Getting Behind the Nutshell of the media
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Getting Behind the Nutshell of the media
  • 강서미
  • 승인 2003.09.03 00:00
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Over the centuries humans have fought to free themselves from the boundaries of race, class, and now gender. Yet, the general public is still imprisoned by concepts that place more importance on the outer rather than the inner persona. Publicity and other forms of media reinforce such shallow values in their need to boost market share and TV ratings. Increasingly, viewers are being brainwashed and are losing their roles as active participants in shaping the standards of our society"s values.

Recent matchmaking television programs such as "Match Made in Heaven" and "War of the Roses" feature people in show business engaging in quizzes and performances in an effort to find their match. Viewers are totally absorbed by these shows, feeling emotional release from all the miseries of the real world. However, this effect is only an immediate, fleeting one. Subconsciously, people are being ingrained with the cursory standards set by the media. For example, appearance-based judgment of people juxtaposed with a light, irrelevant, albeit joyous talk is the kind of stuff that dominates the airwaves and TV ratings.

Furthermore, viewers are becoming more alienated from the very programs they watch. The TV stars seem to be carrying out among themselves without any consideration for the viewers. It is, paradoxically, an ultimate manifestation in "reality" programming, with the stars not caring , in relality, why people watch them.

Today"s programs seem to be the playing grounds for the stars, with the viewers left to watch something they cannot connect with. And everybody knows how that feels. As the growing entertainment industry is hard pressed to popularize shows irrelevant of audience demands, actors, singers, comedians, etc. have little need to interact intellectually or emotionally with their viewers."

Media is not only reliant upon viewers, but it also has a responsibility towards them. As an agency of social control, a "pseudo-environment," as the U.S. journalist Walter Lippmann described it, can and will media face up to its social responsibility and allow people to see through the nutshell or will it simply polish it instead?

neyessioui@ewha.ac.kr

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