Week 5. Media influence on vulnerable audiences.

“Do you agree that the Media can have a direct and measurable negative effect on vulnerable audiences?”

In our meeting, D2 came to a general conclusion of “Yes”. We all agreed that entities in the Media have the power and resources to create negative repercussions in society. Some more direct and measurable than others.

We all used different topics to illustrate this point.  Harriet, Sofina and Nigel all cited elements of pop culture as being responsible for social conventions. Song lyrics, music videos and magazines all enforce ideas about how to act, how to look and what to care about. Insecurities and low self esteem can develop if you don’t feel like you’re hitting the targets.

Nigel made some interesting points about how urban youth culture can pressure people into getting involved with drugs. His cabinet of curiosities seems to dispute the legal status of cannabis, so it was interesting to see it approached from another angle. Glamorisation of cannabis is integral to certain music styles, so vulnerable first-timers can get involved without thinking of the side-effects.

Roxi came up from the opposite side, using an anti-fastfood animal rights propaganda film to show how it can put people off their KFC. When she showed footage of animal slaughter, the viewer said they would avoid fast food for a while. This exactly describes a direct and measurable negative effect on an audience- vulnerable perhaps from not having seen anything like this before.

It can also be said that the effects of an actual KFC advert may also be negative to a vulnerable audience, but it depends what you mean by negative. In the technical use of the word and from the agency’s viewpoint, if a KFC advert makes consumers buy fast food, that is a positive measurable effect. In a more general use of the word and from a moralizing viewpoint, it can be seen as negative to eat KFC that’s made from abused chickens.

Harriet included a study in her piece that shed some light on this “negativity” issue. A group of Harvard researchers conducted a study on the island of Fiji to see how the introduction of Western TV Media affected the girls’ ideal body image perceptions. It was found that after the introduction of mainstream mass media to the island, there was a significant increase in anorexia, bulimia and general body size issues. Click the link for more information: http://cdnedge.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/347637.stm

The study insinuates that media effects are regarded as significant and measurable when they are properly studied and the outcome is measured in statistics, e.g. a rise in mental illness, crime or even money. For sure, negative effects can still exist but they are made of opinions or cultural standpoints, instead of scientific or legal facts.

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2 responses to “Week 5. Media influence on vulnerable audiences.

  1. Hey gang, sorry I could’nt be at the meeting so I would like to comment on the topics that you all discussed.

    I also agree with the point that audiences are venerable in the way that the media can affect their way of thinking. I agree with Nigel, Sofina and Harriet in the way that song lyrics, and magazine can enforce the reader/listener to be enticed into a state of mind where a magazine can tell you what to wear or song lyrics can tell you how to act.

    I agree with Nigel in the way that he said that youth culture can affect a persons way of thinking about cannabis. It is clear from song lyrics in most rap songs today that they involve a mention of drugs, hence why a person may feel pushed into trying them as they’re considered ‘glamourous’ just because the drug is used in a rap song by a singer who is idolised by teens.

    The point that Roxi came up with about KFC and cruelty towards animals and the way that they are used in fast food is extremily true. I feel that an audience can be influenced into buying a ‘chicken bucket’ for only £12.99 from a shiney advert on the television of a family tucking into delicious chicken. However, the point that Roxi made about ‘behind the scenes’ of how KFC is made with the use of abused chicken. However a venerable audience can be conned into thinking that the chicken they eat is suculent,fresh and organic.

    Overall it is clear from the group discussion that media can have a megative affect on an audiences mind. It is, in some cases, that a mask has been put over the audiences faces in order to disguise the reality of mainstrem things in life. I deffinatly will be stick to my answer in agreeing that the media can influence an audience and a person’s thoughts by how something is portrayed.

  2. hello I was luck to look for your topic in digg
    your subject is brilliant
    I learn much in your Topics really thank your very much
    btw the theme of you blog is really magnificentsuper
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