The Media as a Social Problem Essay

Words: 1750
Pages: 7

Dan Thomas

The Media as a Social Problem

The mass media plays a large role in modern society. Indeed, many have argued that people spend more time in "mass-mediated" interaction than in actual human interaction. The mass media, then, would seemingly be an excellent position to initiate social change, positively affect social problems, and help combat social ills that are considered normal patterns of behavior. Yet, the mass media has largely failed in addressing and helping to solve social problems. As seen through its presentation of the three major variables of race, class, and gender, the mass media has actually served to contribute to the social problems it covers, reinforcing them, and creating an inter-related
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Thus, print media can actually construct a social problem and portray it is more prevalent then reality would actually suggest. Print media also has great influence in class and gender. By selecting ways in which to present a story on a labor strike the print media can help influence the success of one class over another, and how these classes are perceived. Additionally, as described previously in relation to television news media, and linked to the issue of race is that media can further the economic difficulty of urban areas based on their coverage. Finally, print media can also reinforce and influence gender patterns and constructions through their coverage.
Film is yet another powerful form of media, acting to convey messages and platforms of those who may not typically be able to find a voice in the political system. Through film, these minority voices are often heard first and from there able to assert themselves on the wider social agenda. Films often have a smaller intellectual circle from which they are developed, enabling a single director, such as Spike Lee, to effectively present the agendas of many. Studios also often have economic incentive to develop films that provoke thought or are provocative. Film can thus play a pivotal role in presenting new perspectives on issues of race, class, and gender. Films such as "Boyz in the