Audience Manipulation by the Media: Fact or Fiction?

       We would like to think that our ideas are our own, that our thoughts come from our own minds, and we choose our own likes and dislikes. This idea of true freedom, of opinion, is fictional. We are our own people, but part of what makes us who we are is our environment. One may even go as far to say that we are products of our environment. An environment is what you are exposed to--and, we are all exposed to a few of the same things. Television commercials, for example, are seen by millions of people all around the world. Although you may not see their influence immediately, it is still there. You may buy the Bounty brand of paper towels rather than another because it is trusted to work better. If you do this without questioning and finding out what works best on your own, you are probably being manipulated by advertising. This is not always a bad thing, but media manipulation can go much farther than simple commercials.

       Oprah Winfrey is a perfect example of a person of the media with great power. If Oprah says something is good, it has to be good, right? Similarly, if Oprah says someone is a good person, he or she has to be a good person. The relationship between Oprah and her audience is strong and full of trust. If she were to break that trust at any given moment, her audience would likely still believe her. This is because the media that Oprah produces manipulates the audience to believe her. Again, this is not always a bad thing. All I am saying is that with great power comes great responsibility.

       News channels have the most responsibility of all. Their responsibility is to report the truth of the world to the world. However, is the full truth always shared? News channels all have sponsors; So, what happens when there is any negative truth that citizens need to know about these sponsors? The financial supporters of news channels would not fund programs presenting information that would break the supporting brand's trust with its consumers. This news is what goes unreported. The news media manipulates us into thinking that nothing is wrong with its own production. Although acclaimed news channels are extremely trustworthy and help a multitude of people, there is still more to the story. They may be telling us the truth, but rarely the whole truth. I encourage you all to look deeper into who you put your trust in, and pay closer attention so that you will become in charge of your own decisions and opinions. Stay aware, my friends.