Power Of the Mass Media During the 1960s

Power of the Mass Media During the 1960’s The mass media has always had such a large power over what others perceive of specific events. The mass media is so powerful that it can change the perception of what the public thinks. The media not only can change perception but it also can influence action regarding specific events. Since this has been proven true throughout history it is important to review events that the mass media has been a part of. The Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam and the attack that took place on September 11th are great examples of mass media influence.
The Civil Rights Movement is a large part of American history. This movement took place from around 1955 until 1968. During this time racism had been a huge part of American history. Racism and the life of African Americans were changing. The Civil Rights Movement helped move along this change and help to create a better life for African Americans. The media was a very powerful player in voicing the rights of African Americans which contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. Churches, African American owned businesses and television shows teamed together to show as many as possible about the movement. Many would voice over the media and attempt to end racism and encourage the end of slavery. The mass media dramatically played a role in changing the perception of the public and how they felt toward African Americans.
Just like the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam is a large part of American history and has been historically discussed in the mass media. Vietnam happened roughly from 1955 to 1975. During this time many Americans were needed to join the Army and fight in Vietnam. Some were pro to joining while others were against war. This part of history and how the media portrayed Vietnam is perfect for describing how the media changes the public’s perception and influences decisions. During the Vietnam War many were influenced to join. The media portrayed the war in so many different ways. The media made many young men believe everything would be taken care of if they were to enlist. The media dramatically influenced the public’s decisions to join.
Not all mass media influence was to join the war. Many other forms of media encouraged young men to skip the war and fight for freedom and peace. This was a big way for media to encourage peace and many avoided the draft and were influenced by anti-war media. When pictures began to come up showing the negative effects of war the media thrived on the photos and they helped the media to change the perception of war through the use of media.
September 11th was a more recent event that happened. On September 11th the World Trade Center and the Pentagon became the victim of a terrorist attack. Many lives were lost and the president announced a full on search and destroy of Al-Qaida. Al-Qaida is said to be the terrorist group responsible for the terrorist attack. The mass media quickly began to portray the Arab community as being terrorist. Quickly Americans began to feel afraid of the Arab community and stereotyped them. The mass media is to blame for this stereotyping as they are responsible for showing images, comics and jokes that are discriminating toward the Arab community.
It is easy to see how mass media can use many different ways to change the public’s perception and influence thought. Whether this is done through images, television, radio or internet, the mass media is extremely powerful.