MEDIA SOCIOLOGY Media – “Voice” for “The People” or “Media Conglomerates” Media is, quite simply, the plural form

of the term medium. The familiar definition of a medium is a means of mediation or communication – a neutral or intermediary form through which messages pass. In this sense, it refers to the group of communications industries and technologies that together produce and spread public news, entertainment, and information. The term ‘medium’ also refers to the specific technologies through which messages are transmitted. Radio is a medium, television is a medium, newspaper is a medium, the Internet is a medium, and even our voice is a medium, because a medium does not necessarily require technology. Media communication systems are capable of sharing ideas across physical distances and making them known despite cultural differences. They are capable of making information and aesthetic forms available in a truly global form to all people, and can therefore, be called democratic. The media have been termed democratic because media can provide a ‘voice’ for the ‘people’ and can be used to represent the political views of minority groups as well as those of majority of the population. For instance The publication of the Bringing Them Home report 1997, which led to the creation of a “National Sorry Day” and a walk for Reconciliation across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2000 with 400,000 people participating had gained media attention. This also had led to the production of The 2002 Australian film Rabbit-Proof Fence. On February 13, 2008, Rudd presented the apology to Indigenous Australians has gained a lot of media coverage.

Jude Kelly, from Bunbury in Western Australia, whose mother was a member of the Stolen Generations, is comforted during Kevin Rudd's apology. (ABC News: Penny McLintock)

thus overcoming the disempowering effects of isolation in ways that would not have been feasible without mass communication. and getting lots of entertainment from the media. 1 Hartley. Today we still get huge enjoyment from media. and most notably the Stolen Generations. contributing to many of the problems of our society and helping to maintain a status quo of global social inequality. watching Big Brother or South Park. . They have been developed privately. Most media changes have occurred in a capitalist economy. The media were a source of great pleasure. Consequently it can be said that through their use of the media these people are abusing us. As Mandela said “Television had shrunk the world and had. using the Internet and email. Telling Both Stories: Indigenous Australia and the Media.The media are used to publicise political issues and events. The media are often misused by the people who controlling them. in the interest of making money. making it possible for pressure groups to unite around a common issue or injustice. and McKee. 1996:74)1 We grew up watching television and films. J. (eds) 1996. so their development has been influenced by profit motives. consuming media products. or seeing a coming soon film such as Real Steel and Immortals. Perth : Art Enterprise Edith Cowan University. reading comics and magazines. A. For instance the Mabo case had the side effect of throwing the media spotlight on all issues related to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia. However. we are extremely critical and distrustful of the ways the media are actually working. in the process become a great weapon for eradicating ignorance and promoting democracy” (Mandela 1995 in Hartley and McKee. We spent a lot of our leisure time. whether it is from reading People and or Entertainment Weekly. p.74.

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