Media are profoundly changing how information and culture function in society. Just a hundred years ago, the idea of instant global communication was incomprehensible. It would have seemed unthinkable that anyone could push a dozen buttons on a hand-held instrument and be able to talk with any of billions of people anywhere in the economically developed areas of the world (and many of the poorer areas). Equally ridiculous was the idea that you could look at a box no bigger than a suitcase and see in moving pictures of things happening at that moment in distant lands. Everything is changing. In technology and information age, mass media plays important role in effecting many aspects of society.
The media over which information travel ?Etelephones, television, films, magazines, Internet, newspaper and so forth ?Eshape the ways ideas take form and spread from one place to another. The media with the strongest impact are radio and television. There are about one billions TV sets and more than two billion radio receivers in the world . The power of these media is to take a single source of information (a moving picture or a voice) and reproduce it in many copies in many locations. Radio reaches the poorest rural areas of the third world. Peasants who cannot read can understand radio. TV is especially powerful. The combination of pictures and sounds affects viewers emotionally and intellectually. Viewers can experience distant events more fully. Television has become a very regular part of our society and more importantly, of our family life.
Take a look at this picture, it sketch famine in Sudan 1993(winning image of Pulitzer 1993). Famine and war forced this starving girl to sit out for a feeding center, stalked by a vulture at one point. By these kinds of media, we can recognize clearer what happening around the world. Now, the world becomes more and more unstable. Despite peace process conducted by United Nations, there are still lots of disasters around the world. In the role of reflecting society, media help us more understand about human being.
But everything has two faces. While media helps us closer, it can be took advantage as a weapon for political and other conceal purposes. For example, in Iraq war, media seems to play a role of a weapon for both governments. They try to send their own messages to the world regardless what innocent victims thinking.
Whatever the media effect our society, it is true that it helps us closer and more understand each others. It reflects the society in different kind viewpoints, which represent a strong democracy and liberty.