Media are basically the communicating media or tools utilized to transfer and store data or information. The word is usually used to refer to varied components of the multimedia communications industry, including print media, broadcast media, publishing, music, film, television, photography, video, and advertising. The word “media” can also refer to the various kinds of devices that make transmission and storage of media possible. This includes apparatus such as recording equipment, computer equipment, modems, cables, wireless phones, digital cameras, and the like. In the past, there were primarily two main kinds of media: namely, books, which are usually composed of text, and films, which include both images and sound.
Today, however, mass media has largely lost the role of a disseminator of information and a mass medium. Newspapers have practically ceased to exist as an entity unto themselves. Entertainment channels and other forms of media are designed to amuse rather than inform. Educational programs, while they still exist, have very little objective in providing knowledge to the general public. Even some news organizations have lost the goals that their people had in mind when they started out and are now more focused on being advertisers than informing the public about what is going on in the world.
This trend is what has given rise to what we commonly refer to today as “fake news.” Fake news is just a fancy phrase that we use to describe news reports that are disseminated by media outlets with the purpose of misleading or misdirecting their audiences in an attempt to serve some kind of political agenda. For example, many major newspapers have published stories about the dangers of alternative fuel cars. They have done so in order to sway readers against these cars, even if they are technically advanced and safe vehicles. However, when something becomes a trend, and something becomes newsworthy, it becomes worthy of publication and coverage by the various mainstream and social media outlets.
In this way, fake news has become a phenomenon that has permeated every aspect of modern day society. It has made its way into everything from the business news networks to the pages of traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, and television news shows. Thus, it is not surprising that many are wondering whether the trend of amanpour and the infiltration of media conglomerates into the lives of ordinary individuals are bad or good.
What is a bit confusing about the issue of media manipulation is that there is some debate as to whether or not media consolidation is good or bad. Proponents of increased media consolidation argue that increased media concentration will result in more accurate reporting, a greater focus on the needs and desires of the citizenry, increased accountability in the media industry, a greater focus on the quality of the information being disseminated, and a more cohesive and democratic society. Proponents of traditional media and the current state of digital media argue that increased media concentration will result in decreased accountability, a greater focus on entertainment, decreased access to diverse opinions and views, and a decreased investment in the traditional forms of media that are most essential to modern citizens. Thus, it is difficult to draw a clear distinction between the two and what effect it may have on society. The truth of the matter is that many would benefit from both, but others would likely prefer one over the other.
In the end, a healthy balance must be struck in order for the mediums of mass communication to thrive. Whether it is increasing the number of people that can be reached through traditional media or establishing new media outlets, it is important for the audience to be well-informed about the products and companies they are viewing. This is true even of the most popular media outlets, which has benefited from the increased penetration of digital media via such mediums as the internet. As such, it is unlikely that the increased popularity of local news websites will have a major effect on the level of consumer awareness, but it is clear that viewers are paying attention and are becoming more aware of brands and products that they might otherwise never have come in contact with.