Media refers to the communication channels through which we disseminate news, music, movies, education, promotional messages and other data. It includes physical and online newspapers and magazines, television, radio, billboards, telephone, the Internet, fax and billboards. Media from the value development point of view build desirable form of thinking and ability to deal with issues related to values. The role of the mass media in influencing the values is becoming increasingly very high.
- Eradicating stereotype: Media is more likely to affect our beliefs about reality when an individual don’t have first-hand experiences to rely upon.
- Example: The injustice meted out to transgenders is due to the stereotype is now reducing due to plight being spread by the media. The recent Supreme Court verdict decriminalizing section 377 of IPC is also educated and sensitizing people to be compassionate and empathetic by media.
- Conceptualizing about the world: Media influences us in one way by shaping our subjective understanding of reality, i.e. our beliefs about the world— what it is and how it works.
- Example: Movies made about various social issues like child labour, untouchability, human trafficking show the true plight of the sufferers. Media has helped tackle many such issues through awareness, education of the people.
- Attitude: media research showed that the intent to actively change social attitudes did not work in early media campaigns. Instead, ironically, people being persuaded by media messages that weren’t even designed to change attitudes or behavior.
- Example: Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, is majorly a behavioural and attitudinal change towards sanitation and hygiene. The media and celebrities with their SBM challenges have influenced people to keep their surroundings clean by imbibing civic sense.
- “Identification” as a factor of Socialization: Any individual specially the present time generation acquires values and lifestyle through imitation of “socialized actors”. Acquisition of values is not given entity but it is a result of action.
- Example: media has played a major role in making Delhi gang rape victim DAMINI the focal point of attention, with high level discussion over ways to be adopted to stop these terrible crimes.
- Transparency & Accountability: The incorporation of media in various walks of life has increased the answerability of many responsible figures. This has in turn increased the credibility of the faithful.
- Example: e-Governance, RTI act has brought in the values of accountability and transparency among the government and its functionaries.
Media’s negative role in shaping our values:
- Sensationalization of news by media houses, lack of free and fair media due to patronage by politicians, business conglomerates lead to lack of objectivity, impartiality in media.
- Social media is today used to radicalise people based on religious values and recruit for heinous activities against humanity and society. It inculcates the negative values like hatred, violence, communal disharmony and intolerance.
- Paid news, Fake news and communal propaganda undermine the democratic values of our society of fraternity, tolerance and mutual love and trust towards other fellowmen.
- Obscene and violent content like child pornography, rape, murders, revenge porn has affected the psyche of many including children.
The media has played an important role in positive developments like the fight against racism, gender bias, unemployment, poverty, and spreading awareness about the need for world peace.