What are the positive and negative impacts of mass media on culture?

Mass media is a form of media where transmission and communication takes place across society to large number of people at the same time. Media can be classified as print media which includes newspaper, magazines, journals, pamphlets, leaflets, printed advertisements etc. whereas audio-visual or electronic media includes television, films, radio, computers and internet etc. Mass media in India is that part of media which aims at reach a wide audience in India. Mass media is very powerful means of influencing the masses. There has been a tremendous growth in the field of mass media after globalization. This has in turn affected the culture to a great extent.

Positive Impact of Mass Media on Culture

1. National Integration

Films and television promotes national integration to a great extent. It brings people from different caste, religion, culture together. With globalization and increase in number of channels there is one global identity over and above the regional identity reinforcing the value of ‘Vasudhaive Kutumbkam’.

2. Increase in Awareness

Mass media promotes social issues such as anti-dowry, safe sex (anti-Aids), small family norm, employment guarantee schemes etc. This helps to create informed society.

3. Positive Image of Women

Status of women is an integral part of the culture of any society. Mass media highlighting the achievements of women and portraying strong women characters change the perspective towards women.

4. Increase in Employment Opportunities

Directly or indirectly the advertisements, channels and production houses generate a huge scope for employment for creative and talented people.

5. Strengthening Family Ties

Evenings in India have now become family get to gather time with media revolution and certain good programmes. Reinforcing traditional values of eating together and living together has strengthened family ties.

Negative Impact of Mass Media on Culture

1. Promoting Popular Culture

Media in a big way promotes the mass or popular culture. That sends a message what is popular is good. It often results in complete neglect of authentic, indigenous, classical or folk culture.

2. Crime and Violence

Increasing amount of violence based programs and action oriented films adversely affects the mind set of children and youngsters. In course of imitating their favourite stars they end up being juvenile delinquent, or indulge in anti-social elements.

3. Stereotypical Image of Woman

Barring some good programmes, advertisement and daily soaps portray women in a very bad taste. Women on screen, when used as sex symbol the mindset of the people gets affected and treat women in the same way in real life as well.

4. Sensationalizing Events

Due to cut throat competition amongst the news channels and newspapers, they tend to sensationalize events to grab audience or readers attention and increase their viewership or readership. Paparazzi become the vital part of our culture affecting the privacy of members of society.

5. Defining Beauty and Richness

Media has created an illusion of fantasy world amongst its viewers. Fairness and slimness of girls are the only parameters of their beauty. Larger than life houses and lifestyles create wrong perception of happiness in the minds of young generation who tend to dream of such life.

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