The shift of media and media industry over the past few years into new forms, such as DVD and the internet, changes the modalities available for audiences to consume and receive media. The change has caused some media theorists to call into question the influence that the media has over attitudes and beliefs. Urbanization, industrialization and life is good modernization created by social conditions in which the mass media has developed. The bulk of the content of that mass media has created is not designed to challenge or modify the social and political structure of a nation, either in a one party state or in a democratic society. Mass media plays a crucial role in forming and reflecting public opinion:media connects the world to individuals and reproduce the self-image of society. Critiques in the early-to-mid twentieth century suggested that media weaken or delimit the individual’s capacity to act autonomously – sometimes being ascribed an influence reminiscent of the telescreens of the dystopian novel 1984. Mid twentieth-century empirical studies, however, suggested more limited effects of the media. Current scholarship presents a more complex interaction between the media and society, with the media on generating information from a network of relations and influences and with the individual interpretations and evaluations of the information provided, as well as generating information outside of media contexts. The consequences and ramifications of the mass media relate not merely to the way newsworthy events are perceived (and which are reported at all), but also to a multitude of cultural influences that operate through the media.
The media has a strong social and cultural impact upon society. This is predicated upon its ability to reach a wide audience which often sends a strong and influential message. Marshall McLuhan uses the term “the medium is the message” as a means of explaining how the distribution of the message can often be more important than the message itself. It is through the persuasiveness of media such as television, radio and print media that reach the target audience. These have been influential media as they have been largely responsible in structuring the daily lives and routines of Australians. Television broadcasting has a large amount of control in influencing the content that society watches and the times in which they are viewed. This is a distinguishing feature of traditional media and although they are by no means redundant, the development of the internet has challenged the traditional participation habits involved in media such as television. The internet has lifted some of the restrictions placed on society by allowing for diversification of political opinions, social and cultural differences and heightened level of consumer participation. There have been suggestions that allowing consumers to produce information through the internet will lead to a bombardment of too much information. It can however allow society a medium for expressing opinions and moving away from the political restrictions placed on society.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_influence)