The institutions of mass media can be analysed through from a variety of different angles which can often lead to a difference in opinion, when it comes to defining what the mass media actually represents.
Firstly the determinism sociology of mass media model states that determinist traditions emphasise relations of media to dominant groups. It argues that the mass media is used to control people and therefore be used as a propaganda tool.
There are various example of this throughout history. A Current example of this would be the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda, who use various media forms to brainwash and recruit potential terrorists.
Another example of this would be Adolf Hitler’s restrictions on the media in Germany in the 1930s/1940s. In 1936 Hitler used the model in the Berlin Olympics to show the world how ‘powerful’ the Nazi’s were and also to promote Nazi ideology.
The Frankfurt School is a school of neo-Marxist critical reseach, social research and philiosophy was exempt from this model during the Hitler years, as it was moved to New York when Hitler came to power. It later returned to Germany after Hitler's raign was over.
On the hand the pluralist view of the mass media sees the media as important agencies within a free and democratic society. This model also states that rather than converting the masses, the media simply reinforces its elected beliefs therefore dispersing the power to its audience.
This liberal stance is used most commonly in: Britain, France, Germany and Australia, through the means of general and local elections.
Both models are comprised of contrasting viewpoints, however what is certain is that both know of the importance of mass media. In modern day society, I think it is essential that the media does inform, but not persuade.
By only releasing the facts it is then allowing its consumers to make up their own thoughts and judgements on a particular topic. An example of this is the contrasting viewpoints between west and eastern newspapers on the current situation in Iraq, each having different viewpoints with an added bias.
Word Count: 345