Describe || Media and Society

Hello Netizens, 

On Week 6 (Foundation in Creative Multimedia, third semester), I, and everyone else in the lecture, were introduced to Media theories, and I was surprised by the sheer amount of theories that exist. But before tackling my main topic, let me revise on what is Media. 

What is Media? 

According to the Oxford dictionary, Media is "The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively."

The word 'Media' is used to describe any means of communication. It refers to the platform or form of communication. For instance, using words to share your thoughts to other people is a form of media.

Media has the power to influence people. It Inspires, informs, entertains, motivates, propagates and educates. If used for the right purposes, media is beneficial but it can also be a deadly weapon on society - A double edged sword.

I have previously written a full essay on the topic of Media, and you can read it here.

Media and Society

Media effects our society and so does our society effect our media production. There many factors that lead to media being produced, and different set of institutions have different regulations to be followed. 

Graeme Burton, explains the relationship between media and society by making a connections between elements such as regulation and power, in his book 'Media and Society, Critical Perspectives'.

A module on 'The Relationship Between Media and Society'

The one module from these three that Political Economist gear toward is 'Dynamic Modules', as they advocate for a  free market. Where media and society effect each other, rather than one controls the other. The problem with the current free market is, it is used as a tool rather than a public good, according to Ralph Negrine. Where the market, which produces media, is regulated to allow for freedom.

‘there is a structural contradiction between freedom of communication and unlimited freedom of the market . . . the market liberal ideology of freedom of individual choice in the marketplace of opinions is in fact a justification of the privileging of corporate speech and of giving more choice to investors than to citizens’ 

- Ralph Negrine (1994)

These points raise certain questions on the multiple critical approaches media is being produced, in terms of the relationship between media and society. Although the Western belief system advocates for freedom and democracy, it censors certain systems to protect particular groups. Hence means, no such freedom exists, free market, as the system doesn't allow for all sections of society to be exposed. 

Burto continues to say that, a couple institutions decide what is shown in the marketplace. Therefore, The media marketplace is controlled by power rather than the people, society.

Captain Tsubasa and a Generation of Footballers

An example of media's relationship with society and its effects, is the Japanese animation 'Captain Tsubasa'. Captain Tsubasa was created in 1981 by Tiochi Takahashi in Tokyo, Katsushika. The story is about a football prodigy from Japan called Tsubasa Oozora and him becoming a global football stars along with his friends. The series was popular for its focus on the friendship and the flashy moves, which attracted a large audience. 

I didn't personally grow up watching Captain Tsubasa, however my parents did. It was hard for me to understand their love for the show, until I realised that because of this show a whole generation became interested in football, or in other words 'in love with football'. Many started playing football on the streets of Yemen in hopes that one day they will become like Tsubasa!  

Of course Japanese and Yemenis aren't the only ones that were inspired by this show, it was globaly popular, and these are some football icons that were inspired by the show: Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres, Andrés Iniesta and Alessandro Del Piero.

Fernando said, "I remember when I was a kid, we couldn’t find the signal really well on TV, but everyone in school was talking about this cartoon about football, from Japan. I started playing football because of this, and because my brother forced me, and I loved the cartoon. I wanted to be Oliver, because he played out on the field and Benji was the goalkeeper.”

This animation inspired a nation, Japan, to embrace a sport that wasn't popular at all. Captain Tsubasa, made children all around that country fall in love with football. And soon after, the first professional football league started its journey in 1992. 

Fast forward to ten years later, Japan co-hosted its first World Cup.

1. Media And Society: Critical Perspectives - by Graeme Burto 


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