Media; one of the most significant forces in modern culture, has its roots in the 1920s, a general notion for it being restricted to the 'print media' up until post Second World War. With time, definitions and ideologies changed, and today Mass Media has evolved in leaps and bounds against the era of its conception. Now, it dominates almost every field with radios and televisions and bulletins... Not only this, over the years, media has not only provided a prothera for about 80 percent of the professional engagements but also has significantly helped the youth and educational sectors to continue their learning with sites like Byjus and Meritnation giving online courses as well as apps like Google Meet and Zoom conducting online school or work meetings.
With media usage now open to all generations, it is easier to establish oneself with communication channels and opportunities like those given by sites to promote journalism and reporting which was otherwise restricted to inhouse activities and news boards. In addition to this, the masses also have their own channels like those on Youtube which help them reach larger audiences.
However, there too, are some factors one must keep in mind while operating with it. To name a few, one mustn't exploit media usage by promoting messages or opinions that demean the national functioning or sentiments or are unlawful and disrespectful to any group or individual. The inputs shall always align with the Right to Information and not the 'Masala Gimics' which are otherwise promoted. It is sad to mention, yet true, that the youth is influenced both ways. If we see those using media in a productive way, we must also get into consideration of those exploiting it. Social Networking Sites are the best examples. They contain a population with varied ideas and opinions. While there are people who spread important messages and significant know-how, there are also trolls who dominate another section of it.
This is where 'Media Literacy' comes into play. People may be educated, but are they media literate? Are they aware of all the protection acts and rights that govern any media? Youth, here, plays an important role. With the budding talents among them and the broader view of every aspect of life, the youth knows their next move. The case of "Boyz Locker Room" can be mentioned here. The social networking sites like Instagram were flooded with posts, messages, and stories that highlighted a very mixed reaction to the incident. The youth was seen divided among those supporting a call by accused, and those contradicting them. Such situations actually depict how the world and its working is changing, There aren't just preachers and their blind followers, rather, there are individuals with distinct opinions to every subject. Another example could be of the "Black Lives Matter" protest which gathered a ton of followers. How? Through Media. The media spread each word of protesters worldwide and with that, came a realization. 'Black lives do matter'.
And so, it is not wrong to say that Media and Youth have a symbiotic relationship. The youth uses media for its own causes whereas media, itself has a major basis on the budding population. The only reason why this topic is discussed, I believe, is to spread media literacy and the future it can bring to the upcoming generations. For it is they who are to rule it with years.
By: Lairaah Mukherjee
School: Gaurs International School
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