The ‘Media Effects’ Model

There is no doubt that the media has become an essential aspect of our everyday lives. We depend on the media to entertain us, provide us with current news and also to educate us. Not only do most people underestimate the power of the mass media, they also disregard how influential it can be. Due to this, researchers tend to exploit this power and influence in order to accuse the mass media of portraying and presenting negative influences to their audiences.

David Gauntlett’s ’10 Things Wrong With the ‘Media Effects’ Model’ essentially argues the fact that the ‘media effect’s model has taken the wrong approach towards the “mass media, its audiences, and society in general”. Not only does Gauntlett’s article critique the methods and methodologies employed and utilised by researchers, it explores the notion that the media should not be blamed for having a direct impact on the audience’s behaviour, but instead researchers should begin by looking at society as a whole.

The ‘media effects’ approach, in this sense, comes at the problem backwards, by starting with the media and then trying to lasso connections from there on to social beings, rather than the other way around” – David Gauntlett

In particular, the notion that television makes you fat is a bit extreme. It’s not the television that makes you fat, how on earth can an electronic device such as the television make you fat? There are a variety of factors which can result in being a tad plump, such as level of physical activity, lifestyle, age, genetics, eating habits, socioeconomic status etc. Instead of blaming the media for having a direct impact on weight gain, we need to ask ourselves “What factors contribute to weight gain”, not “Does television make you fat”.

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