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Media and Society

             “The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They're about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover.” Al Franken, from his book Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them, makes an excellent point about how the media is biased. Many times, people manipulate the media to benefit themselves or their group. For decades, there have been numerous sources for media. Newspapers were the first written media and, often enough, the stories were altered to sell or to make someone or something look good. Webster defines media as the medium of communication (as newspapers, radio, or television) that is designed to reach the mass of the people. As early as 59 B.C. news was being printed and posted in prominent places in ancient Rome. In the books 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and The Stranger there are instances in which media is manipulated. From the telescreens in 1984 to the sensationalism of the media in The Stranger, media is altered, changed, or rewritten. Who, how, and why media is manipulated can be proven through examples from these novels. In addition, some of the consequences of this manipulation come into question. However, one thing remains imperative; mass media is manipulated to influence a society. .
             Mass media is manipulated for two key reasons: it sells better and it makes someone or something look better. “In the United States of Entertainment, a TV reporter could get it wrong from time to time, he could be snippy or snooty, but he could not be boring” (Goldberg 17). In his book Bias, Goldberg, a former CBS reporter, explains why media is changed. He reports that media is essentially altered so that people are entertained. The news cannot be boring. The networks must have high ratings and must make money. In order to do this, they must keep their audience. The people cannot change the channel.