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The Media in Democratic Societies and Health-Related Information - Research Paper Example

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This essay will explore the role that the media plays with respect to the dissemination of health-related information. We will address the particular health challenges faced by African-Americans in the United States today; an issue which is shocking and underreported by the mainstream American media…
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The Media in Democratic Societies and Health-Related Information
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Download file to see previous pages In a free and open society, the mass media plays an important role in communicating health-related information to the general public. Accordingly, in recent times the media has played an important role in communicating the negative health issues surrounding alcohol, tobacco, poor eating habits and a lack of general exercise on overall health. These health risk factors are now commonly accepted as being deleterious to one’s health. Although five decades ago smoking was seen as a social pastime with little to no negative health effects, people today understand that cigarette smoke and tobacco can have very harmful health ramifications on those who smoke. There are very few people today who would argue that cigarettes are good for your health and this is undeniably the result of a series of proactive campaigns aimed at teaching people about the true negative repercussions of cigarette use. The widespread social acknowledgment that smoking is harmful to one’s health could only be accomplished through the active dissemination of this idea – once contrary to popular opinion – through the channels of the media. Thus the media plays an important and some would say unparalleled role in a free society in the dissemination across geographic and social space (Atkin and Wallack 1990). Objectivity is one important aspect of the media’s role in an open society. However, the objectivity is the media is sometimes questioned and there are a variety of instances in which media objectivity is compromised and put into question. From a purely ideological perspective, some media outlets are constrained in their ability to provide impartial information due to a corporate culture which promotes certain overriding values and beliefs. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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