Media Education: A Necessity




Ever since the media world has come into existence, new ways of its influences in its daily life has been seen. What was considered to be a boon has been realized to be a bane in many ways. The use of the media is often mired by controversy too. Here are a few quotes which makes us ponder about media’s role and its influences. These quotes were by famous people and perhaps signify how media has deviated from its intended path to another completely new one.

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.”Richard Salent, former president, CBS News.

“We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets, and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.”Katherine Graham, Washington Post publisher and CFR member. Thus we see that a similarity trend arises. People seem to interpret the use of media in their own ways, ways which will be of benefit to them. People with the power in their hands feel as if they are the authority to decide what to show and what not. When the press has an agenda, it is bound to be not wholly fair and just, as it was originally intended to be. Somewhere, down the line, human emotions, human wants, human intentions, greed, selfishness has come around to prohibit the working of a free press. Just as a utilitarian economy is a dream, a free just press is also nothing short of that.

The very essence of creating the press has been tarnished. As Hugo Black, Supreme court justice of The United States had rightly said:

“The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.”

The media has failed to deliver in its promise of impartial reporting, unbiased writing and true delivery of facts to the public. In this scenario, believing in the facts of the Media and acting upon them can not only be hazardous but may be injustice to the one on whom the action is being taken. The influence of media on young minds are even the more so. This is because young minds are just getting to understand the world and how it functions. Young minds thus can be moulded more easily than adults who have formed more or less fixed opinions on a variety of issues, going by experiences, circumstances and need and wants.

Today’s world is as different from the yester years as chalk and cheese. The world today has hi-end products and a new definition of lifestyle. A consumer culture exists now which was unimaginable even a century ago. In this scenario comes the various forms of print – the digital, the print, the audio and the internet.

The internet and the television are the most influential among these. Both of these mediums not only gives us a plethora of knowledge but also enables us to see and visualise them. As the spread of the internet and the television medium reaches new heights, so are the malices of media influence too reaching mammoth proportions. Television channels and internet sites explode you with all sources and sorts of knowledge, which by its sheer quantity, makes you unable to grasp it.

The Influence of Media

Media influence started first in the West mainly because technological advancements in the world were first made there. In this regard, the western people have more experience than the East about media influence and their culture has been subject more to the whims of media influence than has the Indian society. Thus, if we look at the Western countries, we see clearly the marks left by media influence. There are authors like Jerry Mander who in his book ‘Four Arguments for The Elimination of Television’ have even said that the television is an evil which needs to be destroyed. It is no doubt seen that media forms especially television and internet produces devastating psychological effects on the minds of the people, especially those who are young.

It has been seen through many psychological studies that viewing too much of television effects thinking and behaviour at levels that even we may not know of. Slowly, as India advances, the problem of media influence is grappling us too.


Future Jobs in Advertising Will Be Dominated by Media – Polish Up Your Media Resume!


Jobs in the advertising industry declined during the recession of 2008-2010, but now appear to be increasing again. Looking at the advertising jobs of the future, we believe media will dominate job growth. Available jobs will involve media planning, buying, and sales for both traditional and new media. Integrated communications will be key.

In terms of job opportunities, there are three basic functions which media professionals perform to connect ad messages with target markets: media planning, buying, and sales. To prepare for an advertising job, job seekers should develop a good understanding of media planning, media buying, and media sales for both traditional and digital media. (The future is integrated marketing and media.)

1. Media Planning

Media planning is the process of developing an effective media strategy and action plan involving use of both traditional and digital media.

The planning process first begins with an analysis of the marketing situation. Then, second, based on marketing priorities, media objectives are formulated that detail exactly what the media plan is supposed to accomplish, for example, including the definition and prioritization of target audiences the media plan must reach.

Third,strategies are formulated which will most effectively accomplish the media objectives. Finally, based on the media strategies, a detailed tactical plan is developed.

The media strategy and action plan incorporate the right media classes, the right media vehicles, the right geographic markets, the right timing, the right budget, the right number of advertising exposures, in the right media contexts, and so on. In so doing, media planning contemplates how traditional, digital, alternative, and marketing services media can help best address marketing problems or capitalize on marketing opportunities.

