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Which Media Effects Categories, Including Type of Outcome, Intentionality, Level of Outcome, Duration of Outcome Best Describe the Potential Effects of This Health Message and Why

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In every woman’s life, the media holds a strong influence on how she views herself. Whether it be a celebrity’s secret anti-aging cream, at-home workout plan, or new clothing line, women look towards the media to impact their decisions on their appearance

Although positive effects can come from letting advertisements guide one’s judgement, sometimes false advertisements can have a negative impact on how a woman perceives herself. People in charge of commercials, magazines, and other ads distort their publications in ways that critique someone’s physical appearance, otherwise known as body shaming.

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In general, “media” refers to the tools of mass communication. Media today consists of television, Internet, cinema, newspapers, radio, magazines, direct mail, fax, and the telephone. Viewers can see some form of pictorial representation of messages through certain types of broadcasting and advertising. Images are visual representations, pictures, graphics, and include video, movies. Images are very useful in media to help get across messages effectively. Today, our life will remain incomplete without media. For example, it provides an easy means of communication where people are able to contact friends and family from another side of the world. At the same time, media like television, radio and the Internet enhance our knowledge by providing access to information from all over the world. We can also receive different types of news or daily events through media, almost instantly, for example, through the Internet. For example, when the video of people protesting on the streets of Cairo in Egypt to change the government in Egypt was broadcast over the Worldwide Web, these images actually influenced more people from other countries to join the street protests in support of the Egyptian protesters

Something similar happened in 2010 in Thailand where the ‘Red’ Shirts protested in the streets to oppose and change the Thai government. The Thai government then had supporters who wore the ‘Yellow’ Shirts, and also marched in the streets. These kinds of images when seen on TV, newspapers or the Internet by individuals and “society” in general, can influence viewers to either support or not support those who are in power. Media images are ubiquitous in modern society. We know this because when we go almost anywhere, for example, drive on the roads, we can see billboards promoting famous brands and the latest products. When we are attracted to advertisements, we may begin to imagine or visualize using it. The media can give us information to tell us what a product, service or message is. In fact, media influence has become so powerful today that they can easily influence people positively and/or negatively. We also live in a society that depends on the media as a source of entertainment and information. Indeed, the media images affect both individuals and society which includes women, men, teenagers and younger children.

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Reasoning today is influenced by the media rather than platonic ideas (Bourdon, 2000). Usually, the media is the most trusted institution with fanatical following and whatever it reports, supports or rejects is taken as the stand of the society. For example, during campaign periods to elect leaders, the media can tactfully influence the voting pattern by either showing positive or negative bias towards a specific candidate or party (Wanta & Miller, 1996). The society has become lazy and passive and in turn waits to be spoon-fed with information by the media regardless of its validity

This is why such pertinent decisions that would have been made by personal rational judgment such as voting are positively influenced by the media to influence the pattern of voting. Mass media unifies and invigorates conversations (makes them uniform in space and diversified in time) of the society by giving its audience conversations of the day whose subject changes every day and every week (Bolter & Grusin, 2000). This is done tactfully, directly and behind the scenes thereby controlling and influencing the thoughts and actions of the society at large. For instance, if a leader differs in opinion with the media, the media can hit back at him by initiating and invigorating a conversation directly aimed at discrediting that leader and making him unpopular. The effect of this is that a bad image of this leader is created on people’s minds and people start perceiving him as a bad leader.

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All things considered, the media also helps people to identify methods of reacting out to members who come from different groups. For instance, many television movies and shows present African Americans as highly talented in sports. This makes us assume that in any sporting activity such as basket ball, the black athlete is better than a white athlete.

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Bourdon, J. (2000). Live Television is Still Alive. Media, Culture & Society, 22(5), 531-556.

Bolter, J. & Grusin, R. (2000). Remediation: Understanding new media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Wanta, W. & Miller, R. (1996). Sources of the public agenda: The president-press-public relationship. International Journal of Public Opinion Research. 8(4), 390-402.

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