The word ‘media’ is derived from the word medium, signifying mode or carrier. Media is intended to reach and address a large target group or audience. The word was first used in respect of books and newspapers i.e. print media and with the advent of technology, media now encompasses television, movies, radio and internet. In today’s world, media becomes as essential as our daily needs. Media of today is playing an outstanding role in creating and shaping of public opinion and strengthening of society.
Media is the sword arm of democracy. Media acts as watchdog to protect public interest against malpractice and create public awareness. Today when politicians are taking full advantage of their positions, an evil nexus of mafia and crime syndicate is making the life of the common man miserable, taxpayer’s money is siphoned out for the personal gain of the influential and ordinary people are a mere spectator-media has a grater responsibility As the fourth pillar of democracy along with judiciary, executive and legislature, media of today has an all embracing role to act against the injustice, oppression, misdeeds and partiality of our society.
From the days abode, media has remained an integral part of human civilization. From the days of Vedas and Upanishads to edicts of kings and emperors like Chandragupta, Asoka to the medieval Indian mass gatherings to the modern day’s audio video and print media, media has always taken a pivotal role in shaping our society. During the days of freedom struggle newspapers like Tilak’s Maratha, Mahatmaji’s young India acted as a platform to place the demands of common Indian and to express solitude with freedom fighters. Indian media in post independence era has grown up phenomenally and today comprises of more than 50,000 newspapers, hundreds of television and radio channels.
In this era of liberalistion, privatisation and globalisation(LPG) the world has reached our drawing room thanks to media. Since the introduction of television in our country in late 70’s visual media becomes a very potential tool in informing the current news to the society, entertaining the people and shaping up of public opinion. The World Wide Web and web 2.0 technologies have given rise to electronic media where even a common man can express views through blogs, website posts, facebook and twitter like social media. Coupled with traditional print media all these audio video and social media caters to a richly diversified media industry in India.
Media helps in fighting against corruption, nepotism, cronyism of institutional machinery and carrying out relentless campaign against them. Way back in independent India from the Mundra case to the jeep scandal to the hawala case to the kickbacks received in different defense deals- Indian media performs commendably in exposing the corrupted highly placed statesman. In recent scams from commonwealth to 2G, exposed thanks to television and print media, media acted as a catalyst to government action compelling government to swing into action including suspending ministers and putting ministers into jail. Who can forget the crusade taken by Indian media in the Nirbhaya rape case and shaping the public opinion in one of the most heinous crimes the world has ever witnessed. Without media, the news of government schemes and benefits would have never reached the target audience.
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If one were to look back over the last decade and try to find some element that affected society as a whole from a technical standpoint, there would be a couple of possible contenders. The advancement of smartphone technology in such a short time is certainly impressive, for example. However, the impact of social media, while intertwined with the smartphone is something that made even more of an impression. Consider just how easy it is to see what is happening on the other side of the world, through the accounts of real people rather than filtered news channels. Twitter and Facebook were huge parts of the Arab Spring, and they are important to help people keep in contact and updated during disasters.
The Effect on Communication and Connection
A decade ago, it was very difficult to find and connect with people that you once knew in high school or college, even with the power of the web. When you moved away, most people lost touch permanently. The social media sites, such as Facebook and Google+, are making it much easier for people to find one another and reconnect, even after decades of being apart. The sites are a great way to see what is happening in the lives of friends and family, and to meet new people who have similar interests and thoughts to yours.
The youth of the world is often the most ready to adapt to and learn to use new technologies, and they are certainly at the forefront of social media of all types. They have more technological know-how than many of older generations as well. Social media, therefore, is certainly having a rather large impact on their daily lives for good and for bad.
Those who spend too much time on social sites, or who take the abuses of online bullies seriously on the sites could have some issues. For parents, even those of teenagers who are 16 and 17, it is important to watch to make sure that social media sites do not take over the lives of children. When used appropriately, it can be a very good thing.
Of course, the social media sites are ripe for marketing endeavors as well, and over the past few years, users have seen an uptick in the amount of advertising on the sites. Many companies are actually choosing to become a part of the site rather than merely buying advertising. This allows for a closer connection between the customers and the companies, which could lead to better service and better quality products. As long as companies are not too overt about ads and promotion, most users do not mind it. In most cases, users would have to subscribe to the content in the first place.
Another reason people are spending as much time as they do on social media sites is because they can be a great form of entertainment. Watch videos that people post to their timelines, view pictures, read stories, and even play games. Whether using a smart phone, a tablet, or a traditional computer, more and more people are utilizing social media in their daily lives. Few things have quite as much impact and affect as social media over the past few years. The sites are certainly a step toward world globalization.
It is possible to find a number of different social media outlets available today, and one should certainly be able to find something that suits their needs and lifestyle. From Twitter to Facebook and Google+, something is available for everyone who wants to connect.
Melissa Tyler is a tech writer at VPN Ten where you can read reviews about the best VPN providers. She is fond of sharing advice about online security, safety connections and VPN technology.
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