When sociologists refer to the media or mass media, they are typically speaking of the media industries that influence people and cultures worldwide. Technology plays a major role in how various media industries change over time, from radio, to television, to Internet, to social networking. Since the 1960s, media ownership has increasingly become more concentrated, resulting inconvergence—the melding of the communications, computer, and electronics industries. However, there are problems with this trend, including the fact that it limits the news and entertainment that the public receives. Concentration is not limited to this country. Very few conglomerates control most of the major media throughout the high-income nations of the world, making it possible for them to control messages and images around the globe. Two central global media concerns are the controlling of information and censorship by state-run media. Framing of media content creates certain audience perceptions as to things such as news content. No definitive answer exists as to the effect the depiction of violence in the media has on audiences, but the media do perpetuate racial and gender stereotypes.
1. What arguments might be made for more stringent regulation of media content, especially when its intended audience is children and young people? What opposing arguments might be made?
2. Is there a reason for government regulation of media content? Or should the market economy and public response to advertising and the revenue it generates guide the development and presentation of media content?