The media has been a great part of our daily lives for it informs and gives us knowledge of what is currently happening in the world and our society day. In the mornings, while we take a sip of our coffee or in the evenings when we prepare dinner, more often than not, we watch television for the news updates or the shows that we regularly watch. Media has greatly influenced our daily lives and it is now an immense part of our society. In the past, media had been low-key in terms of its influence to the society.
However, due to the technological advancements, everyone has gained access in the news and information that they provide. The technology has created a smaller and accessible world for every one of us. Although, the media together with technology have influenced the society, it is known to us that there are issues and news that are concealed or wrongly highlighted by the media. The young generation today has been greatly influenced by the media. In the popular TV network such as MTV, most musicians create their videos to promote their music to the audience.
The videos that they create become a trend in the young generations—the most preferred audience of the network. As musicians are looked up to as trend setters, the young generations adopt the formers’ style and brand of clothing, and these become one of the most important things that teenagers must have. The clothing lines which the popular singers and musicians wear easily become a hit to the youth. The current affairs news also has an impact on individuals. The events and information that the networks and the reporters present influence the way people view the news, depending on their personal ideas and beliefs.
International current affairs news networks such as CNN (Cable News Network) and FOX news are few of those news networks that have a tremendous impact on the viewers, including the government officials that frequently update through their television programs. Upon examining the current priorities and focus of media, I observed that that sex is evidently their main priority. If an individual is channel-surfing for a good television show to watch before he or she sleeps, it is more likely that the individual will be watching a show with sexual content or a program that promotes sexual acts.
The themes of various television shows today feature the physical attributes of a person—regularly of a woman. Otherwise, the programs promote violence and injustice towards other people. It is alarming and disturbing to know that these television shows could be easily accessed by the younger viewers with just one click of a button. With this realization, I do propose that there should be a change with the focus of the current media. First and foremost, the media should focus on the current problems of the American Society.
The media has been focusing too much on the external affairs of the United States (U. S. ). An example is the war of the U. S. with Iraq. Most of the biggest television networks in the U. S. are really watching the war as it progressed, but the local events have been slightly neglected by these television stations. The American society, although portrayed as a very affluent society by most films and television shows such as Material Girls, Laguna Beach and the likes, there are still numerous problems that are faced by the society but are not given focus on due to overlapping of news.
The issue of poverty, racial discrimination, migration, and others are at hand, but due to other news that the media prioritize and focus on, these issues are neglected, or worse, forgotten. The United States is known as an influential country due to power they exercise in the international community. The American media had lost focus on equally important things such as the local news which presents the reality of the situation of the American Society.
The violence of the international news such that of the Iraq-US war should not be shown or taken as a prestige for the U. S. Rather, this should be seen as violence against people. Second, the media should not feature too much videos or programs that advocate sex. It is known that teenagers are much more vulnerable to the issue of sex. In yearly surveys and studies, it is reported that a teenage American becomes sexually active in a very early age of 12. Due to this, more girls become involved in early pregnancy which triggers other issues that the American society presently deals with. Issues of sexually transmitted disease or HIV/AIDS are also a concern due to the continuous media hype of sex.
Third, the media should also concentrate more on discrimination within the American society. It is evident through the current published works of authors such as Barry Edmoston, Paula Denice McClain, Joseph Stewart Leland Saito, and others that there is a growing awareness on discrimination that is currently taking place. Discrimination against women, homosexuals, African Americans, and non-natives is also depicted in television shows, most often in comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live or stand up acts such as Russell Peters. The media should somehow minimize the discriminating lines or acts that these programs often portray.
Although they can be entertaining in someway, they still encourage discrimination and injustice towards these groups of people. Finally, the other side of media, Hollywood, should minimize highlighting the valuable possessions of famous personalities as this highly contributes in luring individuals, particularly the younger ones, to the world of materialism. The frequent presentation of material assets such as wearing Roberto Cavalli shoes, Vera Wang dresses, and the likes during red carpet events generates a standard within the American Society.
The things that are not important in the past become the priority in the present most especially to the current American youth. Hollywood has become the major authority on fashion and social trends because this is what is often depicted in television shows and fashion magazines. As a result, instead of good family values such as simplicity and humility, the youth embrace materialism, while the concept of “poverty” or “scarcity” is neglected. Due to the current issues in the American Society, I have thought of values that would be helpful for the growth of each and every American.
There are three values that I view as highly essential for a much better society. First is the promotion of stronger family ties with in the American Families. Currently, only a few number of programs advocate stronger family ties. In the past, television shows such as Gilmore Girls and 7th Heaven present the typical life of an American family. Having television shows that promote the importance of love and openness within the family also creates changes in the American Family. The media should portray to the public that closeness and communication with family members are not something to be ashamed of.
Instead, these elements within a family should be something that everyone must attain and be proud of. In relation to the significance of a close family relationship, having a tight family bond would lessen the problem of early pregnancy or AIDS. This is because the closeness of the family creates an open communication for the parents and the children. The parents would be able to exactly explain the consequences and the effects of such actions through their personal experience.
The explanation and the elaboration of parents on the issue would educate their children more compared to the scientific explanation provided by the school. The children learn from the family and not from other people who negatively influence them. The next value that should be promoted by the media is the concern of the society towards others. The basic essence of a person is to naturally think of him/her self first because it is his or her nature. However, we must not only focus on ourselves. There are many people who are needy within the United States, and a lot more in poor and developing countries.
Therefore, Americans must help each other as well as the people overseas—in Africa, Asia and others. Hollywood actors such as George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, Bono and others have given special attention to the needy. In their own simple way, these personalities advocate the eradication of poverty, HIV/AIDS, and other issues that must be addressed to provide help to those that are less fortunate. Hollywood, through its influence and popularity, would be able to promote such advocacies and reach out to the masses.
Although the promotion of materialism in Hollywood is an issue, some actors and artists are trying to share with the underprivileged people in their own little ways. Charity and compassion towards the people in need balance the materialistic and superficial world of Hollywood which, in one way or another, brings them back to the real world where millions of people are suffering. Above all the values that must be highlighted by the media, unity must be the number one priority. The current issues in international community press the need for harmony.
With its power and wealth, the United States has been able to practice hierarchy towards other nations. The concept of the powerful and the weak is highlighted which promotes division in the international community. On the other hand, the American society should also be unified. The backlash of the colonization era has led many Americans, Europeans, and the Japanese to view their race and nation as superior to others. At present, it does not outwardly show in their actions and behavior this belief that they are superior.
However, this perspective receded, and currently manifests in the form of discrimination against “inferior” races such as the African Americans and the Asians. Thus, this feeling of superiority should be abandoned and be replaced with acceptance and realization that all of us are humans. There is no such thing as “superior” human beings. Given the diverse culture of the US and the migrants that are currently starting to populate the state, everyone should achieve respect and equality. Discrimination must be totally eradicated to have equality and freedom for every individual in the United States.
The American society is currently facing problems that could not easily be altered. However, through the help of the media, immediate change could be easily attained. Considering all the factors that must be shown in the current media, I believe that the American society will experience a great change if my proposals are followed. Sex, materialism, and violence must not invade the media. Rather, strong family ties, concern towards others, and unity among each and every one must be given attention.