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Critically analyse the role and power of the Australian media. Its influence and potential impact on culturally safe health care in multicultural Australian society. 

Power and Influence of Media on Multicultural Health in Australia

It is quite important to note that media has become the most prominent part of our daily lives. More than 96% percent of every household in Australia possess television or any form of gadget that can be used to pass information to large masses of people. Media is something that has even become common among the adolescent who spend most of their time on media either socializing or reading articles on the net. This tool has both the power to influence positively and negatively the society through viewing certain media. In relation to this paper, the Australian media has notable power in transforming and shaping the discourse of health in the context of multicultural health in Australia. In addition to this, this paper is going to analyze critically the role and power of the current Australian media with further identification of the influence of the media in relation to culturally safe care.

In Australia, media has proven to be a powerful instrument of all time given the fact that it influences almost all areas of the lives of individuals starting from the adolescent to the old generation. It power is majorly seen in its role of disseminating information and facts to the multitude. It has effectively managed to contextualize the cultural health environment. Talking of power, this refers to the ability of the media to structure and present ideologies and issues to the public thus increasing the level of profitability. It is notable that power can be classified into two with reference to media power (De Jesus 2013). 

A media can be said to be symbolically possessing weak power if it does not have the ability to weave the crowd due to auditoria decisions made in the course of disseminating raw data. On the contrary, strong symbolic media power lies on the ability of the media being in control of the crowd through the fabrication of a strong information to the extent of it not being questioned in by the society. Another form of power displayed by the media is persuasion and manipulation.

Talking of media manipulation, this refers to a series of techniques that are related through which the media tries to create a convincing image or form of argument, which, tends to favor a particular line of interest. This includes the utilization of certain logical fallacies and manipulating people psychologically. This may include the diversion of attention of certain people or inducing groups to stop listening to a series of information given the fact that the public has a limited span of attention.in this case, persuasion and manipulation are important sources of power as they help the media to conceal the underlying goals of their stories. For instance, power is shown by the media in the editorial process where it has the ability to choose the information to keep and display to the crowd and which to omit is a form of persuasive power.

McCool, Freeman & Tanielu (2014) denote that furthermore, the media also displays its ability of power through the choice of words (diction) to relay the intended information to the crowd in a language known to many thus placing them in the position of possessing intellectual power. This involves the use of luring language to capture the attention of the readers or listeners. Luring the crowd through framing issues which sustains the interests of the crowd.  Tension and interest in the crowd is developed from the captivating power and influence in the information displayed by the media. The information displayed by the media can either be positive or negative but both have the ability of influencing the crowd. The only difference between power and influence of the media is it capability. Mostly, power refers to being in position to and capacity to influence while influence refers to the putting into action this power (De Jesus, 2013).

Persuasion and Manipulation in Australian Media with relation to Health

The social conditions of individuals in both Australia and other parts of the world are greatly influenced by their overall health conditions. When the media diverts its attention to addressing the health issues in the society, it will be demonstrating its influence in the perspectives held by the masses with reference social and cultural health. The media address issues concerning health for instance giving out information on HIV/AIDS, obesity, drug abuse among others. It is through not only television but also smartphone apps and pop up messages all focusing on health issues thus raising the awareness and alerting individuals on healthy living (Breton et al. 2016)

The considerable ability of the media to disseminate critical information concerning health issues is quite positive to the public. It becomes an asset when it addresses issues pertaining public health awareness and health campaigns and promotions. The current accelerating rate of chronic illnesses makes it rudimentary for media to tale control in passing information to the public with respect to healthy living and disease prevention. For us to consider a certain information positively affecting the society in terms of health it should not stereotype anything it should consist of facts and not propagate acts of ageism, sexism or any form of vice that may stigmatize the society members. When it comes to health provision with media, the choice of language and communication system is paramount with the aim of reducing power difference (McCool, Freeman & Tanielu, 2014)

According to Javier & Belgrave (2015), when it comes to health awareness in Australia, media has really acted as a powerful instrument and among the primary source in to support health education and promoting clinical services. Various forms of power are displayed by the media. As opposed to the interpersonal forms of power, the media utilizes mostly the structural power hierarchies hence creating legitimacy of the institution through the control of information that is relayed to the public.

When we critically analyze media items, they tend to bring out both positive and negative effects on the culturally safe care. Through this analysis of media item, it is clearly brought out that even the most criticized media items do contain useful information that can positively affect the livelihood of Australian with respect to health. According to a positively  appraised article titled “Alcohol-Related Violence among the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of the Northern Territory: Prioritizing and Agenda for Prevention-Narrative Review Article” the article uses strong and stereotyping language in its endeavor to discuss about alcohol and related violence among the Australian aboriginal and Torres strait islanders (Zartarian, V., Jianping, Velez & Brown, 2015)

It is quite clear that Ramya Ramamoorthi is dedicated to help address the issue of alcohol misuse, violence and trauma in the Northern territory. The article concentrates on how these adversities intersect among the locals in the northern territory. The major aim of the article is to work towards curbing the problems facing this indigenous people of Australia. When take a keen look into this article, we will realize that the authors try to highlight the negative representation of the media about the health state of the indigenous people.  The northern federal state of Australia that contains the largest proportion of the indigenous people is frequently faced by enormous negative effects of harmful alcohol use, which end up resulting into related violence against women and trauma (Anderson et al., 2003)

