Understanding Media: NCERT 7th CBSE Social Studies Civics Chapter 06
Question: What is called ‘media’?
- Everything ranging from the stall at the local fair to the programme that we see on TV is called media.
- Media is the plural form of the word ‘medium’ which describes the various ways through which we communicate in society.
- Media refers to all means of communication. Everything ranging from a phone call to the evening news on TV is called media.
Question: What do we mean by mass media?
Answer: Television, radio, newspapers etc. that reaches large number of people, or the masses, across the country and the world are called mass media.
Media and Technology: Understanding Media
Question: Describe relationship between media and technology.
Answer: Relationship between Media and Technology:
- Today it is difficult for us to imagine our life without the media.
- Cable television and the widespread use of the Internet is a recent phenomenon.
- They are less than twenty years old.
- The technology that mass media uses keeps changing.
- Newspapers, television and radio reach million of people because they use certain technologies.
- Newspapers and magazines are also the print media.
- TV and radio are termed as the electronic media.
- Newspapers are called print media, because they give news in print.
- Naming of media as print media is related to the different technologies that they use.
- The technology that mass media uses has changed over the years and continues to change even today.
Question: How does changing technology help media to reach more people?
- Changing technology, or machines, and making technology more modern, helps media to reach more people.
- It also improves the quality of sound and the images that we see.
- Technology does even more than this.
- It also changes the ways in which we think about our lives.
Today it is quite difficult for us to think of our lives without television.
- Television has enabled us to think that we are the members of a larger global world.
- Television images travel huge distance through satellites and cables.
- This allows us to view news and entertainment channels from other parts of the world.
- Most of the cartoons that we see on television are mostly from Japan or the United States.
- We now; sitting in Chennai or Jammu; can see images of a storm that has hit the coast of Florida in the United States.
- Television has brought the world closer to us.
Media and Money: Understanding Media
Question: How are technologies costly these days?
Understanding Media – Answer:
- There are different technologies that mass media use.
- They are expensive.
- TV studio in which the newsreader sits has lights, cameras, sound recorders, transmission satellites that involve a lot of money.
- Electronic media also involves money.
- Print media also needs money.
- In a news studio, there are several employees like newsreader, people helping in the broadcast including those who look after the cameras and lights.
- All of them are paid their salaries.
- The technologies that mass media uses keep changing.
- They need a lot of money.
- Hence mass media needs a great deal of money to do this work.
- It is because of this reason that most television channels and newspapers are run by big business houses.
Question: Describe the ways by which mass media thinks of making money?
Understanding Media – Answer: There are many ways through which the mass media makes money.
- Advertisement is the major way. Different products like cars, soaps, chocolates, clothes, electronic goods etc. give advertisements to attract consumers.
- Advertisements are repeated during telecast of matches, movies or other programs.
- The money earned depends upon the popularity of the program and number of times the advertisement is repeated.
- Another way is by doing promotional activities and making their presence felt so that large number of people
- see their channels or buy that magazine or newspaper.
- Newspapers have print advertisement in various categories along with information under the categories like buy or sell about buy, rent or buy and also obituaries.
Media and Democracy
Question: What is the role of media in democracy?
Answer: Media plays an important role in providing news and discussing events in the country and the world. This helps citizens to learn about functioning of government. Citizens can take action based on the news. They can write letters to ministers or organize a public protest. Signature campaign may be stated to make government rethink on certain issue.
Question: Is media reporting important in democracy?
Answer: Media plays an important role in providing information. It is important that media reporting should be balanced.
Understanding Media – Question: What is a balanced report?
Understanding Media – Answer:
- If we read either newspaper we would know only one side of the story.
- From the story in the News of India we term the protesters as a nuisance.
- On the other hand, the story in the India Daily, tells us that the protests are because a lot of livelihoods will be lost, relocation efforts are inadequate.
- Neither of these stories is a balanced report. A balanced report is one that discusses all points of view of a particular story and then leaves it to the readers to make up their minds.
Question: On what depends the writing of a balanced report?
- Writing of a balanced report depends on the independent media.
- An independent media means that no one should control and influence its coverage of news.
- No one will impress upon the contents to be included and what should not be included in a news story.
- An independent media is important in a democracy.
- Independent media has reliable and unbiased information.
Question: Describe the causes why media is not said to be independent?
Answer: The media is far from independent due to certain reasons.
The government has a control over media:
- Due to Censorship a news item, scenes from movies or songs are not shared with public.
- During the Emergency 1975-1977 government censored the media.
- Government censor the films but it really does not censor media coverage of news.
- Despite the absence of censorship on news, most newspapers are unable to provide a balanced story.
This is due to the control of business houses over the media:
- News are given based on the interest of the business houses.
- Media needs money which it gets from advertisements.
- It becomes difficult for them to report against those who give advertisements.
- So media is not independent due to its business links.
Need for support for an issue:
- Media tends to focus on particular aspect to make story interesting:
- Also if they want public support, they focus on one side of the story.
