Youth And Media Essay Examples



In many societies, media plays a vital role in influencing people’s attitudes and behavior in a positive way. In many of these communities, media is a tool for imparting the young people with the right knowledge which they can use to tackle the challenges they face as argued by Saunders in the, “Issue Paper 14, Youth and the Media.” The society expect the media to play a key role in educating the youth on the dangers of smoking, but the media instead negatively imparts the youths to smoke through their programs and publications. The question among many researchersis the role the media is supposes to play in promoting positive behaviors among the youths, but the media are doing the contrary in the modern society (Brennan 317).
The media messages have become widespread in the modern society via exposure to television, films, newspapers, magazines, internet, posters, books, and brochures. It is estimated that the youth spent 2.5 hours daily on average to watch television programs, which translates to 16-18 hours in a week. The media messages to the youth come in the form of paid advertising from the tobacco companies, which believe that the young people are potential smokers smoking. The advertising is through promotions, which offer to the youth accessories and clothing with cigarettes brands embalmed on them. The main aim of tobacco advertising is to present the brand with the image, which is sufficiently attractive, and use techniques, which will woe the youths to take the cigarettes. The advertising strategies mostly targets the youth because the companies believe that they are the majority and they access to media materials easily. These advertising strategies aim at promoting cigarette smoking to both the potential and the existing consumers (Brennan 317).
Modern marketing strategies by the cigarette companies aim at attaching a symbolic meaning to specific cigarettes brands by manipulating the product names, sponsorship, casing, and advertising in popular culture, which is preferable to young people. Tobacco advertising also aims at associating its brands with the psychosomatic and the social desires the young people want to fulfill and always results from the streamlining of social reality that the ads itself is providing (Brennan 318).
Apart from the strategies by the tobacco companies to use the promotions to influence the youth to smoke, there are other avenues, which the tobacco companies through the media explore to woe the youths. The avenues include movies, television programs, newspapers, magazines, and music media. Studies indicate that youth are three times likely to watch a movie or television program as compared to adults above the age of 45 years. Tobacco portrayal in movies is more often used in between the programs as commercial breaks to promote the brands of tobacco among the young people. The youth is influenced by the coverage of tobacco products during news because a big number of youths access radio and television. To this effect, the tobacco companies have successfully managed to create ‘controversy’ about the tobacco issues by manipulating the news media effectively. Another social media, which has become, popular among the youths and is being used by the tobacco industries to target the youth is the internet. These companies are using these social media to sent advertisement, which are popular among the youths and especially the celebrated personalities. The companies use celebrities to advertise their products via the internet, and they have succeeded. The media have imparted negatively on the youth to smoke, which is contrary, the societal expectation of the role of the media (Brennan 318).
In conclusion, media shapes and reflects the social values about smoking. The media fraternity has profoundly affected the youth on smoking through advertisements. The media according to the societal expectations are supposed to be a leader in educating the youths on the dangers of smoking. Media has the responsibility of condemning unacceptable behavior within the society, but in the case of cigarette smoking, the media are promoting the vice. This presents media as not living as per the ethical standards which they deserve (Brennan 318).

Works Cited

Brennan, Patricia & Holder, Harold. Helping Adolescents at Risk: Prevention of Multiple
Problem Behaviors. New York, NY: Guilford Press, 2005, Print.