The potential for the global media to shape the views of today’s youth is considerable. However, while some commentators think that the media has no place within secondary education, other analysts defend the idea that international news should be studied at school. In this essay, I shall examine a number of studies which show that both viewpoints are, to some degree, justified.
To begin with, the global media undoubtedly enriches teenagers understanding of contemporary affairs. This is because television reports provide concise summaries of international affairs. For example, a study run by Oxford sociologists showed that the media heavily influenced teenagers’ knowledge of contemporary affairs. Since any secondary school education would be incomplete without an awareness of such events, it is therefore clear that the media can play a vital role in assisting education.
On the other hand, many critics argue that teenagers are negatively affected by the global media’s focus on wars and civil unrest. This is because exposure to violence often leads to depression. For example, recent surveys have discovered that depressed teenagers usually cite the dismal state of the world as a source of their depression. Since mental health is an important objective of secondary education, it is therefore questionable whether the study of international news wouldn’t be a destructive and wasteful use of school resource.
In conclusion, it should be clear that there are reasons for and against the study of news at school. Thus if media studies are to enter schools in the future, schools will have to think about how negative aspects of the news can be decreased, and positive aspects maximized.
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