The Influences of Mass Media on Health Trends

2403 Words10 Pages
The mass media consists of many sources of communication such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio, amongst other media outlets, of which are used to inform, educate, influence, and entertain an audience. These forms of communication help construct a person’s perception because the media use platforms to influence opinion, of which is made possible due to how the media organisations use their resources. The modern media are able to change people’s perspectives by introducing them to “modern” knowledge. In particular, the media has a great influence on health trends, due to them being the main source of information to the public, and therefore they have a greater responsibility to present the facts because irresponsible reporting can result in consequences, such as widespread moral panic, financial failure for businesses and may potentially be life threatening. Evidence to support this statement comes from the increase of the term ‘obesity epidemic’ used by the media, in particular The New York Times, of whom covered this throughout 751 reports between 1990 and 2001. The ‘obesity epidemic’ caused a moral panic amongst the public because the media defined it as a social issue due to the news story being less significant to theme. The information presented is influential to the public as it shapes their perception towards obesity. However, the media tend to portray overweight individuals negatively, of which reinforces stigma and ultimately results in the
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