Role of Media in the Society
One of the sociological theories in relations to the role of media society is Marxism theory.
Marxism theory states that a certain class of people, ruling class, will tend to exploit another class, working class, for their own benefits (Joseph, 2006 p 23). In addition, Marxism theory states that the ruling class controls consciously or unconsciously the working class to follow their interests (Joseph, 2006 p 23). In this case, those who use Marxism theory tends to apply capitalism as its main form of survival. According to this theory, the media play certain roles in society. Based on Marxism theory, the first role of the media is to maintain unfair and capitalistic system by brainwashing the society (Moore, Chapman & Aiken, 2001). In this case, the media owners act as the ruling class where they manipulate any output information of the media to reflect their own interests (Moore, Chapman & Aiken, 2001).
The audience who review the media output act as the working class. Therefore, media owners use the media to brainwash the minds of the audience to follow their interests promoting unfairness and capitalism in the society (Moore, Chapman & Aiken, 2001). For this reason, using Marxism theory, it is clear that the role of the media is to maintain unfairness and capitalism through brainwashing in the society. An excellent example is how Rupert Murdoch CEO and Chairman of News Corp manipulated the governments to take over the sixty one percent of BskyB (NEWS UK, 2012). In addition, he was distorting the news for purposes of his political allies to win the elections across Europe and America (NEWS UK, 2012). In this case, Murdoch acts as the ruling class because he controls others to follow his interest using the media.
On the other hand, the governments and the public act as the working class because they tend to follow Murdoch interest through viewing the media output. Therefore, using Marxism theory, the role of the media is to maintain unfairness and capitalism through brainwashing in the society.According to Marxism theory, another role of the media is to direct the attention of people in the society from real news. Hegemonic theorists say that it is extremely difficult to influence the media directly for the owners (Moore, Chapman & Aiken, 2001). For this reason, they use unconscious measures to manipulate the people. In this case, the theory states that when people are happy they tend to forget about the worst events (Moore, Chapman & Aiken, 2001).
Therefore, the ruling classes, media owners, create happy ideologies through the media to divert the attention of the working class, audience, from the real news. Based on this fact, Marxism theory shows that the role of meddia is to divert attention of people from a real story in the society. An excellent example is how different media associations have been manipulating the society by creating ideologies through the media to divert their attention from real stories. In this case, the media create the ideology of how the economy is growing due to the rise of many companies in the society. In this case, they show the employment rates are on the rise in the society.
However, they fail to show people how these companies are polluting the environment resulting to global warming. For this reason, Marxism theory shows that the role of media is to divert attention of people from a real story in the society.On the other hand, pluralism theory states that the role of media is to provide the society with democratic information they can choose. In this case, the media offer the society with a vast range of news from which they can select what to view or buy (Moore, Chapman & Aiken, 2001). It is worth noting that the society might choose not to buy or watch.
Therefore, the media will not manipulate the information because they want to attract the society from viewing their media output (Moore, Chapman & Aiken, 2001). For this reason, according to pluralism, the role of the media is to provide the society with democratic information free from distortion and manipulation.