Media Influence - Nature and Extent

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Over the last sixty years there have been many studies into media influence – ranging from laboratory studies to longitudinal studies. Making reference to the studies you have examined in class discuss what they suggest about the nature and extent of media influence. The media’s relationship with its audience has always been one that has many issues associated with it. There are difference views on whether the media has an influence over its audience or the audience uses the media in an informed and empowered way. In the case of media violence, the media has a very powerful and direct influence that encourages people to become more violent. However, others may argue that it does not. Although there is no proof, media violence is a broad issue that is debatable; which gives us hints of the nature of the media influence. One instance of media influence is the Columbine School Massacre where two teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve students and one teacher. Commenters blamed the two murderer’s violence actions is influence by various form of media text such as, South Park, violent video games (Doom and Wolfenstein 3D) and in particular Marilyn Manson, a rock musician who was chosen as a scapegoat by grief-stricken public who did not know who to blame. Despite this argument, this case study is often described as ‘moral panics’, where the distress public attacks Marilyn Manson for the tragedy. This case study doesn’t provide sufficient evidences about the nature and extent of media influence as violent behaviour was the product of a number of factors. It implies that it is very difficult to determine how much influence the violent media texts and other factors that led the two individuals to the shooting. For this, the nature and extent of media influence is hard to measure the evidences and arguments about the extent of media influence. Most

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