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The Media do not Represent Reality

THE MEDIA DO NOT REPRESENT REALITY 8

TheMedia do not Represent Reality

TheMedia do not Represent Reality

Theterm mass communication gained much attention in the 1930showever its features were already well-known by many people evenbefore this time (Lee,2012).The various forms of mass media range from electronic, print mediaand the new media characterized by differentsocial platforms that have beendeveloped.A good example being Twitterand Facebook. Writtenmaterials described the print mediaand werethe earliest form of media to beusedaslong ago as 1400BC in Egypt. Lateron,the electronic media gained development more quickly in the 1920swith the use of Radio as a medium of mass communication. Other formsof electron media such as TV developed later on. In the currentpostmodern period,the media hasgrown andgained much use widely, thanks to technology growth experienced inthe 21stcentury. The press plays critical roles in the society,butthe difference between content presented in the media and the realityin the society has raised questions on how reliability aspect of thepress.

Themedia industry has essential roles in the society. Thethree most importantfunctionsof mass media are educating, informing, and lastly entertaining theaudience. Also,media acts as a watchdog of the society by unraveling evildoings in government and other public along with privateinstitutions. Through this, leaders found culpable of mismanagementand embezzlement taxpayers’money are held accountable thus enhancing transparency in government.

Onthe other hand, high-profilepeople, for example, musicians, celebrities, politicians,leaders among others use media as a publicity tool. It is becausethey are in a position to reach to heterogeneous and the broadpublic at ago.

Contrary,the validity of the information being passed or communicatedby these different forms of the media depends on the reflection ofwhat they are supposed to be representing (Weber,2013).Inthis case,the real world isillustrated byevents and activities that people engage on a daily basis. Theactivities can be best summed up by the term “culture” of thatgiven society.

Accordingto Campbell,Martin, &amp Fabos, 2011, theconnection between the media and issues of reality has raised adebate since the inception of Westernculture ideologies. Ithasled to two mattersof topic:representation and construction. Representation,in this case,means that reality is given priority in the media while mediaconstruction means that the media does not portray reality butcreates a construction of reality. These two issues can best bedescribed using the realism and constructivism models (Wilson,2012).The realist model explains the existence of something availableout there and can be seen physically while the constructivistmodel explains that constructivism is the creation of an idea insomeone’s mind and make them believe that something exists in thereal world.

Constructivismcomes about as a result of epistemologicalperspective which involves acts of creation to impart knowledge inthe minds of people about a certain concept or idea(Fosnot,2013).The knowledge gained through constructivism is not received orobtainedthrough the normal process of discovering things or ideas about agiven subject. In the postmodernism world, constructivism has led tothe vice of “if the media has not aired something, then it doesn’texist,or it did not happen.”The vice imprintsinthe peoples’ minds. The press has achieved this throughconstructivism. The media alters a given subject which is the realityof something that happened to make us believe in it. Itis achievable throughthe media’s prowess of changing the perception of people in thesociety. In essence, the reality of the subjects showntous by the media is not there,yet the media make us seesigns of the realimage they are trying to portray.

AccordingtoThompson,2013,Marxism brings out very insightful concepts on ideologies andrepresentation. Forexample,the ruling class does not use force to exercise their powers butinfluence the society culturally through the utilizationof the media. The Marxist theory statesthat the capitalist class canmaintain and protect their interests (economic) through the help ofthe press.The media does this by reinforcing the very dominant ideologies inthe target group of the society and thus make them believe insomething that affects them unknowingly. Also,according to Marxist theory,the media undermines the less dominant ideologies and make people notto focus on them and thus divert the society from the reality.Therefore, it’s indeed true that the media does not representactual reality in the society.

Accordingto Reichert&amp Lambiase, 2013,from the study of the gender ideology as explained in the feminismtheory, culturehas greatly influenced the construction of the masculinity andfemininity vice. Objectification of the female sexin the films aired through the media is onthe rise.Ithasbeen a theme in the pressfor a long time now. The female body in these films is displayed toattract the male gender (male gaze) in a bidtoachieve erotic pleasure. Themedia, therefore, objectify the female sexthrough the displayof images and videos of ladies sitting on expensive cars orautomobiles to increase sales in the motor industries. Inthis case,the audience watching these picturesof videos isin a positionto understand and accept that the masculine gender is superior. Inthis scenario,there is a deconstructionof the idea of truth. The media through films and magazines portraysthe female gender as sex object which is not the reality.

Thepress through the airingof Soap Operacontent films creates a fantasy world (Hayward,2015).Theworldwith people with excellentcharacteristics that are plausiblepresented to be living a comfy lifestyle. The films havespecial effects, continuity,and pretesting systems as a way of enhancing them. Some of theconcepts in these films do not fit anywhere close to the society welive.The films are shown with an idea to create a magical feeling thatdoesn’t represent the actual reality in the postmodern society.What makes these films lose the reality and originality of thesituation in the real world arethat they are designed to increase enjoyment, involvement, violenceand improvetheconnectionof emotion with the actors.

