The Media: Selective Exposure and Perception

The Media: Selective Exposure and Perception

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The media needs to introduce something interesting so that instead of flipping channels over to some entertainment a person will stay on the news channel. So they devise a strategy based on selective exposure to get one’s attention and stop the channel surfing. What the public perceives can sometimes be based on how much of the story they have heard. They then form their own opinions on what they absorbed, whether it was the whole story or not.

At 9 a.m. Monday morning, the only thing that the news reports said on the internet was that another plane crashed in New York. The very first thing that jumps to one’s mind is it’s another terrorist attack. It wasn’t until later on in the day that people on the net would find out the whole story. This is an example of how the media plays into our selective perception.

People will watch what they are interested in. It is the media’s responsibility then to find things that will get them interested. For example, different running mates in an election, or maybe even just that nights football scores. If the media can grab the public’s attention in some way then they can change public opinion but only if they get listeners. The media cannot accomplish anything without an audience.

In the case of selective perception, everyone is different. The media must always be very careful about what they say or how they say it. People will find other meanings or even read into what is being said. During this war, we have bombed Afghanistan. The media has portrayed stories about the civilian Afghans that are being killed. Some may feel that we should not hut the innocent anymore. Still others say that this is an act of war and look at how many civilians we have lost already. Here the media has the ability to possibly change public opinion based on the way that people perceive things.

Selective exposure and selective perception are all about the individual.

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It is what someone watches and how he or she perceives what they are watching. The media has to dive into both of these areas if they want viewers. They must ultimately get the public’s attention. From there on they must think of how people might perceive their stories because they don’t want to make enemies if they want the ratings. They also don’t want to cause an uproar in society by something they say.
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