that negatively impact on the young population minds.
There is also the element of lessening the weight of crimes in the minds of the players. When playing a game with brutal murders, the player ceases slowly by slowly considering murder as a very serious crime. The things he does in a visual world may make a person even consider acting them out in the real world. The person stops having a respect for human life. There is also the effect on family time. Valuable time which someone could have spent interacting with friends and loved ones is spent playing video games all day long. In the end it can become an addiction like alcohol that will require self-will, discipline and even counseling to stop. Video games constitute a large industry that rivals movies. Every year there are releases of video games with the companies recording very high record sales.
The concern is that the video games keep getting more graphically brutal. For the player to advance he has to commit mass murder. With the increase in teen shootings and violence there is definitely a connection between the two. In the past few years several video games have been released. The ones that did the best in sales are resident evil, Sims, Diablo II, Wii play, Super Mario, Nintendo DS, wii fit, wii sports, Mario Kart and the world of warcraft (Bailey, 2009)
Arrant, D. (1999). Ethics, Issues and Controversies in Mass Media. St. Paul, MN: Coursewise Publishing
Bailey, E. (2010). Arguments against video games. Retrieved from. http://www.associatedcontent.com.
Bertrand, J. (2010). Influence of the news media on attitudes and perceptions. Retrieved from http://www.suite101.com
Bivins, T. (2008). Approaching ethics in a converged media world. Journal of Mass Media Ethics. 21 (4):174 – 178
Bugeja, M. (2007). Living Ethics: Across Media Platforms. New York: Oxford University Press
Mathers, L. (2010). Impact of digital news on traditional advertising methods. Retrieved From http://ezinearticles.com