In what ways can the media be helpful to people?In what ways can the media be helpful to people?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous posts did a wonderful job.  I would like to add that the framers of the Constitution did envision the media as akin to a "fourth branch" of government that allowed a system of checks and balances to prevent institutional abuses.  This idea can be best seen in the case of John Peter Zenger, an editor/  journalist who criticized through his newspaper the abuses of power of Governor Crosby of New York.  The governor, enraged at the publication of his misdeeds, apprehended and imprisoned Zenger, charging him with libel and slander.  Crosby's lawyer argued that the charges are groundless if they are true.  Once the evidence displayed this, the court acquitted Zenger, concluding that the media and the role of journalists is an essential one in a democratic setting where individuals must be responsible for their own government.  In this setting, the media's role in contributing to the sensibilities of a democracy is an essential one.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Knowledge is power, and without media of any kind, our knowledge would be limited to what we see and experience for ourselves and tell each other personally. There is a direct historical correlation between the growth of media and the advancement of human knowledge and progress. (Behold the printing press! Books are no longer copied by hand!) The explosion of information and easy access to it has impacted society in profound ways. Most basically, a person now can find out what he or she needs or wants to know almost instantly--how to replace a washer in the kitchen sink or how to build an atomic bomb. Knowledge is power, but whether that power is used or abused still depends on us.

writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many different ways in which the media can be a helpful tool. The media's overall purpose is to inform. When it is doing its job, the media brings individuals important information about world and local events, allowing individuals to be informed contributors to society. The media also provides helpful resources, especially through the abundance of websites that promote health knowledge and tips, community service events, and public safety. The problem only arises when the media ceases to try to objectively inform and instead promotes its own agenda. In this way, the media can be a hindrance.

alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Media when used appropriately can be a great tool to get your message out into the community. If you or your students are focusing on a particular issue in the community and you want to see change happen, then tv and internet are the ways to get your voice out there.  On our campus we have a local tv studio called Olelo, and our students help to make PSA's about local and global issues with film.  They become part of the solution, and when a dire concern is coming from a child, the public tends to listen more.  I love using media in my classroom, and so do my kids.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The media is called the Fourth Estate by the French and is considered to be an essential component of a democracy. While reporters are often blamed for being intrusive, and rightly so, they also perform an important function of keeping the government honest. The Watergate scandal is a classic example of how the press forced government wrongdoing into the open. Readers, listeners, and viewers have the right to turn off the radio & TV, ignore newspapers & magazines they don’t want to read, and select their own online information sources.

sjry | Student

Why is it important for individuals to become well-informed and critical consumers of newspapers and magazines?

andra33 | Student

Media has a vital role on several plans:


Informative role: media provides information about social events, public affairs and politics.


A role of expression: media can be compared to a forum, where individuals or various social groups can express their opinions, gaining a cultural, political and social identity.


Critical role: The media the role of a "watchdog", representing the public opinion against the state government system. Often, circumstances or abnormal aspects of society are investigated by reporters;


Instructive role: Media presents to people cultural and scientific information;


Communication: The media can create a mechanism of social solidarity in case of disasters or personal situations requiring special help;


Role of entertainment;

bamaji | Student
In what ways can the media be helpful to people?

In what ways can the media be helpful to people?

Media refers to the many different ways in which a message or information could be conveyed to the public. In earlier times, radio, newsprint and advertisements were the main media tools. The technological advances over the recent years have revolutionised the role of the media. Television, mobiles, enews and internet have power to grab the attention of the people. Nowadays, news reaches everyone fast and promptly. Media has a great responsibility to reliable, honest and timely delivery of information. During natural disasters, periods of emergencies, wars, peace times and in daly life, media keeps the people informed on wide range of subjects. The impartially of the media is the key factor. The magazines, tabloids, hoardings, banners and multimedia are a prompt source of data and play a vital link of communications.

kc4u | Student

Living in an age of information technology is living in media-boom. Media of sorts haunt us and often hunt us, help us and hinder us no less; media bless us with divine benedictions and kill us for their sport like the pagan deities.

Newspapers, visual media, websites on the Internet are, no doubt, inexhaustible sources of information. We have all agreed that the more well-informed the man is, the more modern and equipped he is.

Media offer us entertainment of all sorts, everyday and round the clock. Channels are today's most astounding drawing-room incarnations.

No sensible human-being can de-recognise the superb utility of the Internet which is perhaps the most powerful media fortifying us with information and knowledge on anything under the sun. Websites, e-books and journals, blogs etc are doing wonders in the lives of all all ages and categories of men and women.

Wheresoever you are, media keep close watches on you like the eyes of Orwell's 'big brothers'. They shall see you, show you, help you, provided you accept their omnipotence and omnipresence.

krishna-agrawala | Student

The word media in general usage refers to the various means of mass-communication such as newspapers and magazines, Television and radio, direct mail and SMS campaigns, Internet, and various types of indoor and outdoor hoardings.

The media is is used to distribute various types of information to general public. The information supplied through various media includes:

  • entertainment material,
  • news and analysis on current affairs as well as on other subjects and matters of interest to people, and
  • paid advertisements.

Though the answer posted above appears to focus on the second of the three type of information available through media, all three types are equally important.

All people seek to be happy make various kinds of efforts towards this ends. Media provides a relatively economical and readily available means of entertainment of people from all sections of society. I believe this is the most important function of media benefiting largest number of people. Indeed it is the central force that sustains all other activities of media.

The benefit of the second category of the information supplied by media is covered adequately by the answer above.

The advertisement function of media also provide valuable benefits to advertisers and general public. The general public gets to know about the various products and services in the market, and based on that are able to take meaningful decision on spending their available resources to their best advantage. The advertisers are also able to increase their incomes. Also increased sales through the advertisements enables suppliers to attain economies in scale, and sell their products at lower price. This also benefits the consumer. One big use of advertisement is to inculcate right type of attitudes, and behavior people.

The above discussion relates primarily to uses of media. Though, in this forum I do not wish to get into details of harmful effects of media, I only want to remind that, like all good things in the world, media can also be misused.