The end result of the process is a media plan, often called the tactical plan. The media plan details the recommendations and detailed rationale for all media activities and spending. For example, the plan may propose the use of magazines as the important medium for some particular advertising. The recommendation would include how much money should be spent in magazines vs. other media, in which months or weeks ads should be scheduled, and, of course, which specific magazines are most cost effective and best meet the magazine selection criteria.

Of course, media plans must also include other proposed media/marketing activities such as geographic market areas which should receive supplemental media spending, how often the consumer should be reached with advertising, as well as how the advertising should be scheduled throughout the year or planning period.

A media planner is someone who develops or supervises the development of media plans through a rigorous media planning process. The media planner may occupy any level in the organization; responsibility, not title, defines the job.

Now, imagine that you are a media planner. You have $3 million to market your product to male beer drinkers. An analysis of media alternatives for reaching this audience suggests these three potential strategies.

1. If you bought one:30 spot in the Super Bowl for $3 million, you would reach almost 33% of male beer drinkers all at the same time.

2. If you bought fifteen:30 spots on male-oriented, primetime, network TV programs, you could reach 65% of male beer drinkers more than once with 35% of them reached at least twice.

3. If you spent half your budget for display ads on male-oriented websites and the other half in men’s magazines, you would reach 63% of males twice each, on average, but in different media contexts.

Question: Which option would you choose? Why?

2. Media Buying

Media buying is the second type of job available in advertising and the advertising media area. People who buy media are simply called media buyers. Media buyers may be generalists or may specialize in buying specific media: broadcast or print or digital.

After the media plan has been approved by the client, the media included in the plan must be purchased from the media sellers. Buying is the process of identifying the preferred media vehicles, then negotiating with selling media to reach a satisfactory price and other important terms and conditions. The transaction is called a media buy, and the person who negotiated the transaction with the seller is called a media buyer.

Typically included in the list of negotiable items are price, additional time or space units, positioning of the ad or commercial within the media vehicle, inclusion of higher quality and more effective media vehicles, and value added features such as billboards (broadcast), turnkey promotions, merchandising assistance, programs to involve sales force and customers, and so on.

You might be a buyer with a budget and instructions to buy a specific display ad on the home page of a major search engine, for example. You find that the budget is sufficient to buy an ad on the home page of either AOL or Yahoo but not both. You therefore ask each of the sellers to submit a proposal, and you negotiate with both of them until one offers you desirable inventory at an acceptable price. After negotiating with the sellers, you may then select the seller with the lowest price or the best additional enticements. When you have completed the transaction, you have done a media buy!

3. Media Sales

Media sales or selling is the third category of advertising media jobs. All media have sales people who work on the local level selling to local businesses or on the national level selling to national advertisers and advertising agencies. In addition, opportunities exist in media representative firms who often represent media companies in the key markets of the countryt. For example a television station in Hoboken may hire rep firms to do their selling in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Detroit — or where ever.

What is important here is that media sales will likely be the largest employer of people in the advertising industry, and could be considered by those who have interest in advertising, professional selling and has accrued a little bit of experience in the agency business.

If you were the media seller for AOL in the example above, you might propose a media package consisting of X number of clicks to AOL for the one-time-only price of $5 million. But the Yahoo sales rep would be doing the same thing! Your job would be to come up with an offer better than Yahoo’s, including a final price and any other terms and conditions that would induce the media buyer to keep negotiating with you until you can reach a contract.


Poverty and Media


Man is curious by nature and always remains busy in new and novel things. Poverty has many dimensions and quenches the thirst of man in this regard. He always comes by odd, weird and strange happenings due to poverty. Mother killed her babies, a father slaughtered his family, a brother ate to his fill while his little sisters and brother died due to famine. All these headlines are the offspring of obnoxious poverty. Hunger is the worst thing in this world. If one is hungry, he can sell his honor, his homeland and even his loved ones. It is a curse and an ‘anaconda’ that gnaws at the very roots of the humanity. It is not only shown on the media but also discussed in the meetings and seminars. The UN has included it in its millennium development goals. It is ever hot issue of the world. The most powerful nations of the world are not devoid of this anathema.

