Communicating through the media
It is easy to blame the mass media for much of what we consider undesirable in society. If we believe that education standards are declining we blame television for distracting our children from their schoolwork. The mass media are blamed for making people lazy, greedy, violent and sexy. However, claims about the effects of the mass media tend to overemphasize their true impact. This does not mean that the media have no role to play in persuading people, in disseminating information, and bringing about social change. But it does mean that we have carefully to separate myth from reality, fact from fiction. This chapter illustrates the usefulness of the mass media for professional people. We also outline some of the things that need to be taken into account when trying to understand the effects of the mass media.
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