News media are important in modern society. Why are they so important? Are their influences generally positive or negative?
I think the news media mainly plays two important roles in modern society – providing information and influencing public opinion – and I think its influence is generally positive.
Obviously, the news media provides people with vast amounts of information in various forms. We can access it by listening to the radio, reading newspapers and magazines, watching television and by surfing the Internet. The ability to access news media is important for individuals and organisations because we make many decisions based on the news provided to us. Some of these decisions are mundane. We check the weather forecast to see whether we should take an umbrella to work. Other news, such as that about the business world, could influence whether we invest our savings in certain companies listed on the stock exchange.
The news is often presented to us in certain ways, using specific words to try to control our feelings and thoughts. This can be the main negative influence of the news media. Very often, the news media portrays people in simplistic ways, giving us some facts, but not the whole story. In the USA, some news media tends to support the Republicans whilst others tend towards the Democrats and the portrayal of individuals can reflect this. This is somewhat inevitable, because the editors, journalists and owners of the news media have opinions and biases. So, I think that it would be better if people checked news stories from different sources instead of only us.