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Related question on Jawaab

Can media shape the public opinion?

Media manipulation currently shapes everything you read, hear and watch. The influence of the mass media on public perception is widely acknowledged, yet few know the incredible degree to which this occurs. Mass media is something that refers to a large group of society, covering almost 90% of the people. So anything portrayed in the media (especially print) is very effective to manipulate the attitude of the people largely regarding the public affairs. Mass media is intended to be informative. Public opinion greatly depends on knowledge about what is going on in the country or the world. The media provide the public with this knowledge through a variety of means : radio, print journalism, television and the internet.It is the media that makes national politics possible. It is through the means of mass media that we obtain information about candidates in an election.If you take a very close look at news reports, you will probably notice that some of these outlets have a narrow minded message that can be etched within the minds of people.

Some of the instances which can be considered to see whether the mass media help to shape the public opinion :
1. Manipal Case : The recent case of Manipal in which an engineering student died. The real reason was the student was electrocuted accidently and this lead to his death. But a well known national newspaper, presented the very case in a different manner. They reported that the child tried to commit suicide and that led to his death. This was a great impact to the people's mind about the case and at some point of time changed their opinion.

2. Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. He was hailed by media stars as a "breathtaking" example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported?

Things are quite different these days. Some of the news are also reported the way the public wants to see. They are being portrayed in a manner which could attract people's attention. The media today is TRP centric and not information centric. The media should focus more on the information and present in a right manner to make the public support the correct and shape the society in a right direction instead of bragging and dragging it in a different direction.
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