Posts Tagged ‘ society ’

Trading on Fear: A Critical Review of Media Influence on the Masses

By Jennifer Kealy

The principle function of this essay is the examination of how news construction creates a social strength within a community. A fundamental characteristic of that control is the production of fear and dread. The mass media play a crucial role in all aspects of our daily life (Hoynes 2003: 15). The industry’s influential ability goes far beyond communicating a report of public concern. It educates us about our world, which shapes how we communicate our opinions with each other (Hoynes 2003:15). As a result, it has a strong sociological significance embedded within our culture. The production practices have produced an organisational media machine driven by selective news sources promoting terror (Altheide 2002:32). The discourse of alarm is symbolic to the awareness of danger in our environment. This is known as the “problem frame and the production of fear” (Altheide 2002: 41). Through a qualitative content analysis of the past five years of news coverage within The Daily Mail revealed the increase of the word fear in the headline. The obtained data from Lexis/Nexis highlighted the change of news focus from drug related violence, to recent reports concerning the fear of terror attacks and the increase of  gun crime. This analysis suggests that the use of fear in the media may have a connotation on social control. This critique aims to investigate news implications to society domination. Continue reading

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