THE MEDIA AS AN INSTITUTION
‘….. it will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written words and not remember of themselves. They will appear to be omniscient, and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.’
The media has become the institution that it is today because of the associated commercial concerns. Mass media is financed due to the massive influence both the print and electronic media has on Australia’s society. Whilst Socrates quote from Plato’s Phaedrus, referred to the invention of writing, many hold the same opinion in relation to the mass media today.
Several major changes have occurred in the media industry in the last two decades that have fundamentally altered the way in which the media institution operates. The most major changes of note have been:
a. the growth of the media industry,
b. the advancement of satellite communications,
c. women’s increased role as consumers of mass media, and
d. the growth of the internet.
The media has seen spectacular growth
What influences it has to the good are not usually discussed, although talking to children gives the impression that they are better-informed about the world in which they live than formerly; nor is it usual to consider what indirect effects it may have in setting social norms as to how to behave in relation to others. By conducting interviews over the six month election campaign the study hoped to determine the impact of the mass media in influencing voting intentions. The social institution that seems to have been most profoundly affected by the mass media and more specifically television is the family. The break down of the nuclear family and the establishment of more contemporary family units has been either supported or fought at various stages by the media. The users of these information sites "pay"tm by the presence of advertising. Whilst being a strictly controlled coverage, information and live reports were sent globally. The Daily Mail reported on domestic and foreign news items, political gossip, society, sport and the stock exchange. People were found to be very selective and only paid attention to the material which supported their original views. Techniques of Persuasion, From Propaganda to Brainwashing, Penguin Books. "The Daily Mail"tm was a halfpenny paper of eight pages with advertisements on the front cover and was described as "A Penny Newspaper for One Halfpenny"tm and "The Busy Man"tms Daily Journal"tm. The most obvious reason for the change of the mass media is the rapid advancement of the technology available to distributors of mass media. Magazines such as Dolly and more recently "B"tm accommodate to the reading and lifestyle wishes of younger girls and also create a younger target audience for the media. Twenty years ago homosexuality was a lifestyle that was for the most part shunned. Whilst magazines such as Womens Day have been in print since the early 50"tms accommodating for women"tms role as a mother and housekeeper, the last two decades have seen women become both more career minded and willing to express their ideals and wishes in an open forum.