A lot of people die due to hunger and unavailability of eatables in the advanced countries. According to the facts and figures of the UN about 25000 deaths occur daily due to non availability of food. It means that one person is dying in every four seconds. The children are the worst prey to poverty all over the world.

Irony of the situation is that there is plenty of food present in the reservoirs of the world. In spite of the stock piles of the food,the same is not available to the hungry and the poor. The poor have no money to buy this food and are not able to live. Constant starvation makes them weak and they did not remain able to work. This unemployment breaks their neck and they fell down and down in the abyss of poverty and hunger.

This vicious circle ends in unfortunate deaths of these pitiable people. The world watches these hapless human beings dying only due to lack of few dollars. Not only the one man dies but also his family is famished and constrained to disappear from the face of the earth. World media and world organizations forget them after making their deaths headline on the face of their periodicals. Nobody comes out to disburse food or money. Only word jugglery is performed in the meetings and seminars for keeping oneself in the news and promoting one’s image as a humanitarian.

Poverty is ridiculed instead of redeemed. The poor are punned and are shown with the naked feet and deprived souls on the media. It is done in the name of good faith but there is not even simple faith except shenanigans.

The UN is trapped by the profiteers and pseudo-non governmental organizations whose sole aim is to grab and pile up money by hook or by crook. Such persons and organizations try their best to remain in limelight. Their aim is to pretend humanism. They want people and governments of the world to praise their work. They influence the common folk by their false image. This is one of the reasons that poverty becomes the important news. Few organizations try sincerely and work out plans to save the starved people. Such programs need advertisement and publicity. This also makes poverty an important news item. To conclude it can be said that overt and covert aims of being publicized and remain in the news are the causes that include poverty in the major news items and discussions on all the forums.


Tragedy, News and the Importance of Social Media


What do penicillin, soap, planes, telephones and social media have in common? They have either changed the way we live or the way we communicate.

Has social media really altered our lives and methods of communication? Yes and yes. In case you are still having doubts check out these calamities and tragedies where CNN and many major “traditional” media giants incorporated tweets, you tube videos and reports sent in by “contributors” from all over the world.

These social media tools affected the way breaking world news is being shared globally and here’s how:

Twitter: It is no surprise that Twitter is one of the best resources for finding breaking news and information. Maybe it is about the unrest in Libya, Egypt, Yemen or the very recent tragedies such as the Japanese 8.8 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. Users who are witnessing the event occurring right before their eyes update their twitter accounts via their mobile phones and it immediately goes online and is passed on by their followers. One other attraction of Twitter is the “trending” capability of this social network which allows users to search for topics they are interested in. Users use the # symbol, also called a hashtag, to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created as a way to categorize messages.

Facebook: In the same manner, Facebook allows users to update their status and share stories on their profile pages. This social media tool also allows for real-time ‘this just in’ news. Aside from status, videos and photos can also be shared and eventually be re-shared by their friends.

Google: The impact of the Social Media phenomenon is so large that Google has established a page known as the Google Crisis Response. Because people are flocking to social media as an alternative method to search for news about friends and loved ones during the occurrence of a natural calamity, the internet media giant saw the need for an alternative avenue to make critical information available and easily accessible during times of crisis by using technology for humanitarian reasons.

Until recently correspondents had to train for a very long time before they were provided the opportunity to be in front of the camera reporting the latest news. With social media everybody, even ordinary citizens who have a camera and an internet connection, can be a reporter for the day and send what they witnessed to news networks such as CNN for its Ireport segment. And during times when the network can’t get to the breaking news fast enough; the breaking news now gets to the networks — thanks in most part to social media.

So, if social media is still not a part of your life, very soon it will be. It is already a part of every major news networks “life” and ultimately, it will enter yours too.


Publicity and Media Tips for Small Business Owners


One of the most common complaints of small business owners is that they do not have the budget for advertising. While that is usually true, that does not mean you cannot get your message out there, and reach thousands of interested readers with the information you would like them to see.

The answer lies in publicity and media, and if it is done correctly, it is both free, and the perfect way to generate interest in your company, site or product.

The most common and well known way to generate media interest in your company, product, or service is to write a press release. You might not realise it, but most print and online news and media platforms are constantly on the lookout for free content, and most are willing to publish press releases about topics that relate to their niche. This is a free service, and since news outlets have high readership, including other news outlets and journalists, it is a great way to build buzz.

