Essay on the role of the media

Part One

The role of the media is a complex and multifaceted idea that cannot be understood unless it is critically viewed with reference to the various role-of-the-media models dependent on what an individual is seeking. Various models have been formulated to help in analyzing the role of the media with Nordenstreng, Christians, Glasser and Mcquail’s five paradigms model being one of such proven models. To Nordenstren et al, the role of the media can be argued within five paradigms; Liberal-individualistic paradigm, Social responsibility paradigm, Critical Paradigm, Administrative Paradigm and lastly Cultural Negotiation Paradigm (Fourie, 2008).

From Nordenstren et al’s ideology, it is only logical that we try to identify which of the five paradigms is of much impact specifically to the viewers than the other. Worth noting is the fact that in most cases news are given priority based on the effect that the news will have on the listeners or viewers or the rating that the news is going to command from the listeners of viewers. Commonsensically, it is hard to draw line between the two ideologies and if at all a line has to be drawn, in anticipation, the line will have to be very thin- an indication that the two are almost closely related the two ideologies are, and to effectively draw this important line that will act as a guide line in deciding the lead news during news anchorage, there are some factors that need to be put into consideration. First, is the geographical differentiation of the station, and second; conservative slant in the coverage.

Critically, we find that the park story, even though will have a great effect on the audience, will only affect a fraction of the population, particularly frequent park users who are localized within a common geographical location (geographical differentiation); one city. The death celebrity (special emphasis on the word ‘ celebrity’) on the other hand, will affect attract majority of the audience (conservative slant in the coverage). Further, the park issue is a matter that can be debated by the general public for quite a long time compared to the celebrity’s death story which will be short-lived, fading away soon after the burial leaving the rest to documentaries that can be compiled based on the celebrity’s life. Either way, the station will still have concurred with Nordenstren et al ideologies with regards to the five paradigms. Notably, what the television station has is only the outcome of the debate- a decision that has not yet been implemented. But the death has already occurred of the celebrity implying that the TV station will still have time to make the park story the lead-story. It is now evident that as the director of the TV station, though I acknowledge the important role of the city parks such as improving the general outlook of the city, recreation and strengthening family ties, I will advocate for the celebrity story to be made the lead story due to the immediate impact that it has on the audience. Though as a compensatory measure, I would place the park issue on the headlines during prime hours with a little extended airplay before resuming to the celebrity’s death coverage.

Part Two

For a period not less than five decades now, Televisions and movies have escalated into being a tremendous source of entertainment to man . Apart from leaving us with impressions that remain embedded in our minds, watching TV shows and movies have educated us regardless of the fact that we have always watched the two due to ranging reasons. One of the main reasons being the close involvement of the integrated roles of the actors, like in an adult movie with a drama and romance storyline, through assimilation and comparisons of the movies ideologies with our day to day experiences.

The use of TV shows and movies provide a perfect avenue for sharing of a community’s culture with other communities while also offering opportunities for a commonsensical understanding of other people culture. As Hogan (2008) documents, culture can be captured in movie through a number of ways; the figures, the prominent color and the underlying perception that is intended for the viewers in the movies. For instance a person watching a movie with Chinese moral as the story line cannot help to see the silver shining attire that in most cases will be prevalent in almost all the scenes of the movie. This example encompasses the figure, colors and perception which are in line with Hogan assertion. Stated broadly, most movies are products of inspiration of the scriptwriter of movies. It is logical for one to have thoughts that are directed by ones experiences and culture, which is the overarching reason as to why virtually all movies portray a given culture.

Recently, there has emerged a new strand of entertainment that is fast growing perhaps due to the fact it is an active source of entertainment as opposed to movies and television shows that were passive to a great extent. The strand is called electronic games; which have taken the entertainment industry to a whole new level with the introduction to the market of new games by the day. According to Gunter (1998) video games with cultural artifacts, due to their nature as mass media, are of enormous social importance to the players who happen to be children in most cases and hence can be used a medium for transmission of culture. At this point it inevitable to at least compile a list of the most influential as well as important games release in the recent past, a list that might be challenging to compile since most games are rated due their popularity and not due to the psychological or cultural effects that the game has on the users; this being one of the major controversies surrounding the use of these strand of entertaining. I prefer to base the list on my personal experience with some of the games in the market. At top the list are the FIFA games (developed by EA sports world) perhaps due to the psychological influence that football has on the minds of football fans. Need for Speed©, Duke Nukem 3D, Mortal Combat, Space Invaders and Enter the Matrix occupy the second, third up to fifth position respectively.


Fourie, P. (2008). Media Studies: Media History, Media and Society. Cape Town: Juta and
Company Limited.
Gunter, B. (1998). The effects of video games on children: the myth unmasked. Sheffield:
Sheffield Academic Press.
Hogan, P. C. (2008). Understanding Indian movies: culture, cognition, and cinematic
imagination. Austin. TX: The University of Texas Press.