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The Mass Media & the Youth Shaping Attitudes, Values and Thinking
A “Media Nation” • Television is King 96% of Filipinos have access to TV; in Metro Manila, it’s 98% 67 % said TV is most credible information source [PULSE ASIA] 42% of the poorest watch TV daily; only 37% listen to radio daily [SWS 2003] • Radio & Newspapers ¢ 78% have radio access but only 24% said radio is most credible information source ¢ Only 11% read newspapers daily [SWS 2003] ¢ Only 5% said print is most credible information source. [PULSE ASIA]
The mass media are a dominant presence in young people’s lives. No. of Hours Spent with Various Media Medium Teens Young Adults Older Adults TV 1. 9 1. 7 2. 4 Radio 3. 0 3. 4 Internet 2. 1 7. 0 1. 3 6. 4 1. 4 7. 2 Total
Young people use the media mainly for… • • Entertainment Diversion Lifestyle tool Interpersonal communication
The media and the youth interact in complex ways. • The media are considered a primary agent of socialization, together with the family, school, religion and peer groups. • The media are sometimes considered “surrogate” parents – authority on what is right and wrong and what is important; more influential now than in the 1970 s • The media are the prime source of information on sex and relationships.
The commercial media target the youth as… • Market for advertising • Market for their other programs
The media are a big business • Annual advertising revenues for all media: about $1 billion – $1. 2 billion/year, more than the total revenues of San Miguel Corp. • Advertising revenues account for 70 to 80% of all media revenues. • Media organizations are increasingly integrated (multimedia) and corporatized. • Media firms are among the most profitable in the country.
Top advertisers in 2004 accounted for over 50% of all ad revenues: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Proctor & Gamble Philippines Inc. Unilever Philippines Inc. Colgate-Palmolive Philippines Inc. Nestle Philippines, Inc. San Miguel Corporation United Laboratories Inc. Globe Telecommunications Inc. Johnson & Johnson (Phil. ) Monde Denmark Nissin Biscuit Corp. Jollibee Foods Corp.
The drive for ratings, which are bases for advertising, defines content and style of broadcast news. • News that has “entertainment” value – has drama, emotion or celebrity element • Fast-food journalism: Bite-size news, predictable, simple storytelling devices. • Bias against issues, matters of policy and complex stories • Stress on crime and showbiz
The view from the newsroom “You will not feature a story that you know won’t rate. ” - TV news executive
The scramble for ratings also defines entertainment programs. ENTERTAINMENT THAT SELLS… • Follows known genres: soap operas, quiz shows, reality TV, gag shows. • Follows formulas in terms of character and plot • Prefers celebrity and glamour. • Doesn’t require much thinking. • Caters to lowest common denominator and doesn’t divert too much from what the competition is doing.
Top 10 Programs (2 nd qtr 2004)* PROGRAM Viewer s % 1. Star Circle Teen Quest Grand Questor’s Night 3. 9 M 23. 4% 2. Marina 3. 8 M 23. 0% 3. Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas 3. 5 M 20. 7% 4. Basta’t Kasama Kita 3. 3 M 19. 3% 5. It Might be You 3. 2 M 18. 9% 6. Star Circle Kid Quest Grand Questor’s Night 2. 8 M 16. 9% 7. Ang TV Movie: Adarna Adventure 2. 7 M 16. 5% 8. Extra Challenge 2. 6 M 15. 2% 9. Victim Extreme 2. 5 M !5. 1% 10. Imbestigador 2. 4 M 14. 5% * Source: AGB Philippines
There is a disconnect… • To the youth, the media are parent and companion. • To commercial media, the youth are mainly a market segment.
The unintended results… • Young people tuning out • They are becoming more interested in new media that is more interactive (SMS texting or Internet chatrooms) • More plurality and multiplicity of media
Commercial media are adjusting to this… • Using interactivity for entertainment programs • Using multimedia • Using more innovative and creative messages • Still, the basic message for commercial media is: buy
The dominant media message appeal to the youth as consumers… • Advertising increasingly targeting the youth • Entertainment programs propagate a consumeristic lifestyle • Global media = global consumption society
But media messages are not received uncritically • Greater media exposure = greater skepticism • Messages may have unintended meanings • Receivers interpret the messages in multiple ways • Alternative media provide alternative interpretations and messages • Media consumers now have more choices than in the past and much more information is now more easily available than ever before • Media literacy can help “decode” media messages
But media messages are not received uncritically • Greater media exposure = greater skepticism • Messages may have unintended meanings • Receivers interpret the messages in multiple ways • Alternative media provide alternative interpretations and messages • Media consumers now have more choices than in the past and much more information is now more easily available than ever before • Media literacy can help “decode” media messages. It can also catalyze media reforms.
Some tips on decoding media messages • Who produced the message? • What is the intent of the message producer? What does the producer have to gain from the message? • What is the track record of the message producer in terms of credibility & public service? • How can the message be critically interpreted?
The Philippines is an unequal society. • Income distribution is very skewed: Share of National Income (2000) Income Group % Share of National Income Richest 50% 82. 2% Poorest 50% 17. 8%
The inequity is also in the geography. • Metro Manila, the capital, has a disproportionate share of national income Region Annual Income/Family % of Total Nat’l Income National Capital P 242, 345 26. 7% Autonomous Region of Muslim P 70, 375 1. 7% CARAGA P 82, 008 1. 7% Zamboanga Peninsula P 82, 704 2. 3% Northern Mindanao P 95, 481 3. 4%
The mass media reflect the inequities of Philippine society. • All the major media companies are in Manila, staffed largely by Manila-based and trained journalists. • Media ownership is limited to the wealthy and politically well connected. • Media content is largely determined by commercial considerations linked to advertising by big companies.
Media imbalance… • Perpetuates imbalances in power and wealth caused by geography, ethnicity, and class • Contributes to molding ill-informed citizenry. • Makes policy changes—and social reforms—difficult. Media content, with its emphasis on the entertaining and emotive, rather than on what affects people’s lives and what needs to be changed, supports the status quo.
The media will be an even more dominant presence in our lives… • Use the media. Don’t let them use you. • Be critical. • Tell the media what you think of them. • Support alternatives that provide the service you need. • Help build a media-literate society.