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Media and Its Functions

            The media functions largely as a tool for establishing and maintaining prevailing ideologies.
             The media has a very big influence in our lives and functions as a tool for establishing and maintaining prevailing ideologies. The media is a tool for communication and the one in charge of the media has control of what they want the audience to believe. Television, radio, magazines, advertisements, etc all persuade us to believe their version of truth, their version of reality. For example, soap operas and news programs all foreground the ideologies through characters, setting, and title and camera techniques. Some gender, religious and political ideologies will be discussed in this essay. .
             Soap operas. What are they? Ever heard of the soapies Home and Away, Neighbours, A Country Practice, Bold and the Beautiful, Young and the Restless? They are all soapies as they are stories of conflict, relationships, revenge, community, etc, but if there is a conflict, it isn't solved in one episode but in many days or sometimes weeks. Australian soap operas such as Neighbours and Home and Away present a microcosm of society in which people can relate to, as the media is a competitive industry. The ideologies presented in them are specifically aimed to maintain the comfort zone if the audience, not to challenge them. .
             "We try to keep everything as simple as possible and direct it at the ordinary things that occur in every household and within every neighbourhood. We are often tempted to use a sensational story, but we pull back and say "That's not likely to happen." We do best when we portray the mundane in an entertaining way (quoted by Galvin 1988)" (BOLWES 1994).
             Australian soap operas like Neighbours show a community of people which can either reflect the society some people would like to live in or a society which already exists for some. The white, Australian, middle class are shown in Neighbours which illustrate the simplicity of Australians.

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