Role of Media in Influencing Culture and Society

It is impossible to overstate social media's influence on society. The mass media has impacted cultural shifts in our society and has come to define the roles of men and women. Communication across cultures and borders was impacted as a result. The impact of culture on individual behavior is something that has attracted the attention of researchers all around the world.

What are the Cultural Functions of Media Use?

The media has a significant impact on society. Media is the term used in communication to describe the medium employed to disseminate information to a broad, diversified, and sometimes unknowing audience. Media representations depict different cultural groups in the media, while media effects are studies of the media's impact on its viewers. The core tenet of social construction is the denial of any absolute reality. In contrast, proponents of this foundation emphasize that all knowledge is culturally and historically contingent. The media, a powerful social system, heavily influence an individual's perception of the world. It is important to remember that even people who limit their time in front of the TV still feel the consequences of media exposure.

As "Dumbing Down of Society"

According to "The Crisis in Culture," market-driven media will eventually bring all cultures under the control of the entertainment business. Susan Sontag claims that the entertainment sector is the source of the most "intelligible, seductive ideas." Therefore, debates about "the tepid, the glib, and the senselessly cruel" are the norm. Some observers assert that interest in celebrity culture is on the rise. People complain that high-quality drama has been replaced by gardening shows, cooking demonstrations, and other "lifestyle" programs on television and that newspapers that once included foreign news now feature celebrity gossip and photos of scantily-clad young women.

One critic argued that great art and genuine folk culture had been replaced by "tasteless industrialized artifacts," or mass-produced items designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience. They argue that the media industry's meteoric rise to prominence after WWII led to its eventual consolidation into a handful of multinational conglomerates. Sensationalism and titillation have replaced serious reporting in the mainstream media, which feeds people's "fears, prejudices, scapegoating processes, paranoia, and aggression."

Public Participation

Participation from the public is a common by-product of media research, especially social media research. The issue of disaster aid provides a good illustration of this point. The unfortunate occurrence of natural catastrophes like hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis generates demand in many locations; many citizens want their government's help with food supply, housing, and medical attention. There are occasions when disasters are so extensive that governments do not have the resources to fix everything that has been broken. People worldwide can contribute by donating money thanks to the widespread dissemination of information about recent natural catastrophes on social media platforms. Through their websites, you can donate to organizations like the Red Cross, World Relief, Hands, and World Vision. The media is being used proactively, making it simple for anyone to contribute financially.

Books, periodicals, newspapers, and other print media are useful for disseminating disaster-related information. However, they need to be more suited to delivering this material quickly and on a massive scale. Furthermore, there is no opportunity for engagement in these textual formats. The media's presentation of information is effective because of the speed with which it can be disseminated and the incentives it offers its audience to participate.

Media - Catalyst for Preserving and Promoting Local Culture

The media is a mirror of societal values and beliefs. The spread of knowledge, education, and consciousness throughout a country is facilitated by the media and can contribute to a cultural revolution. There is a positive and welcoming dynamic between culture and the media. The media in Malaysia and Singapore, for instance, frequently covers the celebrations of the various communities, as well as the religious observances and other customs of those communities. In an unusual phenomenon, Malaysians of many ethnic and religious origins have celebrated the Chinese New Year's Yee Sang ceremony together. This trend has been popularised by television reports and media reports on the intermixing of different communities in Malaysia.

Individual Accountability and Popular Culture

Ultimately, media literacy teaches that it is the individual's responsibility to evaluate and comprehend the messages and images they encounter. Everyone in a packed theatre of a million people is still an individual, no matter how often they have seen the same mass media work. There are many right ways to interpret what we see in the media; rather, a wide range of reasonable inferences can be made based on factors including background knowledge and personal experience. We live in a media-rich world, but we can make the most of it by reading, understanding, and critically evaluating the various forms of communication we encounter.

Persuasion and Cultural Values

When content creators are vested in a certain societal aim, that interest will alter the message they send through the media. The producers provide media content to either support or counteract specific arguments. Most institutions, including governments, businesses, NGOs, and educational institutions, actively influence media coverage to further their agendas and ideals. At its most oppressive, governmental level, this media influence can constitute propaganda, defined as communication that aims to influence its target audience for ideological, political, or commercial reasons. The truth is typically twisted, facts are cherry-picked, and emotional appeals are used in propaganda, though this is not always the case. Caricatures of the adversary are a common component of wartime propaganda.


Due to the complex interplay between real life and the various forms of mass media, representations of modern culture are indistinguishable from reality. Culture in the globalized, post-modern era spreads mostly through the media. As with society at large, the media has a significant impact on shaping cultural norms and values.

Updated on: 09-Feb-2023

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