weekly forum post responses week 2

weekly forum post responses week 2

In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

For this week’s Forum discussion, watch the video Merchants of Cool at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/view/

If you cannot view this video, read Article #9 Attribution vs Persuasion as a Means for Modifying Behavior in Reading About The Social Animal textbook.

After watching the video or reading the article, respond the following questions in your initial post on the Week 2 Forum:

How, and to what extent, does the mass media influence the public’s attitudes and behaviors? Do television shows and newscasts, for example, simply reflect what is happening in the world or do they carry the potential to actually cause real-life events? Apart from advertising, do you believe the members of the media engage in deliberate attempts to persuade people to adopt certain opinions and attitudes?

Forum post #1

I believe that mass media greatly influences public attiutude and beliefs. After viewing the assigned video, it was apparent to me that even though there was some surveying of teenagers likes and dislikes, the surveying was for marketing purposes. The goal of these media companies was and is to make money. Knowing what teenagers are interested in, what they wear, what they do, their ideas, etc., is just the starting point for media companies. Using that information obtained from interviewing and watching teenagers, allows the media companies to then develop those ideas and themes, and expand on them. Teenagers are interested in music, sex, and violence. Using those themes, media then seems to focus intensely and constantly on those things, making a teenager feel as though he needs to be like those images the media is promoting in order to be cool or popular. The teenager spends a lot of time viewing media, being convinced that they must buy certain merchandise and behave certain ways in order to be like everyone else. Teenagers are obsessed with what media portrays as the way they should behave. Keeping teenagers watching and emulating what they see, makes the advertisers and program executives happy and rich. Even adults are influenced by what media presents. Their buying habits are also dictated by media images. Certain automobiles are portrayed as being preferred by sexually attractive people and that causes people to buy them.

I believe what is troubling with newscasts is not so much that they deliberately attempt to influence real life events, but because they choose the news events that they report on, that might give a wrong impression as to what is actually happening in the world or what is causing those events to happen. Once again, even news programs are involved in a ratings war with other programs airing at the same time. It is difficult to be true to the integrity of the news, and keep viewers, advertisers, and executives happy. I do not believe that the members of media deliberately attempt to persuade the opinions and attitudes of their viewers, but rather the news media is only responding to what their viewers what to see. Because they are providing a specific slant on the news by reporting on certain events, and not reporting on other events, they are inadvertantly influencing real life events. Depending upon what they report about an event, how long they keep that news event on the front page, or even if they report about an event at all, can definitely influence what people believe about the event and its importance. Important public issues and opinions can be determined by such reporting. Election results can be determined by this type of media presentations. Engaging in a war can be decided by the public’s perception of that war by the way media presents the issue, by who they interview in regard to the issue, by what stories they show about the issue. Although I do not believe that they inaccuately report the news, they are definitely selective about what and how they report the news in order to keep their particular viewers happy. When the viewers are happy, and there are many of them, the advertisers are happy, and the executives are happy.

It is all about money.

Forum post #2

I believe the mass media has a tremendous influence on the public’s attitudes and behaviors. Just look at Facebook and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Politics aside, the mass media has always had an influence on the public’s attitudes and behaviors, it is only now, that in this day and age, mass media is much more prevalent and accessible. It’s everywhere and It isn’t just the news anymore, which in itself has a very powerful influence over the public. It’s television shows, it’s podcasts, it’s Facebook, it’s Instagram, it’s Twitter and Snapchat, and the list goes on.

I also believe that the mass media has the very real potential to cause real life events – again, I reference the impact that social media had on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. However, I will say, the public on an individual level, tends to already have his mind made up about certain matters and while the mass media definitely has the potential to change a person’s mind, I think more than that, it has the potential to reiterate what it is a person thinks and feels on a certain subject – add fuel to the fire, so to speak. Even if the information being shared has no merit and is absolutely not true, if it echoes a person’s opinion on a certain matter, it will have the power to influence and persuade. Along these same lines, I am of the belief that celebrities themselves have the ability to influence the public because of the many social apps and public platforms that they can be heard on these days. Speaking as to the American culture, we hold our celebrities on such a high pedestal, it’s no wonder we eat up everything they say and mirror their opinions to match our own. Because well, if a celebrity said it, it must be true.

Lastly, I very much believe that members of the mass media purposely attempt to persuade the general public. I also believe we are in very dangerous territory as a society, between what is real and what isn’t, between what is true and what is a lie. And it doesn’t just come from one side either – whether we are discussing presidents, violence, women’s rights, whatever it may be, the line is becoming quite blurred and it is terrifying. As they say, there are three sides to every story – your side, my side, and the truth.

Forum post #3

Mass media plays a huge influence on how people think and behave. There are many different vessels and avenues that are used to influence people into acting or thinking certain ways. Advertisements are one of the most used forms of influence. Companies use them to influence different cultures, ages, areas and demographics into buying into certain products. This is done with a lot of research and investment into how people react to different messages.

The mass media not only controls television programs. They also influence written media, online blogs, games, social events, political campaigns and personal testimonials. Written media spans across magazines, books, newspapers and flyers. Online blogs and advertising spans across many different forums, websites and online activities. The gaming world is rapidly expanding. Games are now including advertisements, in game product, clothing or verbal persuasion. Recently the gaming past time has become a sport presented on television. Social events have people wearing logos, speaking certain messages or using certain items to influence people around them. Political campaigns can have advertisements or politicians delivering certain messages. Finally, personal testimonials are extremely effective when trying to sway people into a certain way of thinking.

These types of advertisements and messages can be formed for many different reasons. Some are used to persuade an audience into following a certain leader. This leader can be the figure head of a country, group, company or anything else. These messages can also be to inspire, enrage or calm groups of people. These messages can be a great tool to influence small or large groups to think or act the intended and sometimes not the intended way. Messages or advertisements can also be used to sell a product or image to a group. A clothing company may pay a television show to wear a certain style that the company owns the main supply of or to keep a handle on what the new trend will be.

Television shows and newscasts most definitely can have a sway on events or how people react to different situations. Fake news or exaggerated information can incite riots, outrage and public unrest. It can also influence people to disregard their normal behaviors and act out of character to fit in with the general reaction of most of the population (Hellmueller and Mallado, 2015). This can also be used to encourage positive reactions and actions out of the population. Celebrating and showing good deeds on talk shows or the news can encourage people to preform good deeds that they would not have done before. People are influenced by what they think is the popular or “cool” thing to do a lot of the time.


Hellmueller, L. and Mellado, C. (2015) Professional roles and news construction: a media sociology conceptualization of journalists’ role conception and performance. Comunicacion y Sociedad. 28(3)4-44. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docv…




Solution Preview

Response for forum post #1

I agree with you that the mass media greatly influence the beliefs and attitude of the public. Many people are obsessed with how the media portrays things, and they believe that is how they ought to behave. For example, in the video, the narrator states that the Insane Clown Posse rock band, which has a huge media presence and a large following, in their songs portray their hate for women and gays by constantly ridiculing them. As a result, teenagers have adopted their ideas and beliefs of women and gays.

I would like to add to your discussion. I believe that the media reflects what already exists in the world and does not cause real life events. 

(924 words)

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