Bessant and Watts noted Marxist and feminist writers claiming the mass media conceals inequality and exploitation (2002, p.392). Media broadcasters are private companies after all and they often share similar views with other businesses. Consequently the related reports may be distorted or lack the opposite view which lowers the credibility of the articles.
Furthermore advertisements and other media messages have been intentionally shaped to send a very specific message. As Bessant and Watts (2002) postulated, “The interests of owners and managers (of media companies) seems to have some influence in the reporting of those elements of the ‘news’ that directly involve business interests” (p.393). As such the actual intentions of these owners and managers directly affect the form of influences such media will cause.
On the contrary Bessant and Watts (2002) stated that “…the modern mass media enhances people’s access to great works of art” (p.392). For individuals and the society media provides the opportunity to observe famous art/literature/sites indirectly but with less cost. For example people around the world may appreciate natural wonders from reading the National Geographic magazine.
In the modern society individuals interact with media on a multiple basis per day and the quality of these messages has a huge impact on their attitudes and behaviours. Hence there is a necessity for authorities of the society to regulate all forms of media to ensure the recipients are not polluted by the prejudice of these media. As well individuals should become critical viewers of the media messages and differentiate media messages that provide benefits from those that consist of detrimental intentions.
How does the media influence our leisure, sport or tourism?
For an industry to be successful it is imperative that the industry utilises the media appropriately. One popular form of promotion campaign is advertising via different media. To highlight the importance of media promotion on tourism, one may examine the effects of promotion towards the Sydney 2000 Olympics. According to the BBC report (2002), “…in the run-up to the Games Australian tourism authorities paid for visits by 3,000 journalists from around the world. At a cost to Australia of only A$3-5million a year, Morse reckoned to have bought around A$2billion worth of publicity generated by their reports.” As one can see positive media influence ultimately leads to prosperous tourism growth.
Sometimes hidden messages in advertisements may cause negative impacts upon tourism growth. Sirakaya and Sonmez (2000) observed that the advertisements exposed to audiences tend to stereotype women in an attempt to please male audiences, but fail to recognise the growing importance of females in the tourism market. This is “a direct contradiction of effective marketing strategy” (p.354) and will result in a loss of business opportunity. As Sirakaya and Sonmez (2000) postulated, subtle cues in any media advertising may disseminate gender stereotypes and in turn cause cutback in destination development (p.361).