Massmedia uses stereotypes to represent events in the society (Wolska,2011).However,this has beenmetwith much criticism from scholars for misrepresenting the reality inthe real world. The media airs different programs a good examplebeing soap opera and other films that bring about the idea that womenare always available to serve men with sex. Television advertsdisplay naked women posing for images in magazines and other productstoincrease sales. The idea behind creating such erotic images is toattract men to buy those products. Inthe practical world this is not thetruth,andthus the media misrepresents the whole idea. Indeed, mass media doesnot represent the reality asit appears practically.

Themedia through the useof various technological systems has led to the simulationof some events to bring aboutthe fact.Thevirtualtruth isexemplifiedby the new media which has considerablyadopted this kind of technology (Quaranta,2012).The rise of internet applications and mobile telephony has made theuse of virtual reality in the mediaindustry come to pass. The practical reality gadgets cantransform pictures to replace simulated experience in images toreality (Biocca,2013).Theuse of practical truth knowledge has beenused widely in the media in various movie production processes. Forexample, it has been used to illustrate a person falling from ahelicopter or plane and survive, being trapped in a machine, survivebombings and many dangerous activities that in a rational world wouldresult in death. It is a way of media trying to represent real worldthings using extremely unusual tactics that if practiced wouldsubject people involved to serious injuries or death.Therefore, the media does not describethings that happen in the real world at times.

Researchershave given a warning that social media trends perceived on socialmedia platforms such as Facebook and Twitterare biased and do not represent the reality in the real world(Ballard,2014).The biasespresented by the large numbers is rarely corrected. Survey carried onsuch platforms can be biased depending on the age and gender of thelarge percentage of its users. Due to these differences,it is impossible to arrive at the exact figure. Forexample,most of the users in Pinterest are female of the age bracket 25 – 34.In the case of Twitter,only 5% of its user base represents the number of people aged 65years and above (Ballard,2014).

Inconclusion, the media is an important tool of communication in thesociety. It has an essentialrole in the community. A free and independent media in the nation isa milestone towards economic growth. However, from various researchcarried out and the application of media theories in the real worldsuch as the Marxist theory and the feministtheory,it’s clear that the content that appearsin the media do not represent the reality. Different examples toprove this include the simulation of images and films to create theillusion of the real world situation which is not the reality in thereal world most of the times. Acoin must have two sides, and so isthe media. As a result, the buck lies with an audiencewho should know to differentiate wrongand right and later make the best choice.

References

Ballard,B. (2014, November 28). Virtualreality, Social Media do not represent the real world.Retrieved November 23, 2016, from IT Pro Portal:http://www.itproportal.com/2014/11/28/virtual-reality-social-networks-represent-real-world/

Biocca,F. &amp. (2013). Communicationin the age of virtual reality.Routledge.

Campbell,R., Martin, C., &amp Fabos, B. (2011). Mediaand culture: An introduction to mass communication.Macmillan.

Fosnot,C. T. (2013). Constructivism:Theory, perspectives, and practice.Teachers College Press.

Hayward,J. (2015). ConsumingPleasures, Serial Fictions and Active Audiences from Dickens to SoapOpera.University Press of Kentucky.

Lee,L. T. (2012). Historyand development of mass communication.Retrieved November 23, 2016, from UNESCO-EOLSS:http://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/c04/e6-33-02-01.pdf

Quaranta,D. (2012). Howthe Media goes beyond simulation.Retrieved November 23, 2016, from Art Pulse:http://artpulsemagazine.com/reality-is-overrated-when-media-go-beyond-simulation

Reichert,T., &amp Lambiase, J. (2013). Sexin consumer culture: The erotic content of media and marketing.Routledge.

Thompson,J. B. (2013). Ideologyand modern culture: Critical social theory in the era of masscommunication.John Wiley &amp Sons.

Weber,S. (2013). Mediaand the Construction of reality.Retrieved November 23, 2016, from Media Manual:www.mediamanual.at/en/pdf/Weber_etrans.pdf

Wilson,B. G. (2012). Constructivism in practical and historical context.Trendsand issues in instructional design and technology,45-52.

Wolska,M. (2011). Genderstereotypes in mass media, Case study: analysis of the genderstereotyping phenomenon in TV commercials.Retrieved November 23, 2016, from Krytyka Organization:http://krytyka.org/gender-stereotypes-in-mass-media-case-study-analysis-of-the-gender-stereotyping-phenomenon-in-tv-commercials/