Social Sciences

Start Free Trial

What is the influence of mass media on people with disabilities?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The first thing we need to do in answering this question is to establish what mass media means. In a nutshell, the term “mass media” refers to the various ways in which a small group of people or an individual can communicate a message to a large audience quickly and efficiently. In the days before the internet, mass media referred to things like newspapers, television, and radio.

I would argue that the advent of the internet, and specifically of social media, has made mass media far more potentially damaging to people with disabilities. Back when television, radio, and newspapers were our main mass media, there was some kind of regulation and a set of protocols that determined the messages that would be printed or broadcast. These days, however, with mass media such as Facebook and Instagram, it’s a free-for-all, and anybody can post any comment they like, regardless of whether it could be defamatory, derogatory, or insulting toward people with disabilities.

On the other hand, new forms of mass media have made news and other content more accessible to people with disabilities. Blind people can make use of audio features, and those with certain physical challenges will find it easier to read off a cell phone than they would to read a newspaper.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team