the role of media is bigger than it has ever been. the best part is that media is still growing and influencing our lives as the days go by. the media plays a central role in informing the public about what happens in the world. people rely on media such as television, the press and online to get news and updates. anyone can now find out almost anything they want to know by the click of a button on their smartphone or tablet. however, with how intoxicating the media is today, it does tend to have the power to shape public opinion, especially over major topics such as education and religion.
the role of the media is to transmit the reality and uncover the underlying facts of things. changing the mentality of the people through media to be more permissive, understanding and educative is a very difficult task. audiences form their beliefs and attitudes, either by themselves or with others, in response to media messages. the level of influence of media varies, however, and messages from the media are not received uniformly by all audiences.
direct experience, knowledge from other sources and logic are a few factors that contribute to the degree to which audiences accept or reject messages from the media. the media has a massive responsibility in providing factual coverage that does not perpetuate myths or stereotypes, encourage generalizations or spread misinformation.
the agenda-setting theory is the primary emphasis on shaping public opinion. pertaining to the news, there has been a phenomenal nationwide decrease in local news networks and papers and an increase in national news networks and papers. if a news item is covered more frequently, especially on national news, the audience will regard the issue as more important.
according to lumen learning, “two basic assumptions underlie most research on agenda-setting: one, that the press and the media do not reflect reality, they filter and shape it; and two, that media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.” agenda-setting occurs through a cognitive process known as “accessibility.”
accessibility implies that the more frequently and prominently the news media cover an issue, the more instances that issue becomes accessible in the audience’s memories. mass media coverage in general and agenda-setting in particular have a powerful impact on what individuals think other people are thinking as well.
the agenda-setting theory has a huge effect on shaping public education because a majority of parents have very strong opinions about where their child gets their education. parents will pick schools for their children based on a number of factors: sports, religion, theater, teachers, reputation, etc.
pertaining to public versus private school, parents also tend to favor one over the other depending on where they themselves went to school. if they hear bad news about one school or about an outbreak of sickness on some national news media, parents will be quick to form their opinions about certain schools. especially since everything is online now, parents can see anything positive or negative about a school.
for example, with this flu outbreak i spoke to a number of parents about what they think of it, and a lot of parents were very mad and concerned. they started calling public schools unclean and dirty, even though the outbreak is all over, not just in schools.
some parents only send their kids to public schools if they cannot afford a private education or do not have any religious beliefs. public school generally has a reputation for not being as good as private schools; however, private and public schools are in fact very similar. public school parents tend to believe they are judged for sending their child to a public school, like they are somehow doing less for their child. private schools have the reputation of being academically superior and increasing the child’s chances of getting into a great college.
however, these are reputations and stereotypes that parents are feeding into. both types of education have their ups and downs; therefore, parents should do their research on schools instead of automatically assuming a school is terrible or amazing. it could actually be the complete opposite of what they thought.
religion is still a very controversial topic. in 1925, the tennessee legislature passed the butler act, which made it a misdemeanor to teach the evolution of only one species—mankind—in the public schools. john scopes was caught teaching the evolution of mankind, which is how “the monkey trial,” also known as the state of tennessee vs. john scopes, came about. this was extremely controversial because religion and science collided.
the functions remain the same, yet are essentially different depending on the organizational hierarchy. on the other hand, operational function of marketing will change according to the organization, the person in charge and the operational goals.