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A Synthesis Paper on Media Construction of Reality, Social Media and Multimedia

Many have believe that news media or what we called mainstream media can make or break people. Whatever came out in the news and in the presentation of opinions of credible media personalities, it can shape the views and even the behavior of its readers/viewers.

In the article, The Media Construction of Everyday Reality, the author emphasizes that communication media in general and mass news media plays an important function in influencing and shaping both worldview and cultural and psychological patterning of human behavioral response. “Communications media in general, and mass news media especially, serves an important function in the horizontal transmission, integration, organization, mobilization and reform of human systems, especially in modern state-organized contexts.”

Aside from the Edsa revolutions, the apparently self-organized “A Million People’s March” last August 26, 2013 is a recent example on how people reacted against the rampant corruption in the government. After the pork barrel scandal came out in the news, Filipinos became aware and got furious against those who were involved in the scam. A call for an assembly was spread like fire on social media networks and news agencies as it gathered almost a half million people in Luneta, Manila.

By just reporting the factual details and information, by the persuasive use of language and information to foster and reinforce subjective states, feelings and attitudes (The Media Construction of Reality, 2005), people have realized the need for an immediate action to end the controversial funding system.

But in the article, the author have pointed out that the media, particularly the television and movie industry, in a way contributed in fostering and escalating social violence with the graphic display of repeated violence. This is not always been the case because television and movie industry players have learned to balance and be responsible in portraying violence on their shows/films. Nevertheless, it is agreeable that national sporting events like boxing, especially involving the fight of People’s champ Manny Pacquiao, has greater mass effects. There’s now what netizens called “Pacquiao effect” where all busy roads in Metro Manila became like a ghost town in few hours because most people were watching his fight.

People remain to be dependent of news media. In stressful situations, there is a kind of media dependency among people which they become eager to receive updates, aimed to keep their own internal maps adjusted to a larger map of the world (The Media Construction of Reality, 2005). “The degree to which media is used and depended upon, by the government, and by corporations to manipulate and manage worldview as well as human behavioral response, is remarkable. Even the values and worldviews can be manipulated, constructed and limited in delibrate ways.”

The recent enormous devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) is an example how media played a vital role in presenting the reality. The world relied only on news media through their reporters and correspondents who are on the ground. This is because the local and national governments apparently failed to immediately send the much needed information which may bridge an urgent help needed in the affected areas. Even the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) admitted to have a big problem on communication to gather data about the effects of the typhoon. And so, the media personalities who went in the area became the first hand source of information. To note, the controversy which sparked when CNN anchor Anderson Cooper who was in Tacloban City for days reported what he have seen as the actions taken and what were not being done to help the victims, which irked some government officials.

Multimedia Usage: A New Phenomenon in Presenting News and Information

Multimedia refers to the content that uses a combination of different content forms. It includes the combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, or interactivity content forms (Wikipedia).

News and other information can be uniquely well-delivered nowadays to its target audience with the use of multimedia. Some print industry like newspapers and magazine, in broadcast industry like television, films and radio and online now embrace this new phenomenon.

GMA Network, ABS-CBN, TV 5, Philippine Daily Inquirer and The Philippine Star are among media entities in the Philippines which use multimedia in presenting their stories to the public. Utilizing multimedia facilitate them to make their stories more comprehensive and entertaining. It engages global audiences and tells stories with technology, which develops new communication techniques for both media producers and consumers (Wikipedia).

Social Media For News Dissemination Purposes

Social media refers to interaction among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks (Wikipedia).

Though the information shared in the social media are not completely reliable because of its nature that anyone even private individuals can publish and access it, the capability of which to reach larger audiences is a characteristic shared with the traditional media.

And since many people now have access to Internet, social media networks like Facebook and Twitter become an alternative news sources for users.

Many Filipinos now get their news via Internet and even shared links to news articles on different social media platforms. In 2011 survey, Global Web Index noted that in 14.43 million Filipinos who are active in social media networks, 73% of which are content sharers and 60% are messagers and mailers. The highest percentage among other countries.

Many Filipinos now turned to social media in the wake of typhoons, landslides or floods. In the recent calamities that strike Philippines, social media pages of news entities like GMA Network and ABS-CBN, became the leading sources of information via links of news articles and lines of breaking news, which give them an increased readership and followers. In October 2013 Facebook analysis by Social Bakers, it cited ABS-CBN, GMA Network, GMA News and TV 5 as the most visited pages.

This development doesn’t necessarily replaced the traditional media like television, print and radio. But this trend pushed most of traditional media firms to create social media accounts and even an online version of their entity to promote latest stories and features online thus become accessible to Internet users. Some media companies also took advantage of creating a mobile application or mobile version of their website.


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