The state media is openly used as a one-way information weapon.

The state media is openly used as a one-way information weapon.

So all the influence of the media on the individual, group, wider community is summarized in the way of life of people. The concept of “lifestyle” is a reliable methodological basis for a holistic study of objective and subjective influences of the media.

There are three stages in the problem of “media and lifestyle”:

reflection of the way of life of society and its subsystems in the materials of the press, radio, television; Media as a means of influencing the improvement of lifestyle; consumption of mass information in the structure of lifestyle.

The third is the most studied – it includes all the materials of specific sociological research that characterizes the inclusion of the population in the media system in its various dimensions. These data, as noted, indicate the general prevalence of this type of occupation, as the consumption of the media.

Naturally, the most studied aspects of the influence of mass media on the social activity of the masses are those that are directly manifested in the activities of the media themselves – we mean such a form of active as expression, participation in creating materials and programs, contacts with editorial staff.

Of course, the object of public opinion are specific topics, which express the point of view of an individual, group or public, and the process of material production, and events in the spiritual life of society, and the behavior of fans in the stadium , audience in the theater, political leaders.

The process of forming public opinion is complex and is largely determined by the following conditions:

public opinion is formed there and when the discussion of the people is made, a problem that has important practical significance, ie a problem (issue) that affects the social interests of people (economic, social, political, spiritual life); public opinion most often deals with issues related to politics, law, morality or art. The subject of reflection of public life are often those forms of social consciousness, those issues that involve differences in assessments, characteristics, ie contain a controversial point; public opinion is formed at the level of competence. If a person is unfamiliar with any question, then the request to express an opinion is often answered: “I do not know.” But there is a possibility when a person simply does not have enough knowledge to argue, discuss the issue.

It should be noted that public opinion cannot exist outside the system of economic, socio-political, ideological and moral relations.

There are the following stages of the mechanism of formation of public opinion:

Perception of information (objective, subjective, tendentious, etc.) at the level of individuals. Conclusions and assessments of the individual on the basis of available knowledge, experience, ability to analyze, level of awareness. Exchange of information, conclusions, discussions with other people On this basis, the formation of a certain opinion of a small group of people. Exchange between small groups and the formation of opinion of the social stratum. The emergence of popular opinion.

The process of influencing public opinion is especially strong during political elections, when attitudes and stereotypes are imposed that impose their goals and a person is motivated to take a certain action. Thus, thanks to the media, public opinion is formed – the state of mass consciousness, the attitude of different social communities to the problems and events of reality.


The media are institutions created for open, public transmission with the help of special technical tools of various information to any person – it is a relatively independent system characterized by a plurality of thirty million elements: content, properties, forms, methods and certain levels of organization (in the country, region, in production).

The main features of the media are publicity, ie an unlimited number of users; availability of special technical devices, equipment; volatile audience, which varies depending on the expressed interest in a particular program, message, or article.

Through the influence on society as a whole, the media influence each person individually, forming certain identical emotions and actions.

There are two main areas of influence of the media on the formation of public opinion:

Semantic manipulation, which involves careful selection and special composition of concepts that evoke either positive or negative associations, which allows to influence the perception of information. Because the method is based on certain associations, it allows you to easily influence a person because of his habits and beliefs. Formation of stereotypes. Stereotypes are formed under the influence of two factors: without conscious collective processing and individual socio-cultural environment, as well as, of course, with purposeful ideological influence through the media. With the help of stereotypes it is easy to manipulate human consciousness, because the stereotype is closely related to the life of society in general and specific groups of people in particular.

Thus, public opinion largely determines the development of public life and directs the activities of some social institutions, including the media. However, because the media try to cover significant, relevant issues for society and largely consider them in terms of public opinion, we can conclude that not only public opinion can determine the activities of the media, but also public opinion itself is formed under the influence of various factors, including, The media, for example, through the spread of ideology and propaganda.

The media is the fourth power

Quite a common image of the media – the fourth power. Along with three, traditional branches – legislative, executive and judicial. The structures of state power form a special subsystem of society, which is allowed to force even the use of violence. Of course, within the current laws. No other subsystem of society is endowed with such rights, and in this respect any image of non-state power – the fourth, fifth or eleventh – is quite conditional. However, the possibility of the strongest influence of the media, including on government decision-making, is a well-known fact.

The publications stimulated, so to speak, the rapid development of many governmental and financial crises, the adoption of certain court decisions, as well as armed conflicts. And there is no contradiction.

Social opinion can count on successful evolution only in the presence of a powerful control and correction mechanism. Of course, traditional branches of government play a huge role in shaping such a mechanism. The famous system of mutual competence and balance between parliament, government, and courts is an important element of this mechanism, which ensures not only the viability of democracies, but also their high efficiency against the background of all the more rigid models of government.

However, in highly developed and therefore complexly organized societies, this mechanism is significantly strengthened, and its concentration in the public sphere creates the greatest temptation to create a kind of security belt around the government that holds back.

The state, more or less monopolizing the use of control and correction levers, risks turning from a service subsystem of society into something self-sufficient. Which, of course, paves the way for various dictatorial scenarios. It should be emphasized that during the twentieth century, all countries of today’s prosperous democracy faced this problem, and some of them were forced to go through all the consequences of the formation and fall of totalitarian dictatorships.

Modern Western civilization has found a brilliant way out of this situation due to a kind of privatization of control functions, the actual transfer of much of them to non-state structures. And this outstanding, in our opinion, the discovery of the second half of our century has allowed both the intensification of progressive evolution and the strengthening of liberal-democratic tendencies. It is this process, along with the mass introduction of electronic information systems, that has allowed the media to become what they are today.

It is important, however, to present some significant structural moments of the new situation.

First, the results of media influence can be manifested in three areas:

informational, motivational, behavioral.

These manifestations can be detected at the level of consciousness and behavior of the individual, his immediate environment, wider communities (production teams, the region), society as a whole. In this regard, for example, the fourth power is exercised in close cooperation with the fifth – analysts.

Party and trade union leaders, scientists of various specialties and representatives of financial and industrial groups, human rights activists and religious figures interact with the media. In general, all: those who intend to contribute to the implementation of control and correction functions, and increase their rating in the political, scientific or other market. The problem of media independence is closely connected with this.

Most of the positions discussed above assume a civilized situation of a democratic society living in a progressive political and legal space. And in this case, we face a million problems, but we are convinced of the need for a joint search for optimal solutions, and this promises good prospects.

But in another scenario, when there is a kind of reverse phase transition to totalitarianism, many positions in principle change their meaning. The state is advancing in all directions – the islands of independence are under water. The state media is openly used as a one-way information weapon. And at the same time become real power. In this case, society as a whole becomes a silent and lawless part of the state. And perhaps the media is already deciphered as a means of mass use.


1. Alekseev VG Value orientations of personality and the problem of their formation. M., 1999.

2. Bagdikyan B. Monopoly of the media. – M: Progress, 1987.

3. Bagirov E. D The place of television in the SMIP system: A textbook. – M: Izd-vo MGU, 1976.

4. Bakhtin MM Aesthetics of verbal creativity.