The Role of the Media in the Society

The Role of the Media in the Society

Essay on the Role of the Media in the Society

In the 21st century, interactions and relationships are characterized by the presence of social media in society. Media is considered the voice of society. This is because the different media platforms have been useful in generating essential conversations that shape our thoughts and the various sections of the society. Media; electronic, printed, or web is the primary medium for communication in this era. Additionally, it is used to offer entertainment services to the public, educate, and keep people updated on current trends and activities. According to Singh & Pandey (2017), technological advancements have facilitated the development of individuals' ideas and thoughts in society. People are now able to access information with just a click of the button. Thus the analysis of the role of media in society is vital.

Media has a significant role in promoting public awareness and collecting data, ideas, and attitudes that shape society. Its power manifests in this era based on its ability to influence public opinion and social change (Berger, 2012). This is because it provides a platform that sets the agenda and focuses on issues that affect the public. Despite its role in conveying relevant information to the public, it is a tool that can cause panic, anxiety, and discord. Media is a significant force in the future; however, its use and role in society should be monitored consistently.

Limited Effects Theory

The use of media as a critical communication tool dates back to the ancient Greek era. During this period, the shared information was related to religion, scientific studies, and politics. The government officials were against the role of the media in society since they accused the writers of inciting the masses (Alalawi & Al-Jenaibi, 2016). Presently media encounters similar criticism with people conflicted between the roles of media on the community. While others are convinced that the media has limited influence on society, others acknowledge that it affects society directly (Alalawi & Al-Jenaibi, 2016). Further media such as advertisements and television are a direct representation of the contemporary community.

Limited effects theory stipulates that the influence of the message shared on media is limited or inconsequential. However, scholars and researchers have challenged this theory since the level of media use in society has evolved. The use and interaction of media have been personalized since information is consumed will influence the level of effect. Based on Alalawi & Al-Jenaibi (2016), the different spheres of life and interactions are compared to what is watched on television or read in magazines. Thus, media directly affects society since it encompasses the various aspects that characterize beliefs and values.

The Role of Media in Society

a)    Information

Over the years, the media has changed how we consume information. It offers facts, opinions, and clarity about various events to a mass audience. This information could be subjective, objective, opinionated, secondary, or primary (Bălău & Utz, 2017). Dissemination of information allows people to know events that are happening in their country and around the world. This particular role of media in society has been essential during this pandemic and highlights injustices around the world, such as police brutality. Thus, content is shared via television, radio, or newspaper columns and magazines.

b)    Entertainment

In the 21st century, one of the primary roles of media is entertainment. It fulfills the people's quest for distraction by providing amusement and eliminating tension among people. This digital era is characterized by the presence of applications such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter, aiming to entertain the audience. Currently, media has combined education and entertainment to attract the masses.

c)    Education

Society depends on the media for education and knowledge. Media creates a platform that accommodates professionals in different fields. The content shared online seeks to indirectly or directly pass a message of encouragement, triumph, or success. Notably, documentaries, features, and other programs indirectly educate the audience by facilitating mass awareness. In most nations, media is used as a tool to create mass awareness on issues affecting the people.

d)    Economic Growth

Media has a central role in sustainable development strategies in society. The information shared on media platforms empowers individuals to work on their progress and plans. Organizations and business entities have acknowledged the influence of media in propelling economic growth in society. According to Papachristou (2013), as a connected society, people affect and influence each other's behavior. Global markets are shaped by trends and information that is shared on media platforms. Consequently, the broader economy and aspects such as gross domestic product are affected.

e)    Persuasion

In today's society, politicians use media to build opinions and dictate conversations around specific emerging issues. The art of persuasion has been mastered by those in authority since media offers an opportunity to control the public perception of various circumstances. For instance, advertisements and campaigns are designed to convince and influence opinions and thoughts. In this regard, as the role of media in society, persuasion influences votes, attitudes, and controls behaviors. Thus media in society is a tool that is crucial in persuasion by influencing others' views and opinions. 

In conclusion, the role of the media in society is substantial. Notably, the young generation revolves around the trends that the media dictates in society. Further, technological advancements have made access to information faster and easier in this modern era. Notwithstanding its benefits, media can be used to propagate hate and spread inaccurate information. Hence the regulatory bodies should focus on protecting the interests of the people and monitoring the use of media in society.



Alalawi, N., & Al-Jenaibi, B. (2016). A Research Into the Fact That Media Have Direct Effects on People in Different Ways. J Mass Communicat Journalism, 6(287), 2.

Bălău, N., & Utz, S. (2017). Information sharing as strategic behaviour: the role of information display, social motivation and time pressure. Behaviour & Information Technology, 36(6), 589-605.

Berger, A. A. (2012). Media and society: A critical perspective. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Papachristou, I. A. (2013). The Social Media in the Economy.

Singh, G., & Pandey, N. (2017). Role and Impact of Media on Society: A Sociological Approach With Respect to Demonetisation. IMPACT: International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and Literature (IMPACT: IJRHAL) ISSN (P): 2347-4564; ISSN (E): 2321, 8878, 127-136.


Published on: 20 Aug 2020

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