The term media is derived from Medium, which means carrier or mode. Media denotes an item specifically designed to reach a large audience or viewers. The term was first used with the advent of newspapers and magazines. However, with the passage of time, the term broadened by the inventions of radio, TV, cinemas and Internet.
In the world of today, media has become almost as necessary as food and clothing. It is true that media is playing an outstanding role in strengthening the society. Its duty is to inform, educate and entertain the people. It helps us to know current situation around the world. The media has a strong social and cultural impact upon society. Because of its inherent ability to reach large number of public, it is widely used to convey message to build public opinion and awareness.
Mass media can be used for various purposes:
The original idea behind the creation of various ‘media means’ was to entertain masses. Radio, TV, cinemas and magazines spend most of their resources targeting on entertaining items and programs. Because of the growing population and developing lifestyle, the demand for more entertainment is increasing. Every year billion of dollars is traded in entertainment industry.
News & Current Affairs:
One of major duties of media today is to inform the people about the latest happening around them and the world. They cover all aspects of our interest like weather, politics, war, health, finance, science, fashion, music, etc. The need for more and more news has evolved into creation of dedicated TV & radio channels and magazines. People can listen, watch and read latest news whenever and wherever they want.
Media is the overseer of the political system. If it plays its role honestly, it will be a great force in building the nation. It plays a great role in bringing common man close to their leaders. The media focuses in bringing details of all major political situations, decisions and scenarios. Hence people can better understand their rights and make better decisions.
Because of the power of media is so extensive and huge, it can be used to educate people with very little cost. Imagine a classroom in every city with thousands of students being taught by just one teacher. But unfortunately, because of money-making approach of media and lack of interest by government, very less work is done in spreading the education.
Various authorities and agencies utilize the power of media to spread informative messages to public. This may include warning against a storm or epidemic, delay in arrival or departure of flights and trains, etc. In some cases, it is legally binding to publish notices in newspaper like tenders, change of property ownership, etc.
Almost all business concerns uses the power of media to sell their products. They advertise in media for the enhancement of business purposes. Huge amounts of money are invested in media for marketing of a product. The more attractive the advertisement, the more people will follow it.
Even though there are lot of plus points for use of media but there are also many disadvantages associated with it. Media has the bad effect of inducing baseless ideas through advertisements. People are forced to buy harmful or substandard products. Sometimes, the Media develops unnecessary sensation and distortion of truth to attract attention. Because of its power to build public opinion, the influence of media can make or break the government.
The media has the power of educating people, the good and the bad. Since it affect the eyes, the ears and the mind simultaneously nothing can overcome the influence of the media. The media in the advanced society should perform a noble mission of enlightening people and discourage sectarian, communal and divisive trends.