The Media is a distinctive feature of our society today; its growth has supplemented an increase in the complexity and degree of societal actions, rapid social change, and the decline of some traditional forms of control and authority.
In this world, overwhelmed by television, commercial, billboards and the Internet, I believe that the media is an instrument both more powerful and flexible than anything in previous existence, for influencing people, especially the younger generation.
Arguably, the proliferation and globalization of media are among the key factors that have shaped and defined the current generation of young people. In many countries, youth have access to a greater number of multi-media choices than ever before—conventional, satellite and cable TV channels; radio stations; newspapers and magazines; the internet and computer and video games. In addition, many are exposed to the same programs, the same characters and the same marketed spin-off products. Today there is greater availability of foreign programming and media, and less official censorship and control in many parts of the world. Information, email and images flow around the world faster and more freely than ever. Indeed, mass media are making the world smaller, and culture and media are increasingly inextricable, especially for young people.
A look at the world media landscape for children and youth immediately presents two opposing themes: opportunities and risks. For example, globalization of media brings opportunities to broaden children’s outlooks and provide more equal access to information, but it also threatens cultural identification and values. Technological advances bring the promise of new skills and greater youth participation in society, but also increase the risk of child exploitation and informational divides.
Media, in its various forms can be either detrimental or beneficial for the youth today. How it influences the younger generation is subjective as it depends on a variety of factors, like the perspective of the audience and also the method the news is presented and what purpose it serves.
Celebratory endorsements & personalities have a great impact & the youth follow their icons very closely by not only using the products they endorse, but carrying the attitude, impersonating them as they are visible. Size Zero figure among the young women & girls is a classic case in this direction. The same goes for the young lads who are hitting the gyms all over to get their six-pack V body figure even going to the extent of using steroids to achieve the results without their realizing the mid-long term detrimental affects on their health.
A classic example of changing perspective among the children was the reporting by media on the presence of pesticides found in cola drinks of extremely popular multinational companies which the world had accepted , that though they were not healthy drinks but at the same time were not harmful for consumption now proved otherwise with the truth out through research & lab analysis. This brought about a virtual movement among the children who started anti-cola campaign by just refusing to consume which in turn was being reported by the media bringing in more non-consumers to the fold. This ultimately brought down the giants to their knees who were now forced to widen their product portfolio to include more healthy drinks which is now become a movement in itself-consuming fruit & health based drinks.
That is the power of media.
A final look at the world media landscape and one can safely conclude sans doubt that Media definitely does influence youth opinion and their positions. Nowadays, it’s a fact that the potential of Media is enormous, in fact immeasurable, as it does make a real difference in the lives of the upcoming generation around the world by informing, listening and ultimately empowering them.