Television Makes you fat: Media Effects

The private lives of celebrities are a theme that is represented in the media today on a massive scale. And this is because we, as an audience, are so invested and interested in what is going on in these people’s worlds. We feel as if we know these people, we feel empathetic towards them and this is a result of what we are being fed by the media.

            EXPOSED             EXCLUSIVE             REVEALED               SHOCK

These are the terms that the media have had to resort to using in order to grab the attention of an audience who has grown desensitised to the stories that they are trying to sell. This could be due, in part, to the fact that celebrities and other high profile personalities now have their own platforms to distribute facts or insights into their lives. They themselves have the power to choose what they want the public to know and are therefore beating ‘the media’ at their own game.

This is effective in two ways:

a). The media are forced to report on ‘old news’. Audiences can get the information straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak, as a result of the growing use of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. In some cases, such as that of the Kardashians, the use of reality television also acts as a medium of distributing facts and events that are relevant to their lives. All of these mediums have the potential to reach huge audiences, more than lets say a newspaper article or magazine tabloid.


b). They are forced to make up stories to create interesting headlines, which are, in most cases, completely absurd and far-fetched in the hope that they will attract the attention of ‘vulnerable’ or ‘gullible’ audiences. In this case, the statement; ‘the unreal has about as much influence on them as the real’, comes into effect.

I feel that this makes the audience more informed and the stigma of the ‘victims of the media’ is becoming less relevant. Believe it or not, we are all a part of the mass media audience and we are all exposed to the effects of the media but when you think of yourself; do you think of yourself as easily lead to believe what external powers want you to believe? I didn’t think so. What the media exports and what the public believe comes down to external factors such as education levels and previous exposure to similar or connecting stories. If it doesn’t make sense then it probably isn’t true.

Laswell’s communication model simply demonstrates the way in which information is communicated to the masses and shows the concept of media effects.

But who are ‘the media’? We like to bash ‘the media’. We like to look at ‘the media’ as an evil cult of some sort that feeds us lies and/or makes other peoples lives difficult because of the way it exposes private matters of high profile people for entertainment purposes. I think this is because we feel guilty for intruding on other people lives and so as humans, we look for other sources to blame, and the media cops a lot of blame for things that go on within society. In this particular instance it’s the breach of privacy as an ethical issue, which the public subconsciously feel bad about.


One thought on “BCM110

  1. Hi Bridgett. Great post. I really enjoyed your writing style; you got straight to the point. I agree that the usefulness and role of the media is changing due to better access to the mass media for everyone, such as celebrities and us. I feel the best part of your blog was the end! You left it so I felt even more intrigued with the question ‘but who are the media?’, you have made a good point and it really engaged my brain to think a bit more about this topic then I previously had!


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