The Impact of the Media Exaggeration and Distortion on People’s and Societies’ Opinions
In the contemporary world, the media has become an essential for survival just like food, water, and clothing. For decades now, it has played a crucial role in strengthening the society. Its positive contribution to modern society has been labeled as “mirror” of the humankind. True to say, the media has shaped the lives of all people in one way or another. Its primary roles are to inform people about the trending affairs and update them on the latest fashions and gossips (Mandell & Schram, 2012). Moreover, the media is in charge of entertainment, education, advertising, and information among others. Despite these undeniable benefits, an epidemic has been trending in the recent years. It is about media exaggeration. It entails a distortion of the information intended for the public (Mandell & Schram, 2012). Its effects are negative, and they include prejudiced people’s opinions and demonization of groups of persons. The paper seeks to discuss how the distortion of information by the media affects individual’s views, and how it demonizes the society.
It has been a trend to accuse the media on all that ails the society today. Now, it is one of the main reasons for all evils happening in the society. Usually, the media is fond of exaggerating the facts about scenes with the intention of grabbing and holding audiences. A serious problem occurs when the information reaches the intended audience in different versions rather than the original one. The impressions they create easily influence public opinions and democracy itself. As such, their impacts are not to be underestimated. Besides biases expected from editors and corporations, the media so often portrays the world in very unrealistic ways. Therefore, there are many times that the media exaggerates a truth. As a result, the education and respectable information reaches them as trash resulting in a non-sensible view of the world and people’s social problems. Some of the most exaggerated truths are based on crimes, HIV/AIDS, and the economy.
When certain information is exaggerated, its impact is more severe. Thus, the audiences are vulnerable and fond of quickly accepting negative and foreboding forecasts on the society and issues related to it. Usually, people assume that all information read in the papers, seen on the television, or shared on the social media is always true even when similar stories are reported differently by different outlets (Mandell & Schram, 2012). Besides these, the media is turned to by opinion leaders seeking to create a splash, influence people, and have their voices heard. With some information unverified, it is likely that what the audience receives is overwhelming false and exaggerated facts. However, when the information is far from the baseline truth, people are liable to make prejudiced opinions.
For example, one of the most reported subjects is that of HIV/AIDS. The epidemic is associated with widespread discrimination and stigma against the affected persons. As such, the more exaggerated the facts, the more these problems are likely to prevail. Similarly, it is likely that people’s mental well-being will be affected negatively. Another example is on economic statistics most of which are greatly exaggerated. Let us assume that an economic slump is reported in a negative and exaggerated manner. The likely result is that individual’s opinions will be skewed negatively by the objectionable view of the economy. Eventually, they may end up with unwarranted attitudes and unsound decisions. In fact, they end up confused and more withdrawn from the main problem.
In conclusion, the paper has looked at how distorted media information impacts people’s opinions. It has noted that the media has become a life necessity. However, is associated with adverse effects when information intended for the public is distorted and exaggerated. The media is known for an ever-growing derogatory exaggeration on matters such as calamities such as an earthquake, epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, terrorism, and war among others. These forms of exaggeration demonize people, communities, and nations. As a result, the psychological influence on the audience prevails, and their sensitivity and opinions on the matter are significantly affected. Therefore, they end up with prejudiced thoughts.
Mandell, B. R., & Schram, B. (2012). An introduction to human services: Policy and practice (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.