How Much Power Does the Media Have?

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The media, especially now more than ever, has a lot more power and influence than people would think. The media comes in many different forms, with newspapers, magazines, tabloids, even radio, and many different forms of social media platforms that many people use and are influenced by without even realising it.

Fact or Opinion?

You always need to be very careful when reading the news or other types of media, and don’t always believe everything that you read. There are lots of trusted websites and newspapers that have to provide people with the truth, but there are also lots of other types of media that can’t always be trusted, and might not even be true. A lot of the time opinions can be misread or inferred as facts that may mislead a lot of people to believe it is true. This can happen a lot, and everyone always should check and compare the information they are reading. However, even with trusted websites and newspapers, everything you are reading isn’t always in fact the truth. Information can again be misread or misunderstood but in a trickier way. Often opinions can be disguised and presented as fact. Also, when people are quoted, they may not always be directly quoted, and instead ‘implied’ to have said something which is very misleading to readers, and provides people with false information. This shows how powerful the media can be with just a single carefully worded sentence to influence and manipulate people’s opinions and views.

Is it really as it seems?

A lot of the time, especially with online news and websites, titles and headlines can exaggerate the story by making it seem more dramatic. As a consequence of this, people who don’t always read the full story or information of the article can be easily mislead. And when article headlines and titles are very negative, people can do what is called ‘doom scrolling’ where they read through just the bad headlines. As you can see, without knowing the full story, news can seem much worse, much better, or a much bigger deal than it actually is. Is it right that the media has this much power with just some exaggerated headlines? What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed reading this and it gives you a lot to think about :)


Comments (7)

  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    25 Mar 2021

    An excellent introduction to navigating the news, reasoning_honeydew! And a great question to end with too. Take a look at one of our experts, Evan Davis, who has written a book about exactly what you're writing about:

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg brilliant_lobster | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    29 Mar 2021

    I found it really interesting

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg dedicated_starfruit | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    30 Mar 2021

    I think the media do have an advantage in making people agree with them because they are the ones that set the stage in the argument and if they have lots of followers on a topic, you can easily be tempted to join their side as you don't want to be the only campaining against a powerful group.

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    1. avatar.jpg EXPERT: Stuart Slingsby @ KPMG
      dedicated_starfruit's comment 01 Apr 2021

      Hi dedicated starfruit. I think you make a good point, the media can be very influential in setting the stage. However, do you think the media (especially big newspapers and websites) has lost some of its influence and individuals now have more opportunities to set the stage through social media?

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      1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg dedicated_starfruit | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
        Stuart Slingsby @ KPMG's comment 01 Apr 2021

        Hi Stuart Slingsby @ KPMG, I think the media can still influence people on social media websites (twitter, facebook) because they are also present on many social media websites , they can also persuade people to agree with what they are saying about a particular topic. Surprisingly, they can also do this effectively on social media as they are everywhere. When you are on social media, you can be persuaded into thinking in what the media want you to think. It is like not having a democracy.

        By dedicated_starfruit

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  • global-conversation.png trustful_technology | Ras Beirut Secondary Public School | Lebanon
    15 Apr 2021

    I think that you are right, its like a fact that social media has now become a basic human necessity, and that people (no matter the age) are falling for this simple trick of misleading, wich can cause utter chaos, and it can also turn into a misunderstanding between 2 individuals that can lead into emotional stress, or trauma.

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg brilliant_lobster | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    16 Apr 2021

    I think that the media has alot of power on what we think because if they give readers fake news and the reader thinks it is a reliable news source we would belive them and not a news source that spreads true news

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