There are a few things that need to be borne in mind about press releases though. First, they are not advertisements. They have to be newsworthy in order to be treated as press releases, and they usually have to be written in a third party, objective style that presents the facts – not as sales copy!

A good idea is to take a look at other press releases on line or off, and make a note of the style that they are written in. That will give you a good idea of how to write a press release, but what about content? For that, you will have to find something newsworthy to write about. It could be the launch of your company, or a new product, or a successfully completed project. It could be a new appointment, or an upgrade to your services. Nearly every company, even small businesses, have at least a few newsworthy stories to share, and those are the ones you want to turn into press releases.

There are even free online press release portals that you can submit your news to yourself, which have a global following, and they are a great way to get started with your own publicity drive.

What about other ways of using the media for free publicity though?

Several people have used the concept of notoriety – by suing major corporations and pulling other stunts. Those methods may have worked for some people, but they are very risky.

A better idea would be to write an informative article on your industry or specialty, and submit it to trade publications in your area. If it is published, you will usually have your name, company information and contact details included with your article, and you could find yourself getting business that way.

Another idea would be to volunteer your time for charity events. Local news media usually cover charity events anyway, and having your name, and that of your company tied to an event like that can be great for your business.

Other publicity generating ideas could be as simple as running a competition, or as crazy as a world record attempt. As long as it is news worthy, and you make sure that people in the news and media industries know about it, it should get you the attention you want.

The main benefit of using publicity and media instead of traditional advertising is that it is a lot cheaper than paying for advertising. You can do most of the work yourself, or you can hire a freelancer to craft your press releases and other materials for you.

Publicity and media of this type also has a much larger audience, and if your press release is syndicated or referenced by other media sites, you may find that your website traffic spikes dramatically, and your sales follow suit.

Getting to know the editors of magazines and other print publications can be the trickiest part of the publicity and media process, but focusing on publications that are closely related to your field is usually the easiest way to get around this problem.

Deciding what’s newsworthy and what’s not can also be a learning curve, but if your press releases and articles are well written and topical, you should find that eventually, you are taken seriously, and your content is published. So why not start looking for newsworthy information about your business, and practice writing press releases, or think up new ways that you can get local media attention? It is a great way to get free advertising, and will certainly get your business on the map.


Entertainment News and the Critic


Entertainment news publications and online editions have sections written by critics. These could be movie reviews for a film that has released at a theater near you. It could also be the music reviews for an album that is slowly climbing up the charts. Critics have been panned by artists for centuries. Many artists relegate critics to the sidelines with the strong belief that they have taken up criticism only because they have not been able to create art themselves. But that opinion is not free from fallacy. Critics do their job and that job has a purpose.

The primary job of the critic is to inculcate good taste among audiences and viewers. Entertainment news portals are their media. Because a large chunk of the people read these entertainment news sites, the critics can reach out to more people with their views and opinion about things. The movie reviews that they write tell the audience what they can expect from the movie. They tell you if the movie ticket is worth your money or not. I’m not saying that you accept their opinion as gospel truth, but when learned critics say something, they must have some reason for doing so.

In the field of music, critics have a special to play as well. Music reviews inform and educate listeners about the trends of modern music. Being a connoisseur in music and performing arts, the critic manages to pack in his knowledge about music when he writes music reviews. The opinion of the critic is important for music reviews because the critic is well-aware of the different genres of music, be it Eastern, Western, jazz, blues or reggae. The critic pours out his knowledge on the entertainment news pages. Readers of these columns can only benefit from the learned wisdom of the critic.

Critics hold a lot of sway over the business aspect of the entertainment industry. Viewers go to the theaters mainly on what the opinion of the movie reviews is. They generally tend to head to the theaters with a pre-conceived idea formed by the reading of the critic’s opinion. The same happens in case of music reviews. Sales of albums feel the effect of a critic’s analysis, and if the critic happens to be someone of repute or from a respected publication, the impact is deeper. Music reviews are also important links in understanding the flow and direction modern music is taking.

