Are we just another bunch of zombies? (What is wrong with the ‘Media Effects’ model?)

Media is a big part of our society but in saying this just because we are so involved with the media does not necessarily mean that every action we have taken has been influenced by what we have read, seen or heard. Media is sometimes blamed for the violent acts of others. This is because we are surrounded by violent images on various forms of media such as computer games, television, the Internet, U-tube. The media effects model says this will influence our behavior and cause us to demonstrate what we see. A question we should be asking about media today is ‘Why media is blamed so much for what goes on within society?’ Just like in the article ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘Media Effects’ model’.

The effects model begins with the media first and then tries to connect a social issue to the media, rather than looking at the social issue first, then seeking to see if there is any influence and if so where did it come from. If you examine certain case studies like the Jamie Bulger murder, the two young killers grew up in environments that were surrounded by alcoholism, poverty, neglect and bullying. These were also contributing factors which led to the violent act.

In the article ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘Media Effect’s model’  ‘the effects model makes no attempt to understand meanings of the media’. The effects model automatically assumes and criticizes the media by repeatedly accusing media of endorsing violence within society. The ‘Effects model’ focuses on the point that the media presents the one concept which is violence.


“People who watch a lot of television are likely to be more influenced by the ways in which the world is framed by television programs than are individuals who watch less, especially regarding topics of which the viewer has little first-hand experience.”- Cultivation Theory,%20Culture%20and%20Society/Cultivation_Theory-1.doc/

Looking at the medium of television, I believe that media can influence our beliefs of what reality or the norm is. That is, it could make us believe that what happens or is portrayed on a show is typical of real life. A perfect example of this is when my American roommate shared information about America with me. I found myself comparing what she told me to how life in America is portrayed on television shows that I watch. Obviously many of the things I asked her turned out to be different to what I saw on these shows. Whilst I had the wrong impression of what America is like in reality, I never felt it influenced the way I behaved. That is, I did not try to emulate the characters.



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