The media is responsible for both- reflecting values of a society and creating new ones to a good extent. ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ goes an old proverb. It has been proved over and over again since the advent of writing and development of media. Media today consists of books, television, movies, music, internet, radio, magazines, newspapers etc. Each of them have evolved as a powerful medium in their own right.
Values lie at the core of the society. They evolve and become a part of the society over the years. Both tradition and modernization contribute to the development of values. Values change over time. What was considered taboo 20 years back is a way of life today. Thats how media tends to develop the world. Media is far-reaching. Hollywood stars have mass fan following in countries and places about which even the stars won’t have heard about. With the internet as goes the cliche- the world has become a smaller place. You can know anything about everything on the net, such is its power and reach. It reflects what people really are and what they really think. No hypocrisy here.
The United States has always been a fore-runner, be it movies, fashion or music. What the US does is followed by the rest. Jeans and fast-food, original products of the US are now as familiar to a Chinese as to an Indian. The newly developing nations adopted values and traditions created by the west. TV shows are now telecast all over, thanks to satellites. So the American way of life is copied in Japan. So do these people lose their original tradition and values. To an extent, yes but mostly the case is- the original values are retained while newer values and trends keep on enhancing the culture. So slowly a new way of life develops- no wonder parents often say, ‘this wasn’t the case in our time’.
Books reflect the mind of an intellectual. They give a deep insight to the way a person thinks. Books are very effective media to spread thoughts and values. Since a book is read, shared and preserved over the years unlike a TV show. Talking of TV shows, they have created new milestones. The show ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ revived the age old human greed for wealth and popularity. Now everyone wanted to be instant millionaires. Hard work- who wants to do it.
Blockbuster reality shows like Survivor and Temptation Island drove home the same points. Whatever the people pretend to be- their basic cravings have and will remain the same. And this was true for everyone everywhere. New values weren’t created, maybe brought out of the closet again. But greed and lust shown in these shows reflect the common man on the streets.
Music and Internet are considered perfect media for spreading one’s own beliefs, values etc. Rock stars have masses emulating them. Wearing T-shirts worshipping satan is a part of the rock culture. But many of these same people do go to church on sundays. Talking less about the internet is better. Instead moving on to magazines and newspapers. They print to earn. So scandals are moneyspinners for them and not a challenge of morals and righteousness for the society. It is bad when these media take a biased opinion on an issue and publicise the same. Its the commoners who take a wrong side because of wrong ethics.
Media makes or breaks people, events, anything. Values get created, diffused in the society. Something thats a way of life for one man becomes a new value for another, thanks to media.