The Media Industry: Roles, Impact & Ethics

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  • 1:32 Media Provides Information
  • 2:30 Media Influences Decisions
  • 3:20 Media Shapes Opinions
  • 4:12 Media Creates Agendas
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
In this lesson, you will learn the role the media serves in regards to the government, business, and society, such as providing news and information, shaping attitudes and values, and developing non-market issue agenda.

Media Industry

How does society create opinions about companies, and how do companies stay abreast of market conditions? Where does government attain information about issues with corporations? The answer is from the media. It plays a crucial role in the uncovering, promotion, education, and dissemination of information. The media also plays a role in companies maintaining an ethical environment.

Companies have various stakeholders from both the market and non-market environment. One of the most valuable stakeholder groups to an organization is the media industry, which is part of the non-market environment. The media industry is an important stakeholder and includes firms that specialize in broadcast content and delivery, including print, Internet, television, radio, and direct mail. In addition, the media helps shape consumer attitudes toward business.

Let's quickly review the basic terminology regarding the elements of the media industry. Broadcast technology is the sending or receiving of messages via modes of transmission, including receivers, cable, and wireless devices. Broadcasting content is what is being shared to the audience, such as news and entertainment. Lastly, service delivery is the method of transmittal through satellite stations, cable, Internet, video stores, etc.

In this lesson, you will learn how the media provides news and information and shapes attitudes and values in an ethical business manner. We'll use Sassy Media to help us see the impact of media on the business environment.

Media Provides Information

Sassy Media can influence business, society, and government through numerous roles. One of their biggest tasks is to provide information. Businesses depend upon the media to provide them information in order to make educated decisions. For example, Fun Town Amusement Parks keeps abreast of the economy by watching economic reports.

The overall impact for acquiring information from the media is that it allows companies to make educated business decisions. For example, at Fun Town the information they glean from the media helps them decide whether or not to lower prices or build new parks. Socially responsible businesses, like Fun Town, use the information to determine where they should help their community. For instance, Fun Town's executives quickly responded to families in need with a large corporate donation after a terrible fire wiped out a row of townhomes near the park.

Media Influences Decisions

Consumers are affected by the media because it influences purchase decisions, voting, activism, and opinions about businesses. For instance, Sassy Media did an expose about how a Fresh Stuff local supermarket was discriminating against women workers. This created an activist movement and also caused everyday consumers to boycott the market. Socially responsible companies react proactively to any issues to ensure that there is no need for an activist response. Fun Town quickly solved potential worker issues by quickly implementing a new and better health care program.

The government also learns about important news from the media. Sassy's report on business conditions allows the government to create an agenda on what areas need help.

Media Shapes Opinion

Another influence of the media is that it helps shape public opinion, attitudes, and values by selecting and shaping what information is released. For example, the public sentiment, or a group's attitudes about specific issues, is impacted by the media. Sassy Media ran a story on their television and Internet stations about how Fun Town Amusement Parks donates money to children's charity and provides free fun days to sick kids. These news stories created a positive attitude about Fun Town, and the company became highly revered in the local area.

Companies are aware of the important role of the media and will use it as a tool to promote their social responsibility as well. It acts as a check and balance to keep companies on an ethical path due to their need for a positive public opinion.

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