Table of Contents
The journalism and mass media industry is one of the world’s most diverse and fastest growing industries. This industry has achieved a lot of advancements regarding research technology and prestige associated with people working in this industry. Over the years, the most utilized tools in this industry have been TV and Radio. The widespread use of these media tools has been mainly attributed to their availability, in many areas of the world, and the fact that they are the fastest and most efficient means of passing mass information. The growth of this industry can also be attributed to the growing need for information amongst people living in different parts of the world. This paper seeks to report on the impact of news as, aired by radios and televisions, on people’s lives.
Significance of this research
The findings of this research would help in identifying how the sector of journalism, mass media, and communication, especially radio and TV news coverage, benefits the society. They would also help in establishing the negative impacts radio, and TV news has on the society as well as come up with remedies to any issues that might arise.
Radio and TV news have an undeniable impact, both directly and indirectly, on the lives of their audience.
Impacts of TV and radio news on the audience
Radio and TV news have had both positive and negative impacts on its listeners. These impacts cut across their social, economic and political aspects of the listeners’ lives. This section contains a detailed coverage of the fore mentioned impacts.
Radio and TV news keep people updated on current affairs of their respective nations and the world at large. It is a custom in every radio or TV station to provide updates and an appropriate coverage on matters of social and political interest to their viewers as they air their news. This helps their audience to remain updated on matters of governance, politics and social events. This information also goes further to help the audience in gauging the performance of their elected leaders and also to establish situations that calls for their democratic right of speaking up against matters that affect them (Dilliplane, 2011).
These mass media tools also have a great impact on the creation of public awareness and sensitization of the public on different matters that are of great importance to their lives. These tools act as the most effective and effecient means of disseminating urgent and critical information to the public. This role best fits these tools due to their capability to reach out to huge numbers of people at any particular time and especially during the news hour. For instance, in the case of life-threatening disasters like disease outbreaks, TV and radio would be the best tools in notifying the people about such news and in updating them on any developments regarding spreading and control of such an outbreak.
TV and radio news provides considerably valuable economic insight to potential investors and the business community at large. This insight is offered through business news aired during news bulletins in almost every radio and TV station. This news provides information on various aspects of business like; emerging market trend, buying and selling rates for different currencies, areas that will provide a wide market for different commodities and performance of different public traded companies. This helps potential investors to make informed business decisions. The information provided in the business news also helps the ordinary citizens to know where they can get different commodities and to establish prices offered by different sellers for similar commodities. This helps them in budgeting and identification of sellers whose prices are fair and considerable (Dougal, Engelberg, Garcia and Parsons 2012).
Main stream media news, especially radio and TV news, acts as a great tool for educating viewers and listeners on different topics related to various matters affecting their day to day lives. Due to the high number of people listening to radio and watching television during news hour, the government or any other non-governmental organization take advantage of this opportunity to conduct civic education on different matters affecting their viewers. For instance, during an election period, the media and the governments tend to take advantage of the time slotted for airing news to conduct civic education on the importance of participating in their civic duty of electing leaders and on how to go about the voting process. When an important piece of information is aired during this period, a huge number of audiences are guaranteed (Adler,Rodman and Dupré, 2017).
These media tool’s acts as public watch dog on matters of governance and cooperate management. Over the years, TV and radio news have been known for their enthusiasm in exposing scandals that affect governance, management of public funds and other key management malpractices in both public and private cooperate institutions. Through these exposes, a lot of public funds have been recovered from the hands of greedy individuals. These expose have also gone a long way in ensuring that people in leadership positions carry out their duties with integrity and professionalism to avoid being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Exposes on government officials serving on elected posts enlightens the electorate on the moral and integrity standards of their leaders so that they can make more informed decisions during subsequent elections (Rölle, 2016).
Radio and TV news have been effectively used to provide good role modeling to the young viewers and listeners. As news are being aired, it is a common practice in many radio and TV stations to invite people they deem to have made remarkable achievements, in their lives, for interviews. The main aim of these interviews is to provide mentorship to their listeners on different aspects of life. For instance, these media stations have been seen inviting women who have made remarkable achievements both academically and career-wise to mentor young girls especially in the societies where women are not adequately empowered. This has seen young girls being molded to become great women in the world. The media personalities also provide adequate mentorship to young people who would want to venture into such careers (Adler,Rodman and Dupré, 2017).
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Media news creates an avenue for individual listeners and charitable organizations to mobilize for support from fellow viewers and listeners. Many a time, we come across news of people mobilizing for support on different charitable and noble courses on TV and radio. These charitable organizations take advantage of the huge number of audience to solicit for support to fund different projects that aim at helping the less fortunate. For instance, global non-government organizations like Red Cross have, over the years, been heard making public announcements during news mobilizing well-wisher to fund several of their projects. These cases, however, are common in the event of natural calamities like drought and floods. These main stream media stations have been found to be very effective on such courses (Adler,Rodman and Dupré, 2017).
Radio and TV news often act as a source of entertainment to their audience. Over the years, media news has been seen to contain entertainment segments where the reporters deliberately make jokes to entertain the viewers. The reporters are also known for reporting on comic issues whose only purpose is audience entertainment. It is also common for media houses to invite entertainers over to their studios and give them air play to entertain their audience. It is also a common practice in many television and radio station to air programs that are purely meant to entertain the viewers and listeners.
