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The mass media affect our perception of reality because, in a very real sense, they create our reality.
For most of us, much of the rest of the world exists only through the mass media. The typical American, for example, knows nothing about China except what comes to them through the media. Therefore, the media has a tremendous ability to influence how we perceive reality. The stories that the media chooses to tell about a given country, or even about a given aspect of our own country, can form the entirety of our knowledge about that topic. Because we get so much of our information through the mass media, it has a great deal of influence over our perceptions.
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