Contaminated Media

The media is where we find out about what is going on around us. Where we read opinions and form our own from doing so. Thus the importance of media ownership and diversity is great. In Australia there is a lack of diversity in media ownership as there are only nine people that control the Australian media. This is something that needs to be monitored because the media is an extremely powerful industry and can have large affect on the way people think. In this piece I’m going to look at how media can negatively affect large audiences, therefore highlighting the importance of diversity in ownership. (I apologise in advance if this is one-sided) I do this through looking into the media and Indigenous Australia.

Indigenous Australia a lot of the time isn’t represented correctly in the media. A prime example of this came up recently when the Invasion vs. Settlement debate hit Australia again. Channel 7’s Sunrise decided to bring up the issue and interview two different people on the issue, a Herald Sun Columnist and a well-known 2GB radio host Alan Jones. Alan Jones previously stated, “we needed stolen generations”, so bringing someone like this to speak on this topic was deliberate and planned. The popular morning show decided to pick two people with the same views, that Australia was colonised. This gives a completely one-sided view and gives people watching from home one way of thinking. There was no Indigenous representative or anyone for that matter with a conflicting view. Also the fact that it was two respected writers makes it even more convincing. An issue as important as this should have a fair, balanced argument rather than the one provided.

On the other hand, the ABC provided a more balanced look at the issue on a show called, ‘The Drum’ where they highlight both sides of the issue fairly. Although there was no Indigenous representative and the views are quite light, the members were fair and reasonable. Much different to that of Channel 7’s Sunrise.

 

I’m sure you’re asking how does this tie in with media ownership. Well I used this example to highlight how powerful the media can be. If an owner wants a certain angle or point driven, that owner can do it over multiple mediums. Thus it is so important to keep the media diverse in ownership so we aren’t all thinking the same way.

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Media’s Social Anxieties

Media is a result of human demand. The media is a constantly changing and adapting machine due to the wants, need and beliefs of society. That means the anxieties that are believed to be created by the media are created by the problems facing society at that certain point in time. For example, if there is an increase in violence it is common that violent video games are put to the blame. Throughout this piece I will focus on the anxieties that face social media as its now something that my generation has grown up with and to be frank is hard to imagine life without it. At this point in time the main anxiety in this facet of media is intrusion of terrorist brands into the medium.

The Islamic State (ISIS) have used social media to spread their message of violence and propaganda. ISIS do this through videos, posters and general hate spreading messages across numerous social media mediums. This is the most serious anxiety in the media today as it is one of the most prominent issues facing the safety of basically the whole world. This creates more angst for the already criticised form of media. Social media has been under fire since the day it began, due to issues such as cyber bullying, laziness and even blamed for decline in social skills. ISIS have utilised social medias ability to reach all corners of the globe to be able to recruit members simply over a Facebook conversation. This potentially gives ISIS soldiers all around the world. We have proof of this through the recent tragedies in Paris and Brussels but also there are been a number of young Australians devoting their faith to radical Islam.

Although this is the major anxiety at the moment there are underlying problems that are caused by people using the power of social media for bad. Another major issue is older men using social media to take advantage of vulnerable children using fake profiles. As mentioned before cyber bullying is a direct side-effect from social media. Causing depression in primarily teenagers and in extreme cases caused suicide.

Social Media if used in the wrong way creates many problems facing today’s society. The members of the so called ‘online generation’ have been brought up in an online reality, which can make things like cyber bullying and brainwashing from ISIS feel a lot more real.