News has also been successfully used as a tool to help people understand and appreciate the value of cultural and religious diversity. Cultural and religious differences have, in the past, been the cause of conflicts between people who possess these differences. To eradicate these vices, it has taken the effort of news reporters in reporting positive things about different cultural and religious believes on radio and TV. This has helped the people to understand and learn to appreciate the cultural values of others. It has also adequately contributed in aiding the fight against religious radicalisation. This has promoted peace in areas that were, in the past, considered as war zones (Adler,Rodman and Dupré, 2017).
News aired on both TV and radio has been of great help in promoting activism in the world. Through the news, people are given more exposure on matters of leadership and governance thus helping then to realize areas where the government is denying them their rights. These discoveries help the people to come up with means to demand their rights. This also goes a long way in ensuring that the government treats its people well to avoid being exposed on the news for denying people their rights. Based on this information, it is, therefore, justified to say that news aired on both TV and radio aids in the fight for human rights (Lee, Coleman and Molyneux, 2016).
Through news, media houses have done a recommendable job in discovery and promotion of talent. When news reporters discover talented individuals and air them during special segments of the news hour, they provide them with a chance of getting sponsored by individuals or organizations which have an interest in nurturing talent. These talented individuals end up getting exposure and tips on how to grow their talent and make a living out of them. These media houses also air sports news where they mentor and encourage young sportsmen and women to venture into sports (Lando, 2017).
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Main stream media news has been misused be influential people to pass incitement messages. Influential people have been seen to use media news to incite people to riot whenever they feel aggrieved. Whenever these messages make their way to the news, they tend to receive more audience thus fuelling up incitement. These incitement messages make people who hold a different opinion on the matters touched on in the massage to react differently thus causing chaos and distress in a country. Incitement messages passed through news have, over the years, been reported as a root cause of most of the civil wars that have been encountered in different parts of the world. These chaos have led to political instability, massive destruction of property and loss of lives in the affected countries (Biagi, 2012).
Sometimes, the news reported instills fear, anxiety, and tension amongst the listeners and viewers. Whenever media houses report on distressing news, especially those that may seem to insinuate possibility of people’s lives being in danger, people tend to get overly concerned about their safety and the safety of their loved ones. For instance, if crime rate is reported to be high in a particular region, the residents of that region will tend to live in fear of being victimized by the situation. This fear brings about distress amongst the people who even begin to suspect each other thus affecting their relationship. When people are in fear, they are unable to go about their daily chores thus gradually affecting the economy of a region and the country at large (Singer, 2016).
Radio and TV news can act as a motivation for criminals to engage in crime. Psychological research has proven that success of criminal operations acts a motivator for other people to engage in crime. Based on this research, it is there for justified to say that reporting on successful criminal operations motivates other criminals to engage in crime. Many a time, the news reporters even go further and report on the strategies the criminals used to conduct their operation. This information helps other criminals to properly strategize with the aim of ensuring that their mission also goes on successfully as planned. People may also engage in crime as a way of reacting to news the heard being reported in the news. For instance, people may engage in crime trying to seek revenge on a person after finding out how he has been wronging them, through the news (O’sullivan and Heinonen, 2008).
News has, over the years, contributed to the moral decay being experienced in the world today. Whenever the news reporters fail to be cautious of the information, they air as news, they end up impacting negative moral values into their listeners and viewers. For instance, when negative utterances from influential people get aired on the radio or TV, most of the people who look up to them due to their influence tend to emulate them. Some of the programs aired in the name of news are also inappropriate and have a tendency of instilling bad morals in their listeners, especially the young people (Perse and Lambe, 2016).
In the name of news reporting, media personalities have been accused of encroaching on people’s privacy. It is in the nature of human beings to value their privacy. For this reason, they tend to feel offended whenever news reporters disregard their privacy and go reporting on their private issues that have little or no public interest. In serious cases where personal privacy have been violated, a number of victims have been reported to suffer from psychological traumas due to the ridicule the get after their private matters have been exposed to the public. This has greatly affected families of public figures who are, at times, forced to leave their country for fear of constant scrutiny of their lives by news hungry reporters (Strömbäck and Shehata, 2010).
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The main stream media news can be misused to influence the viewers and listeners politically. The media houses, at times, show bias on reporting political news with the aim of influencing their viewers and listeners to follow a particular political affiliation. In many cases, media houses are paid to unethically take advantage of their viewers’ and listeners’ trust and secretly campaign for their preferred politician. This political bias gives particular politicians unmerited favor in people’s eyes and in turn lead to the election of poor leaders who used their money and influence to gain political mileage (Strömbäck, Djerf-Pierre and Shehata, 2012)..
From the information presented in this report, it is justified to conclude that news aired on radio and television has both negative and positive impacts on the lives of their audience. These media houses should, therefore, be cautious about the information thye air as it might end up affecting lives of people negatively. Regulatory bodies should also be put in place to ensure that media houses adhere to the code of ethics and that legal action is taken against those who fail to comply. The people should also be sensitized on the importance of questioning the credibility of the news they get from radios and televisions before they take any action or decision.
News reporters should also make thorough investigations on any piece of news they want to air. This will ensure that the information they air is both credible and fit for public viewing. They should also ensure that they don’t air information that violates other people’s privacy. In other words, professionalism should be a key aspect of the journalism, media and communication industry.
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