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What are the advantages and disadvantages of the media?

Advantages of the media include that it allows information to be dispersed quickly and that it allows people to learn about cultures other than their own. Disadvantages of the media include that it can result in the spread of misinformation and the development of bad values.

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Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are advantages and disadvantages of the media. One advantage of the media is that it is able to get information to the public in a quick and timely manner. The media can warn us of impending bad weather, dangerous situations in a city, a state, or the country. The media has the resources to expose injustices, corruption, or abuse of power that an average citizen would never be able to expose. This can lead to positive change in our country. The media has uncovered events where elected officials have been using government workers to campaign for them while they are supposedly working on the government business. The media has uncovered scams where people try to take our money dishonestly. The media keeps us updated on news, weather, and sporting events. The media can play a very important and helpful role.

The disadvantages of the media include a risk of inaccurate reporting and a loss of privacy. Sometimes, in a rush to be the first to break a story, the media puts out incorrect or inaccurate information. This can be embarrassing, and depending on the information, it can harm a person’s reputation. In the election of 1948, many newspapers reported that Dewey defeated Truman when in reality it was the other way around. It is very easy for people to use the media to make false claims or make claims that are only half true. Political candidates sometimes do this, and we recently saw a high-profile news reporter do this. It is hard to check everything that is reported or stated by the media. Additionally, with all the cameras and coverage today, there really is no privacy. When somebody makes a mistake or inadvertently says something wrong, it can get blown way out of proportion. The recent Miss Universe error is an example. The media has both positive and negative aspects associated with it.

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Sarah Miles eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a really loaded and great question! There are many advantages of the media. Nowadays it is so easy to get the latest breaking news. We are able to stay up to date on what is happening around the world. All we need to do is turn on our computer or smart phone and we can instantly have the news. We are able to see what other cultures have to offer. We are able to see how indigenous people are living in their own communities. The media offers a great outlet for people to learn more about other people's beliefs and values. It is a great tool for teaching children about other cultures, as well.

On the flip side of all the great things the media offers us, there are many dangers to be seen with how much media we are exposed to. Too much information can cause mass panic in some cases. If there is a wide outbreak of some mysterious illness in a foreign part of the world, then some people may become panicked that the illness might come to where they live. The media can also be a bad thing with our children. Sometimes the media has a way of making kids thing that there is only one to look or believe. Kids are thinking that what they see is the norm and they will do whatever they can to be like everyone else. Creativity and uniqueness has become something that is looked upon as bad in the media. 

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The major advantage of the modern mass media is that it can provide us with huge amounts of news and of entertainment quite easily.  This enriches our lives because it makes us better informed and it gives us things to do at all times.

There are many possible negatives about the media.  Culturally, having a mass media can push us towards having a single culture.  It can destroy regional cultures within a country and diminish the differences between different nations.  Media can also have a huge impact on the values we have so that, for example, our children might develop bad values if they are constantly exposed such values in the media.

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