It has been accepted by most people that media has a great influence on people with the difference being the degree of influence, who is impacted the most, when, why and how they are impacted have been the argumentative subjects Media effects refers to the many ways individuals and society may be influenced by both news and entertainment mass media, including film, television, radio, newspapers, books, magazines, websites, video games, and music. Where as active audience simply refers to the people who receive and interpret media messages in different ways usually according to factors like age ethnicity and social class in a way that suits them most.

There is a very clear co-relation between the two; media effects and active audience and in my opinion the way a message is conveyed will have an effect on its audience regardless of the fact that people will always have their own interpretation to suit their needs. Because of this, the media should be very careful in the way they convey messages and ideas to avoid being misinterpreted. We are going to discuss the effects of media and see how it has a great impact on our society. We will focus more on the Marx, Critical, Frankfurt Theories, Propaganda & Mass Society Theories and relate them to our topic of discussion.

 

The media has had tremendous effect on our society and we can see this very clearly when we analyze the mass society theory assumptions about individual as discussed in chapter 3 of MASS COMMUNICATION THEORY.

There are various assumptions generated from the reading which include; firstly, the media are a powerful force within society that can subvert essential norms and values and thus undermine the social order. To deal with this threat media must be brought under elite control. Secondly, the Media is able to influence directly the minds of most people thus making a transformation of their views on social world. Thirdly, it is worth noting that impacts are likely to be observed which not only result in ruin to individual lives but also creating social problems on a vast scale. This can be supported by the fact that Marxist theory argument that the hierarchical class system is at the root of all social problems and must be ended by a revolution of the proletariat base (or substructure) of society. Thus, ideas present in a culture that mislead average people and encourage them to act in opposition to their own interests.

Thirdly, a totalitarian social order is a likely way of resolving the social chaos that is initiated by the media. The totalitarian approach has been viewed by the Marxist as a way of generating continuous conflicts among members of the society. This approach is a form of dividing the society to classes whereby the minorities pledge their allegiance to the majority who are capitalists and decision makers of matters affecting the welfare of the entire community. Lastly, a common decline in civilization is usually brought by the mass media due to the inevitable debasement of elevated forms of culture. Mass media has been observed to play a critical role in politics whereby biasness is a characteristic feature. For example, the politicians utilize the media to pass propaganda and biased agendas against their opponents in quest for voters’ sympathy (p. 6).

According to magic bullet theory propaganda is powerful enough to penetrate most people’s defenses and condition them to act in ways that are useful to the propagandist.

Propaganda as referred to as a certain type of communication strategy modify the way individuals act and to leave them to believe that the actions are intentional, that the newly adopted behaviors—and the opinions underlying them—are their own (Pratkanis and Aronson, 1992, p. 9).It is further stated that propagandist will most of the time look at the two theories that often guided their thinking:  Behaviorism and Freudianism.

According to “Behaviorism” by John B. Watson, an animal experimentalist who argued that all human action is merely a conditioned response to external environmental stimuli first popularized Stimulus-response psychology. This is evidence to prove that whatever message we get from the media will have a great effect on our behavior.

Freudianism, being different from behaviorism is more concerned about people’s ability to exercise effective conscious or rational control over their actions as shared by Sigmund Freud.

Freudianism-Freud’s notion that human behavior is the product of the conflict between an individual’s Id, Ego, and Superego (Ego the rational mind .Id the egocentric pleasure-seeking part of the mind and Superego the internalized set of cultural rules)

It’s further explained in the chapter how the propagandist use Freudian notions to develop very pessimistic interpretations on media influence. Propaganda theorists used Freudian notions to develop very pessimistic interpretations of media influence. For example, propaganda would be most effective if it could appeal directly to the Id and short-circuit or bypass the Ego. The Frankfurt theories are a combination of Marxist critical theory with hermeneutic theory. Marxist theory argues that the hierarchical class system is at the root of all social problems and must be ended by a revolution of the proletariat base (or substructure) of society. In this theory, ideas present in a culture that mislead average people and encourage them to act in opposition to their own interests

Critical theory on the other hand openly exposes certain values and uses these values to evaluate and censure the status quo, provision of alternate ways of giving an interpretation of the social role of mass media.

 

CONCLUSION

From the above discussion we can conclude that media has a tremendous effect on the society more than active audience due to the fact that media is like a powerful tool within society that can subvert essential norms and values and thus undermine the social order the media is also in a position to directly affect the average people’s minds, and transform their views of the social world. It is of significance to add that once people’s thinking is malformed by the media, all sorts of long-term consequences are expected to upshot.  The Mass media also unavoidably demeans upper forms of culture, resulting to a general decline in progress.

It is of significance to also note that there is a very clear co-relation between the two; media effects and active audience and in my opinion the way a message is conveyed will have an effect on its audience regardless of the fact that people will always have their own interpretation to suit their needs. Because of this, the media should be very careful in the way they convey messages and ideas to avoid being misinterpreted. We are going to discuss the effects of media and see how it has a great impact on our society. We will focus more on the Marx, Critical, Frankfurt Theories, Propaganda & Mass Society Theories and relate them to our topic of discussion.