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By Vivian C.

Whoever controls the media controls the mind.
-Jim Morrison.

The media is a powerful industry. Everyone watches television, and most people believe what they see. A lot of things that are shown on TV are not true, but yet people choose to believe them. The reason is because people are not educated enough to know where the information that they are receiving is coming from. Medialit.org defines media literacy as “a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.” With media literacy awareness we can begin to change the way in which these corporations work.

The Media only shows what they want to show. When it comes to politics, many media sources are paid by politicians to advertise them for their campaigns. Media.about.com states “Media and politics will always have close ties. Politicians need media to get the exposure they need to win elections. Reporters have no choice but to cover the people chosen to lead government.” The media is influenced by money. They will display whatever gives them profit, which is why they show so many advertisements about politicians, especially during election times. Politicians profit from the media. Since there are certain laws that have rules about campaigns. The media has to sell advertising space at the lowest available rate. The Communications Act of 1934, which speaks about the ways in which political ads should be handled on the radio gave media outlets very little control.

Media literacy is becoming more and more difficult these days. Big corporations are buying out everything. They control almost all and the people have to do what they say, due to the tremendous amount of money that they have. According to Business Insider, “Media has never been more consolidated. 6 media giants now control a staggering 90% of what we read, watch, and listen to.” The six companies are GE, News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS. The companies revenues, totaled in 2010 was 275.9 billion dollars. That amount of money is so much that it is hard to change things. If people are given money, they will do what they are told. We are in a way prisoners who are forced to take only what they give us. According to Consumer Reports Website, “The average American is exposed to 247 commercial messages each day.” Wit this sort of exposure; it is difficult not to be influenced by the media. Fortunately, there are a few brave individuals who are trying to give us a mind of our own.

Recently there have been more and more people that are working towards the “bad” media. The first way in which people can start to break the chains is to educate others about media literacy. Parents, and teachers can educate their kids in order “to help students develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today’s world.” We can start to expose people to how the media controls us and start thinking for own without the influence of others with media literacy.

Works Cited

"Media And Politics." About.com Media. About.com, 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. <http://media.about.com/od/mediatrends/a/Media-And-Politics.htm>.

"National Conference for Media Reform." Who Owns the Media? Freepress, 2012. Web. 08 Apr. 2013. <http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart>.

Lutz, Ashley. "These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America." Business Insider. BI, 14 June 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. <http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6>.

"Media Literacy: A Definition and More | Center for Media Literacy." Media Literacy: A Definition and More | Center for Media Literacy. Center for Media Literacy, 2011. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. <http://www.medialit.org/media-literacy-definition-and-more>.