The role of media is bigger than it has ever been. The best part is that media is still growing and influencing our lives as time passes. The media plays a central role in informing the public about what is happening in the world. People rely on media such as television, the press and online to get news and updates. Anyone can now find out almost anything they want to know with the click of a button on their smartphone or tablet.
However, with how intoxicating the media is today, it does tend to have the power to shape public opinion, especially over significant topics such as education, politics and religion. The original role of the media is to transmit reality and uncover the underlying facts of things.
The media is meant to aid the the mentality of the people to be more informed, understanding and educated, but all of these are truly a challenging task. Audiences form their beliefs and attitudes, either by themselves or with others, in response to media messages. The level of influence of media varies, however, and messages from the media are not received uniformly by all audiences.
Media outlets are so powerful that they are the right sources to use if there is an agenda to brainwash the masses either to incite violence, nurture conspiracy or promote a systematic narrative for social delusion. Although the epithet of ‘brainwashing’ the masses is debatable if and only if there is only one media house or source relaying a single narrative to the people.
A totalitarian government, like North Korea, can exercise complete control over the media, including the internet, and thus prevent its citizens from being exposed to anything other than government propaganda. In such an environment, most people would certainly only believe what the government wants them to think since they would not have access to opposing views.
But in a country where there is wide access to all kinds of media and where many different voices can be heard, it’s less likely that only one viewpoint or perspective would dominate all the people. Fake news is flying around the media, and most people are unprotected from the infection that plagues these narratives.
Most young Nigerians are on Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram and the like. These media are the headquarters of independent news carriers. The freedom entitled to each individual in a democratic society has also made them self-certified journalists.
How can you protect yourself from the infection of fake information coming from media houses?
A dictator would at least not hide his totalitarian superiority from the people. Everybody would be in the knowledge that his words are unquestionable. On the other hand, these realities of dictatorship are being systematically exemplified in our free society. The masses are mentally manipulated, so they’re unaware that their choices have been rigged. The person can be susceptible to brainwashing or have a favorite media source that consistently reinforces their bias. Either way, a right-thinking individual must discern which information is objective and which requires existential skepticism.
The most valuable antidote to this viral infection is to equip yourself with introspective critical thinking assessment routines. At Skillup Africa, we coach students on how to be the best media creators and curators of information by accessorising them with critical thinking measures to filter falsehoods from the truth. This is one of the reasons we stand out from others.
We don’t only want you to be a TikTok user who feeds on the buffet of content the algorithm thinks would be best for you. All social medias are autocatalytic. Regardless of the dispensation of information from any media house, our programs at SUA will enable you to be invulnerable to the metastasis of virtual infection engulfing the media.