The Fourth Power

Do the Media have too much influence on people’s lives? I think the Media do. Do the Media influence people’s behavior? If you ask this question to people, everybody will answer it “Yes!” Because the media is getting more and more influential. It is changing our political or social views on different. I personally believe that the Media have negative effects on people’s lives.
Think about a standard evening. You are very tired. You get undressed and wear your pajamas. What do you do? You repose on your favorite armchair and turn on your TV. You want to watch the news. When you turn off your television, you start to read your newspaper or connect to internet. In everyway, you are affected by the Media. 1860… The date changed the world’s history. Because in 1860, Caselli invented how to record images. In 20th Century, this invention started to be developed. Movies and television entered people’s lives. Now, every house has one or more televisions and there are lots of movies. There are lots of cinema saloons and lots of television channels. Nobody can dissent watching. In your house, the television is always open. When you go out with your friends, you probably go to the cinema. You even see big advertisement screens when you are walking or driving. You can reach many images from internet. Close your eyes and think about it. How much different kind of lives did you see in real world? And how much different kind of lives did you see on the screen? You watch the world by watching screens, don’t you? Screens are the view of the world. Who was your childhood hero? Your neighbour or a cartoon character? Where did you learn things more? Hence, our consciences say that screens, especially television influence people’s behavior. They can even change people’s destiny and this has got many disadvantages.
In the first place, the Media is the best way to do brainwashing. I am against censorship. However, sometimes it is needed especially for the kids. In the news, they say “Don’t let your children and old people to watch this news”, and I think that’s a right behavior. This must be continued. Media must be controlled. Because, unfortunately, the Media is the best way to do brainwashing and there are many bad scenes shown.
In addition to this, advertisements and commercials have got influence on people’s choices on food, drink and dress. Of course, advertisements are needed. However, this is sometimes goes in a negative way. There are hidden advertisements in the movies. For example, why do we eat popcorn in the cinemas? Its reason is hidden advertisements. In the old movies, there were hidden advertisements which make us to eat popcorn while we’re watching movie.” Actually we don’t understand these are wanted from us, we aren’t aware of them, but we do which the hidden advertisements want from us. When we go to big markets like Migros, we don’t buy our needs. We see and buy all big brands, even we don’t need them. This shows how advertisements and commercials have got influence on us. These food and drinks can be harmful to us. We are nourished by these harmful nutriments. However, we have to eat and drink healthy nutriments. The Media have got an important role to show the best way, but the Media show us the wrong way. We become fat and ill because of fast food. People become cancer because of harmful food. However, the advertisements still show us the wrong way. For example, in a chocolate advertisement, two kids run after Tom and Jerry. They find Jerry’s hole. In Jerry’s home, they find a tomato. However, one of the kids says “Oops, tomato” and throws the tomato out. Then he finds a chocolate and eats it. So how will we make our children eat vegetables? They will choose chocolates, sweets and fast food, because according to researches, children don’t obey their parents. They obey their celebrities and television.
Moreover, information is not objectively. Information is biased. The Media is the best way to give information. Television, newspapers, internet, radio, magazines; the way is not important. We take information from the Media. However, the information is presented according to a person’s political, social or religious beliefs. This shows how the Media do brainwashing. Nobody can be objective. However, sometimes they show the information how they want to see or show. For example, in 18th of November 2003, USA started to bomb Iraq. The world was against USA. Because they were killing innocent people in Iraq. However, the USA government wanted to brainwash American people. The Media was the best way to do that. They said that the reason was chemical weapons; even there were not any chemical weapons in Iraq. They showed how Iraq was a threat for the USA. And on that day, the American channels didn’t show the bombing scenes while the other entire World channels were showing them live. The American channels showed American people Michael Jackson’s imprisonment scenes on the same day. However, Jackson wasn’t a guilty. He just faced with some mysterious claims. This news was interesting and could make people forget the bombings. Because Michael Jackson was the most famous person and on the same day (again) he just published his new album. He was Afro-American (even he had became white because of his illness) and on the same day, innocent people were dying, because they were Arabic. For the White-American people, they weren’t important. They were insects which must be mashed and they deserved imprisonment and dying according to them. Because they weren’t White-Americans. The events were reflected by American government’s and American Media’s views. They had got different aims. So they used the Media’s influence on people.
Furthermore, people set role models from the Media. For example, when I was a little child, I was playing with a bathrobe’s cord. I coiled it round my neck. If my mother didn’t come, I would die. I commit it, because I thought that I wouldn’t die. Because the cartoon heroes never died. This is just a simple example. We read stories which are about cartoons’ effect on children in newspapers. Children try to fly like Superman, they die because of trying to do things like Pokemon, they kill each other like South Park heroes, etc. Kids aren’t the ones who are affected from movies or television. Adults do similar things, too. For example, movies show serial murderers like a hero. Weak people are smitten and start to do same things. Many real serial murderers’ plans are the same as the movies’ serial murderers’ plans. “What is your favorite scary movie?”… This question is asked to movies’ victims. The real murderers probably use the same method. The model must be a good model. Because people see celebrities’ lifestyles and imitate them. For example, in the 1st Popstar Contest, there was an Arabesk-star who was called Bayhan. He had killed his cousin. However, he had become free after two years. Then, he became successful and famous in the 1st Popstar, even he had got a terrible voice. Some young people set Bayhan as a role model. School wasn’t important for them. His fans started to behave like him, they started to attack to people like Armağan Çağlayan, Deniz Seki, Ahmet San, Abidin. Maybe some of his fans killed people. Who knows? Who cares? They can become free and can become successful in the Media. There are much more examples about that.
I accused the Media. The Media not only have disadvantages on people’s behavior but also they have benefits. Some programmes like Susam Sokağı teach knowledges and give moral lesson to the youth, children. In other words, they teach how to become a good person. They teach friendship. They teach love. They teach morals. They teach how to obviate difficulties. When you watch a movie, you start to understand different personalities. You can even learn languages from television and movies. As I said before, you learn a lot of things from screens. They provide an international point of view to us. Children don’t obey our families’ rules very much. However, they start to obey the same rules by watching them in educational programmes like “Adam Olacak Çocuk” programme. They present different views on an issue. They are exposed to all kinds of views. Media (especially TV and radio) is perceived as a means of entertainment. What would we do, if there wasn’t comedy programmes like “Olacak O Kadar”, song contests like “Popstar” or “Academy Turkey”, music channels like VH1 or MTV, movies or TV series? Television and radio are the easiest way to be entertained.
If we take good things from media, we become happy. If we take bad things from media, we become depressed. When we were born, there was a TV in our house. When we die, there will be television again. Maybe the Media don’t influence our behavior. Maybe they are our own life…

23-27 May 2004

TURGAY SUAT TARCAN
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DIPLOMATIC WRITING AND SPEAKING SKILLS 6 (OSMAN SABUNCUOĞLU)

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