Does media lead or follow?

What came first: the TV networks or the consumers? In other words, do TV networks and movie studios lead the consumers or do the consumers lead the networks and studios? I would argue that the TV networks and movie studios lead consumers by influencing what they think. This is done by the networks and studios by producing films and broadcasting reports that have particular angles and biases attached to them. The consumers, in turn, see that media and are influenced by it whether or not they even know it.

This website touches on the idea of whether entertainment media leads or follows society. Of course, we would love to say that the entertainment industry follows the demands of the public. That would make the most sense. However, I truly believe that it is the opposite. The networks and studios produce media and consumers form beliefs based off of that.

Therefore, when it comes to the religious and moral values of the people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios, I believe that they do not share the same religious and moral values of the most Americans. If the networks and studios were producing for the consumers then I would say they would share these same values. However, because the networks and studios are leading the pack, they have to have different values than the rest of the general public. They are forging the way and the only way to do that is to be different than the rest of society.

This other website discusses a little bit about how media shapes people’s perception of reality. This, again, supports my idea that media does not follow the general public’s beliefs or values because in order to shape something, you have to be set apart from it. Overall, I think there is no way for the media to uphold the same beliefs and religious values as the general public, especially because of how Christians are portrayed in mass media.


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