Having said all these, I’m not saying that the critic is always right in his assessment. There are numerous examples of movies trashed by critics in the movie reviews but they have gone on to become blockbusters. Some, which the critics hailed as cinematic masterpieces, didn’t find an audience. The viewer or the listener, in case of music reviews, is the ultimate judge. Critics writing for entertainment news publications can only claim to be guides. They point out certain aspects and the viewer has to decide if he agrees with the sensibilities of the critic in those aspects.


How Social News and Social Media Can Benefit You


Most of us have heard about social bookmarking since it’s brought so much convenience to internet browsing and the ability to save our bookmarks on a website rather than our web browser. Social news is known as an offspring of social bookmarking.

Social news is very much like social bookmarking except it concentrates on and specializes in individual articles rather than saving complete websites. The articles saved on news sites come from top news sources such as Associated Press, Reuters, or they may also come from blog posts. They’re the perfect solution for individuals that want to read late breaking news without having to sort through tons of other topics.

Some of the most popular social news sites include Digg, Newsvine, Reddit and Propeller, although there are many more. These social media websites are usually broken down into individual groups such as current events, politics, sports, entertainment, etc. You’ll also often find an area where readers can vote on the articles so the best ones are on top where they’re easier to find. This is slightly different from social bookmarking sites, which instead will tell you how many times a certain website has been bookmarked.

Users of these sites enjoy these sites because it’s like reading a newspaper and finding all the best articles on the front page as opposed to having to search through the entire newspaper. You go to the specific category you’re interested in reading about and the hottest stories will be right on top.

Social news sites, like social bookmarking sites, are so much more efficient and convenient than using search engines because you don’t have to browse through dozens or more links to find what you’re looking for. Bloggers find news sites particularly helpful for generating traffic, especially if the most popular news subject happens to coincide with their subject matter.

Using a social news site is easy. It’s a matter of choosing the site you want to use and looking through the categories that interest you. You’ll have to open an account if you want to submit new articles, although you won’t need one if you only wish to read the articles already submitted.

While most social sites cater to a large audience, some will target a specific group. Social media websites are a fantastic way to keep up on the latest news on your favorite topic. If you have a special news article to share with a friend, a social news site is the perfect solution.


If Hurricane Sandy Hits Power Companies and Media Companies It Hurts Prepaid Campaign Ads


It looks as if Hurricane Sandy is going to hit pretty hard, and there will probably be power outages, blackouts, and perhaps even news media companies which are down. Interestingly enough the mainstream media has made a tremendous amount of money on political ads during this 2012 election season. Probably enough to have those companies make a profit this year. That would sure be a change of venue, as there have been more and more mergers of newspapers, and less than stellar performance for cable TV networks, as the Internet takes its toll.

Still, I have a question; if Hurricane Sandy hits all the power companies and news media companies, and if they’ve already collected prepaid campaign advertising dollars, but are unable to play those advertisements, then they should refund the money. Now then, in mid-October it was noted that Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign and President Obama’s campaign together had spent over $2 billion. That is an all-time record in the history of the world for any election. That money obviously could’ve been spent for better things.

Is my sincere belief that if President Obama had lived up to his campaign pledges, taking care of the jobs and unemployment, and not spent us into oblivion adding $5 trillion to the US debt, that he could easily get reelected spending very little if any money, and not having to endure any close challengers. Due to these failures, he now has to spent $1 billion to defend his failed policies. Now then, there will be a winner and loser in this election, and the loser will have wasted $1 billion. Do you see that point yet?

Many have said; that money could have been better spent on cancer research, hiring teachers, or retraining workers for future jobs. Instead, that money got wasted in advertising telling us that they approve this message. But what sort of message is that sending to our children? That we can blow money in elections playing a popularity contest when we have real needs here at home. I don’t like it, and neither do many Americans.

Now then, I propose that all the Political Action Committees (PACs) and the campaigns themselves demand the money back from the media companies that were unable to deliver those messages for whatever reason due to the last minute Hurricane Sandy. Then I would ask those paying for the advertisements to graciously have that money sent from those media companies to nonprofit groups.

That would be the right thing to do. Personally, I don’t feel it is right to barrage the American people with BS, which most of these political advertisements are, and this would be a way to apologize to the American people and do something good for a change. Please consider all this and think on it.