Did early twentieth century society trust the media more than cynical contemporary audiences?

Couldn’t get on the blog to post this last night… 

Did early twentieth century society trust the media more than cynical contemporary audiences?

Over time, the media and it’s platforms have become one of the most crucial inventions by man as it allows society access to information efficiently and immediately. The question is, why do we, as a collective, believe everything we read and see in the media? There is some evidence to suggest that contemporary audiences are less likely to believe big conspiracies than early 20th century audiences as they are more cynical to bizarre claims but then with sites such as Wikipedia, which is renowned for being an unreliable source of information, getting over ten million hits a day it still implies that for smaller pieces of information we will readily trust the media to provide the truth when sources may not entire able be accurate. In terms of earlier audiences, one explanation to explore why society may have been more susceptible to media sources because there was less availability without the Internet, and the sources weren’t taken for granted as they were limited and the majority from professional sources like established newspaper companies and radio stations. Therefore there was a lack of ‘fake’ news, implying more people would believe a bigger conspiracy than in present day. One theory that could explain why we trust our media source could be the Two Step Flow. If opinion leaders pass on and promote opinion of topical interest to the mass audience (opinion followers), audiences are likely to believe what is being said because it is coming from a figure of importance or trust. If the person wasn’t being entirely truthful, audiences would be more likely to believe opinion leaders than a stranger who is not in the public eye writing an article.

 

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2 thoughts on “Did early twentieth century society trust the media more than cynical contemporary audiences?

  1. Very interesting topic, with the information given, it makes us want to read on. It has good use of examples and the use of the Two Step Flow theory was good. However, more media terminology could be used…

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