The Media and the Decline of Critical Thinking

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The role of the media in our society has increased dramatically in the last one hundred years. We have gone from taking weeks to send a message a thousand miles away, to being able to send a message instantly anywhere around the globe. The effects this has had on information being exchanged over many different forms of media is staggering. The question that has come to be asked over the years, is what effect has this had on us. Media not only influences the way we see world events such as through the news media, but in the ways we spend our money though commercial media. It has had an effect on how we entertain ourselves and has at times been the focal point of the entire nation at once such as the Kennedy assassination…show more content…
In these ways print may also be used to manipulate and push agendas, which may or may not be in the best interests of everyone. We have seen throughout history, print used by world leaders and governments to get the message they are trying to send to as many of their citizens, as quickly as possible. Print medias use by totalitarian governments to push it’s propaganda on citizens and others outside the borders. Adolf Hitler used print media to push his Nazi party agenda throughout Germany, and later the nations he overran, effectively in the early 20th century. We have also seen print bring down administrations, such as President Nixon’s Watergate scandal in 1974. Indeed it does appear that sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword, and other times the pen ends up being the sword. Print is also used in the form of magazines, which are usually tailored to a specific taste or interest, to promote thoughts and ideas. Most of the time these are perfectly harmless, but sometimes a message can have an underlying subliminal effect. An example of this may be the portrayal in the media of what an ideal housewife should be in 40’s and 50’s, having an adverse effect in the liberation movement in the same era. The same can be said of magazines, which place celebrities on a pedestal, creating an ideal that no real human can live up to. Print media must also share some blame, in the self-esteem problems suffered by young women, by the
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