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Children and the Media Final


Since the evolution of the mass media to what currently is a diverse mode of communication, companies have taken advantage evolution. They use it this medium of communication in diverse ways to reach their target audience. The use of this medium by companies to market their products, goods or services are not wrong. However, the portrayal of some ills in society by the media as acceptable has left a lot to be desired. Certain programs on television, movies, some information on internet, depict the use of legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol as positive. The onus, therefore, lies with the parents of children to ensure that the correct message is reinforced by them.

The effect of electronic media on the cognitive advancement of children a major area of concern is. Research has shown that early exposure of children to the television may lead to poorer or delayed cognitive development. However, age appropriate educational television has been found to be beneficial to children of pre-school going age. The evolution of electronic media to include video game consoles and computers has brought in a new perspective to this debate.

The media have played a vital role in influencing and forming the behavior and attitude of the society. One needs to understand the media’s influence and how to use it constructively. The media can be used to stop or reduce incidences such as child abuse. When news features highlight such stories, they not only educate the parents, but society as a whole on how to deal with such incidences.

Advertising is a marketing tool used by companies. Companies spend billions in advertising because it works. The endorsements made by companies to have celebrities represent their goods or products shows the power of influence in advertising. Tobacco companies use approximately fifteen billion United States dollars in advertisements alone.

Research approximates that up to thirty percent of alcohol and tobacco use in adolescents is due to advertising. Advertisement by these companies that glamorize the use of these legal drugs has had a negative effect on children and adolescents. There is no portrayal of the adverse effects of the use of these drugs are never shown. Therefore, the duty remains with parents to ensure that they can educate their children not to be influenced by the media by setting good examples themselves.

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