News Media

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“Are the News Media Helping Or Hurting American Society?”

“Are the News Media Helping Or Hurting American Society?”


The news media play a central role in exposing conflict situations by bringing conflicting parties and disputed issues to light. Media contribution during the buildup period to a conflict and throughout the conflicts course is widely acknowledged by many authors as an important tool to uncover the conflicts dynamics and expose its complexity to local actors and the international community. Other academics and researchers argue that the media also may play a destructive role in conflict situations. The media are very powerful in reinforcing, destroying or constructing audience perceptions (Shah, Mark, Domke, David 2002). During conflict situations, this particular role may become more emphasized to the degree that it is impossible for media sources to only continue playing the role of a watchdog. Thus, media often become a tool in the hands of the conflict parties leading to conflict escalation. Most of the times, the attitude of media is hurting more instead of helping the society. New media provide complete information flow that is essential to the political system for American economic institutions to everyday life styles. It is very important to know the major influences of news media on American individual and society. Any news that can be broadcast by any technology it became the news media.


News media professionals often argue that they are objective and report only on facts. In this regard, journalistic practices are grounded in the ideology that objectivity and impartiality are required values to establish the credibility and reliability of the journalists reporting. Researchers explain that early challenges to journalism as a profession originated in sociological studies, which highlighted the concern as to whether the news media possess qualities of ethics and ideology. Sociologists argue that these qualities are necessary to define the beliefs and values of a profession (Pauli 2006). Nonetheless, social democratic demands such as freedom of speech and the right of the society for acquire knowledge have allowed journalism to flourish and to develop professional values and ethics including the notions of objectivity and impartiality. These assumptions, however, have also been challenged: In their content analysis of negativity in international news, researchers studied the Los Angeles Times and found that 39 percent of headlines were negative and 11 percent positive; and story impact on the reader was 51 percent negative compared to 28 percent positive. They also found that news about developing countries is discussed in more negative terms when compared with stories about the developed world. In conflict situations, the framing of events and issues emphasized by the media has an amplified effect on the people who are participating in the conflict. Researchers explain: Media coverage of war and peace is especially influential because the public cannot rely on other sources of information, such as personal experience (McChesney 2004). Taking into consideration news framing of social issues such as crime, drugs or elections, the conflicts news events have a wider reach, since they ...
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