. The Influence of the Media


In this section you are going to think about the positive and negative influences of the media. You will also take notes on statistical information about television ownership.


1 Read the following passage.

The media has become one of society’s most important agents of socialization. Television, radio, newspapers, the Internet, and other forms of media have a strong effect on the way we think and act. However, there is disagreement about exactly what the effect is. For example, access to television allows us to be better informed and gives us an increased understanding of the world. TV can also be used to entertain us. However, television exposes us to negative images, too. Furthermore, some critics argue that it may make us passive, violent, or too materialistic.

Other forms of mass media, such as video games, magazines, and movies, may influence our ideas strongly, too. We do not yet really understand the extent of their impact on society.

2 I Answer the following questions according to the information in the passage.

1 Does everyone agree about the kind of effects the media has on society?

2 What are some positive effects of TV? What are some negative effects?


Read these questions and share your answers with a partner.

1 Do you watch a lot of TV? Are you concerned about its possible negative effects? Explain.

2 What steps do you think parents, schools, and the government should take to protect children and adolescents from the negative effects of on-screen violence?

3 Of all the forms of media mentioned in the paragraph, which one seems to have the most influence on you? Why?


1 What kind of entertainment do you enjoy? Fill in the chart below.




Three programs you watch:


Three magazines you read:


Three songs you like:


Three movies you have enjoyed:


Three stations you listen to:


Three sites you visit:


2 Share your responses with a small group.


It will often be necessary to record the numerical information you hear in conversations, interviews, or lectures. Practice by visualizing numbers when you hear them and then writing them down quickly.

1 TV is one of the most popular and influential forms of mass media in the world. Work with a partner. Look at the map below that highlights four areas of the world. Guess how many TVs per one hundred people you think each area has. Write your guess in the blank next to each area.

Area 1:______ Area 2:________ Area 3:___________ Area 4:________

Listen to a report on television ownership in each of the four areas of the world in the map in step 1. Write the number of televisions per one hundred people next to


Area 1:

Area 3:

Area 4:

Area 2:

the area being described.


Compare your answers to step 2 with vour partner. Then compare those answers with your guesses in step 1.

Discuss the following questions in a small group.

1 What information in the report surprises you? Why?

2 In which areas of the world do you think TV has the most influence on people? Why? How do you think it influences them?

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