Question: Briefly write about the news report of News of India.
Understanding Media – Answer: News of India reported the event as crackdown on polluting factories.
- It reported the violent protests by owners and workers causing huge traffic jam.
- It said the people protested against the hasty decision of the government.
- It clarified the protesters knew that this would happen.
- It highlighted the fact this closure would reduce pollution in the city.
- Mr. Jain opinion was given where he stated that for clean and green city these factories should be removed.
- The factory owners and workers should accept the relocation offer of the government.
Question: How did the India Daily report the decision?
Answer: India Daily reported it as loss of livelihood due to closure of factories.
- Workers protested: against the closure of factories.
- According to the owners and workers the fault lies with the municipal corporation.
- It issued licences to factories in residential areas.
- According to this report there were no adequate relocation efforts.
- The new areas are without facilities and development.
Question: Write a note on ‘setting agenda’.
Understanding Media – Answer:
- The media also plays an important role in deciding what stories to focus on.
- It decides on what is newsworthy.
- The annual function at our school will make the news only if a famous actor is Chief Guest at the function.
- By focusing on particular issues the media influences our thoughts, feelings and actions.
- It brings those issues to our attention.
- Due to its significance it shapes our lives and our thoughts.
- It is commonly said that the media ‘sets the agenda’.
- Very recently the media drew the attention of the public to alarming levels of pesticides in cola drinks.
- They published reports that indicated the high level of pesticides and thus made us aware of the need to regularly monitor these colas according to international quality and safety standards.
- They did this despite the government’s resistance.
- The media created awareness about the harmful effects of Coca Cola.
- The government after careful examination declared that cocas are safe. Media also fell in line.
Question: What is the positive aspect of media reporting?
Answer: Media help us to focus on an issue that affect our lives. It help us to understand and know things that we are not aware of.
Question: Explain several instances when media fails to focus on issues which are important for us.
- There are several instances when the media fails to focus on issues which are important for us.
- Drinking water is a major problem in the country.
- Every year, thousands of people suffer due to lack of safe drinking water.
- Media does not focus on this issue.
- The media focuses (on) such issues like the fashion week which provide(s) them huge money.
- But it did not report the demolition of slums in Mumbai at all as the slum dwellers did not pay them.
- As citizens of a democracy the media has a very important role to play in our lives because it is the media which highlights the burning issues.
Question: Write a concise account of Local Media.
Answer: Local Media
- Most of the big houses of media are not interested in covering ‘small’ issues that involve ordinary people and their daily lives.
- Hence several local groups have come forward to start their own media.
- Several people use community radio to tell farmers about the prices of different crops and advise them on the use of seeds and fertilizers.
- Others make documentary films with fairly cheap and easily available video cameras on the real-life conditions of the poor communities.
- A newspaper called Khabar Lahriya is a fortnightly and run by eight Dalit women in Chitrakoot district in Uttar Pradesh.
- Written in the local language ‘Bundeli’ this eight page newspaper reports on Dalit issues and cases of violence against women and political corruption.
- Such media is termed as local media. The media highlights the working of the government.
- In this way it ‘sets the agenda’.
- Sometimes the government imposes censorship and gets published what it wants.
Question: What do you mean by “setting the agenda”?
Answer: The media decides the issues and stories to focus on. This is called “setting the agenda”. The government through censorship prevents certain stories to be published. Media’s relationship with business houses affects balanced reporting.
It is therefore, important that we do not rely too much on one sided factual reporting. We should ask questions like what is the information I am getting and what is not provided.
Question: What is censorship and factual information?
Answer: Censorship refers to the power that the government has to disallow media from showing or publishing certain issues. Factual information is the information about a particular news or issue as given by the report.
Question: Fill in the blanks with appropriate words.
- Independent media plays a …………………. role in a democratic country.
- ………………… and …………………………. are a recent phenomena in the media.
- 3. Mass media earns money through …………….. .
- 4. With typewriters, journalism underwent a change in the ……………….. .
- 5. At times media is prevented from publishing a story, this is called ………………….. .
- Cable TV, Internet
- electronic, 1940’s
Question: State whether the given statements are True or False.
- Media is the plural form of the word middle.
- Television has made us think of ourselves as global citizens.
- Changing Technologies help media to reach more people.
- Balanced report discusses only one point of view or one side of story.
- Media can be divided into print media and electronic media.
Question: In what ways does media play an important role in a democracy?
Answer: Media plays an important role in a democracy. It provides news and discusses events taking place in the country and the world. It is on the basis of this information that we learn how the government works.
- Media also criticizes the unpopular policies and programmes that the government takes.
- Media forms public opinion.
- Media acknowledges us with several current issues.
- Media provides awareness among masses.
Question: Can you give this diagram a title? What do you understand about the link between media and big business from this diagram?
