JAC Board Class 7 Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 6 Understanding Media
→ Media can be anything and everything ranging from the stall at the local fair to the program that we see on TV.
- Media is the plural form of Medium. There are different ways through which we communicate with people and society. It is a means of communication.
- Television, radio and newspapers are a form of media that reaches millions of people or the masses all over the country and the world thus, they are called mass media.
→ Media and Technology:
- The technology that mass media uses keeps changing from time to time. Television and the use of the Internet is a very recent phenomenon as these have come into existence for less than twenty years.
- Due to certain use of technologies, newspapers, television and radio can reach millions of people.
- Newspapers and magazines are the part of the print media and Television and radio are the part of the electronic media.
- Technology are making us more modem. Changing technology, or machines helps media to reach more people. It not only improves the quality of sound and the images that you see. But also changes the ways in which we think about our lives.
- Television has enabled us to think as members of a larger global world. Television images travel huge distances through satellites and cables and allows us to view news and entertainment channels from other parts of the world.
- Television, cell phones, internet has brought the world closer to us.
→ Media and Money:
- The various technologies which mass media uses are very expensive. In a news studio, it is not only the newsreader who needs to be paid but also a number of other people who help to put the broadcast together, this includes those who look after the cameras and lights etc.
- Most of the television channels and newspapers are part of big business houses.
- To meet the expenses, they do number of things. One of them is advertising. The mass media earns money by advertising different things such as cars, chocolates, clothes, mobile phones, etc.
- Advertisements are repeated in the hope that you will go out and buy what is advertised. It is the way of convincing the common people.
→ Media and Democracy:
- The media plays an important role in providing news and discussing events taking place in the country and the world in democracy.
- The ways in which they can take action on the basis of news is by writing letters to the concerned minister, organising a public protest, starting a signature campaign, asking the government to rethink its programme etc.
- It is important that the information should be balanced as the media has been given the role in providing information.
- A balanced report is one that discusses all points of view of a particular story and then leaves it to the readers to make up their minds.
- A balanced report write ups depends on the media being independent. An independent media means that no one should control and influence its coverage of news. No one should tell the media what to write or what not to write.
- In a democracy, an independent media is very important.
- In reality, the media is far from independent. Reasons are there for it.
- The control that the government has on the media is the first reason. When the government bans or cut either a news item or scenes from a movie or the lyrics of a song from being shared with the larger public this is known as censorship. There have been periods in Indian history when the government censored the media. Between 1975-1977, the worst of these was the Emergency period.
- The second reason is that despite the absence of censorship by the government, most of the newspapers nowadays fail to provide a balanced story because the business houses control the media. At times, it is in the interest of these businesses to focus on only one side of the story. Since, media needs money to run, hence it links to advertising means that it becomes difficult for media to be reporting against people who give them advertisements.
- Apart from these factors, to make the news story more interesting they show only one side of the story and to increase the public support.
→ Setting Agendas:
- The media also plays an important role in deciding what stories to focus and emphasize on and decides on what is newsworthy.
- By emphasizing and focusing on particular issues, the media influences our thoughts, feelings and actions, and brings those issues to our attention. Due to this significant influence, it plays in our lives and in shaping our thoughts and it is generally said that the media ‘sets the agenda’.
- The media positively help us to focus on an issue that affects our lives and one that we might not even have been aware of it, had it not been for media reporting.
- Though there are several occasions when the media fails to focus on issues that are very much significant in our lives.
- Since it is a democratic country, the media has a very important role to play in our lives because it is through the media that we hear about issues related to the working of the government. The media decides what to focus on and in this way it ‘sets the agenda’.
- This is important for us to be aware that the ‘factual information’ that a news report provides is often incomplete and can be one-sided. Therefore, we need to analyse the news before coming into conclusion of the issue or news.