Are audiences content?

Wherever media goes so do the critics and we are all culprits when it comes to voicing the negative effects media can have. We live in a world almost dependent on digital technology and media but there is no way that any of us are going to admit it…no media is the bad guy and every person is likely believe that media has no effect on them unlike the rest of society.

An article on Revision World explores the history of media effects research giving examples for both sides of the debate which ultimately come down to whether we perceive audiences as active or passive. Being a media student my view is that audiences in todays world are very much active and engage with nearly all forms of media across numerous platforms. However the article points out some interesting concerns about media usage and of course violence is the main given.

Moral panic has often arisen over fears that children who play too many first person shooter games will ultimately end up being violent and angry however it is extremely difficult to even attempt to measure the accuracy of such claims. I do agree that we are very much products of our environment however there are many people who can shoot people for 30 minutes a day on their xbox and never hurt a fly. The panic arises when violent teenagers are found to also play such games and a cause-effect relationship is assumed.

While the media effect debate goes on there is also the concern that audiences are changing due to media and that an anti-social generation is developing. This concern is greater among the older generation who remember what times used to be like and compare how they enjoyed films and television. It is hard for them to understand why teenagers these days are so obsessed with the internet and smart phones but these teenagers and a large majority of university students have been brought up in these media spaces and aren’t aware of the place media used to once have.

I think that for every pro there is usually a con and whether its a particular medium or usage of media that concerns you, you are probably an advocate for another. Media has changed audiences and the spaces in society but isn’t that evolution? what do you guys think?

Reference:
Revision World, ‘The effect of media content on audiences and society’ last accessed 29/08/13, http://revisionworld.co.uk/a2-level-level-revision/sociology/mass-media-0/effect-media-content-audiences-and-society

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