Answer: A title to the above diagram may be given like this – Media and Big Business Houses. Big Business Houses attract people to promote their products through media. It is the best and the cheapest means to reach people at large.
Question: You have read about the ways in which the media ‘sets the agenda’. What kind of effect does this have in a democracy? Provide two examples to support your point of view.
Answer: Media creates public opinion an a democracy. It can build up public opinion in favor of or against any issue. Today, it has diverted from its real agenda. Instead of highlighting public issues, it is now concentrating upon cheap agendas like fashion shows, child falling in pit, etc.
Question: As a class project, decide to focus on a particular news topic and cut out stories from different newspapers on this. Also watch the coverage of this topic on TV news, compare two newspapers and write down the similarity – and differences in their reports. It might help to ask the following questions:
- What information is this article providing?
- What information is it leaving out?
- From whose point of view is the article being written?
- Whose point of view is being left out and why?
Answer: Students are suggested to do this project themselves.
Question: Name various forms of communication.
Answer: Radio, television, newspapers, Internet.
Question: What does the word ‘media’ mean?
Answer: Radio, television, newspapers, Internet and several other forms of communication are collectively known as media.
Question: Mention any one positive aspect of television.
Answer: Television has enabled us to think of ourselves as members of a larger global world.
Question: Mention one way in which the mass media earns money.
Answer: The mass media earns money by advertising different things like cars, clothes, tea, etc.
Question: Why are some advertisements shown repeatedly on the television screen?
Answer: Same advertisements are shown repeatedly on the television screen just to make people’s mind to go out and buy what is advertised.
Question: What are the various ways through which people express their dissatisfaction to any of the government’s decision which does not go in their favor?
Understanding Media- Answer: They do so by writing letters to the concerned minister, organizing a public protest, starting a signature campaigns and asking the government to rethink its programme, etc.
Question: What do you mean by a balanced report?
Answer: A balanced report is one that discusses all points of view of a particular story and then leaves it to the readers to make up their minds.
Question: Why is it necessary for media to be independent?
Answer: Only then media can write a balanced report.
Question: Why does media sometimes focus on a particular aspect of a story?
Answer: It is because media believes that this will make the story interesting.
Question: What does media’s close relationship with business often mean?
Answer: It means that media will fail to give a balanced report.
Question: How has television brought the world closer to us?
Answer: Television images travel huge distances through satellites and cables. This allows us to view news and entertainment channels from other parts of the world. We see cartoons on our television set which are mostly from Japan and the United States. We can be sitting in Delhi and can see images of Barak Obama‘s oath ceremony in the United States. Thus, television has enabled us to think of ourselves as members of a larger global world.
Question: Most television channels and newspapers are part of big business houses. Why?
Understanding Media – Answer: The technologies that mass media use keep changing and so a lot of money is spent on getting the latest technology. The TV studio in which the newsreader sits has lights, cameras, sound recorders, transmission satellites etc. All of these cost a lot of money. One thing more, it is not only the newsreader who needs to be paid but also a number of other people who help put the broadcast together. Due to these costs mass media needs a great deal of money to do its various works. As a result, most television channels and newspapers are part of big business houses.
Question: What do you mean by an independent media? Why is it important for the media to be independent?
Answer: An independent media means that no one should control and influence its coverage of news. No one should tell the media what can be included and what should not be included in a news story. It means that media should not be under any one’s pressure. It will be totally independent. An independent media is very important because it is on the basis of the information that the media provides that we take action as citizens. Hence, it essential that this information is reliable. It should be biased at all.
Question: Write a brief note on ‘local media’.
Understanding Media – Answer: Local media covers small Issues that involve ordinary people, and their daily lives. It is usually started by local groups. Several people use community radio to tell farmers about the prices of different crops and advise them on the use of seeds and fertilizers. Others make documentary films with fairly cheap and easily available video cameras on real life conditions faced by different poor communities and, at times, have even given the poor these video cameras to make films on their own lives.
Khabar Lahriya is also a local newspaper. It is a fortnightly that is run by eight Dalit women in Chitrakoot district in Uttar Pradesh. It is written in the local language, Bundeli. This eight page newspaper covers the Dalit issues and cases of violence against women and political corruption. This newspaper is popular among farmers, shopkeepers, panchayat members, school teachers and women who have recently become literate.
Question: How can you say that media is far from freedom? Or why do most newspapers still fail to provide a balanced story?
Understanding Media- Answer: It is said that media is often controlled by business houses. Media does what these business houses wish. At times, it is in the interest of these businesses to focus on only one side of the story. Media is in the constant need of money.
Hence, it is essential for media to get linked, it is with advertising groups. In such a situation it is difficult for media to report against people who give them advertisements. Its close links to big business houses snatches its independence. It has to do as per the wishes of these business houses, Media also tends to focus on a particular aspect of a story because they believe this makes the story interesting. One thing more, if they want to increase public support for an issue, they often do this by focusing on one side of a story. Thus, it is difficult to say that media is independent.