How To Use Media Analysis

Over the years, the ways that we connect to the media has changed immensely. The word media was not commonly used until the 1950's when people were connected to the media mainly by newspapers and radio. Since then the media has expanded to include television and the internet. In the United States, we have a free and open media with very few limits. Even though members of the media are free to voice their opinions, they are constantly being analyzed. There are numerous rating agencies and intellectual think tank that analyze and then rate members and factions of the media. Media analysis is often times factional and confrontational, conservatives and liberals analyze each other blacks and whites analyze each other and even different religious factions analyze each other.

While media analysis is often slanted to prove a point, it is necessary because of the media power. The media has the power to change the way we dress, to change the way we vote, and even to change the way that many people think. While the media is not confined to just the news and reporting media (there is the advertising media, the entertainment media, the social media etc) that is the section of the media that is most often analyzed.

Types of Media Analysis:

Media Objectivity

When analyzing the media it is important to test for objectivity. Objectivity is one of the most important principles of journalism. A good news journalist is expected to report a story in a fair, factual and nonpartisan manner. Every school of journalism teaches this principle. People who want pure news have the right to expect journalist to tell a story without trying to inject their personal biases or partisan views. We as individuals can test for media objectivity. When testing for objectivity here a couple of questions that you can ask yourself

• Did you get the whole story or were facts omitted?

• Was additional information necessary?

• Were words inserted that were intended to give a positive or negative impression?

Media Accuracy

When a news media outlet reports news that they advertise to be accurate and unbiased they are held to a higher level of scrutiny than those with admitted points of views or biases. That is the reason that nonpartisan fact checking organizations have come into existence. These organizations analyze the news for statements and stories that are blatantly untrue. One of these organizations is Accuracy in Media (AIM) which describes itself as "a non-profit, grassroots citizen's watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage."

Media Effect

The mass media has been blamed for everything from promoting discrimination against minorities and women, to changing stock prices and trying to bring down presidents. The power of the media to move the masses is rarely disputed. It is clear that the media has a profound effect on the social, political, cultural and economic structure of our society. There are some segments of the media that produce content that is impartial and serious and these news outlets should be respected. However there are other media outlets that insert their social and political biases into the news and then push it as the truth. For that reason, it is imperative for our society to continue its analysis of the media and the content that it distributes.

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