The Importance of Australian Media in Public Health Awareness

As it was earlier said in this paper that media has got to a certain audience in the public, the choice of language by the writer of this article creates unwavering privilege to the educated readers as the audience of the content. According to this media item, the understanding about the health state is clearly improved as tries to give evidence of the real situation that is being encountered by the aboriginal in the northern territory of Australia. The paper addresses several issues that are well evidenced for instance; family and domestic violence which has been, use to demonstrate the relationship between the victims and the perpetrators who have been abusing alcohol. It talks of the high numbers of family conflicts that are more common amongst the indigenous people as opposed to the conflicts and violence due to alcohol for the non-indigenous people, which only occurs at licensed premises (Rochelle & Hu, 2017).

The item further provides information that is not biased about violence against the indigenous women and children. Generally, women and children are taken to be the weak figure in the article. They are the ones who are highly affected by violence because of alcohol abuse. Research into the article provides evidence that the media here has tied to choose words factually provide information about the situation of children and women. According to the item, alcohol is being seen as biggest contributor to the global burden of disease and violence among the indigenous groups in northern Australia. I accounts for 3.9% of the death cases and 4.6% of the disabilities caused through alcohol related violence (Breslin et al., 2018). The paper further gives prove of the exact number of individuals who have been hospitalized among the young generation as 11,000 between the ages of 15-25 years.

Through analyzing the article, it is apparently clear that the media has achieved to use its institutional power in addressing the issue of alcohol and related violence among the indigenous inhabitants of northern Australia in addition to giving recommendations on what should be done in order to abolish the problem. The paper denotes that the presence of heavy alcohol abuse is largely affecting the indigenous community through causing more economic and social damage (Afzal, Witherspoon & Trousdale, 2016).  It states that these issues could be prevented through trying to change the existing pattern of harmful drinking of the locals I the northern territory. The media item uses is power to influence the direction that should be taken by the locals. It uses suggestive and luring words to suggest the interventional approach, which could be used due to the complex nature of the evidences I has given. These recommendations include face-to-face, one- session that focuses on minimizing the harm among the locals (Breslin et al., 2018).

On the contrary, another media item, which was considered negative but still contains useful information concerning culturally safe care is the article entitled “Embedding cultural safety in Australia’s main Care standards” this media item concentrates on addressing issues to do with health among the aboriginal inhabitants of northern Australia (Jesmin & Amin,  2017). The paper uses manipulative words to address issues. It states that there are many causes of inequitable health care in northern Australia. The authors of this article mentioned above uses stereotyping words as they try to address the demeaning or disempowering nature of the health service providers in northern Australia.

The Need for Culturally Safe Care in Australia

Even though the item addresses health, issues it may arouse stigma due to the use of words such as deemed racist or culturally unsafe disempowerment, which may result into significant reduction of treatment due to disengagement. The paper is somehow biased given the fact that not all parts of the northern Australia lacks modern health care centers. The authors denote that the causes of inequitable health are numerous for instance, the absence of a holistic attention to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the indigenous groups. The paper is also not well evidenced because within the aboriginals themselves, they have tried to focus on the cultural safety so s to reduce the mortality rate at hand. The biasness of the item also comes out in the way the paper uses language that only gives privilege to literate who can be able to read (Jesmin & Amin, 2017).

Conclusion

To sum up, media is a powerful tool that can be used to influence the multitude if its power is well mastered. This refers to the use of tools that contain the ability to reach large mases of people at the same time. The information given out by the media can influence the crowd positively or negatively the society basing on the information being passed across. As seen I he analysis of the two health care safe media items above, a positive item does not base itself on biasness but tries to give out evidence based information, which may help increase the understanding of the crowd. On the contrary, a negative item may affect the crowd through giving stereotyping information that may arouse stigma in in the crowd. Media can also be used to educate people on healthy living especially in this current world that is full of chronic diseases and low life expectancy.

References

Afzal, B., Witherspoon, N. O., & Trousdale, K. (2016). Children’s Environmental Health: Homes of Influence. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(12), A209–A213.

Anderson, C. A., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E., Huesmann, L. R., Johnson, J. D., Linz, D., … Wartella, E. (2003). The influence of media violence on youth. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(3), 81–110.

Breslin, G. Haughey, T., O’Brien, W., Robertson, A., Siegmund, K. D., Mack, Caulfield, L., & Lawlor, M. (2018). Increasing Athlete Knowledge of Mental Health and Intentions to Seek Help: The State of Mind Ireland (SOMI) Pilot Program. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 12(1), 39–56.

Breton, C. V., Yao, J., Millstein, J., Gao, L., Siegmund, K. D., Mack, W., … Gilliland, F. D. (2016). Prenatal Air Pollution Exposures, DNA Methyl Transferase Genotypes, and Associations with Newborn LINE1 and Alu Methylation and Childhood Blood Pressure and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in the Children’s Health Study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(12), 1905–1912.

De Jesus, M. (2013). The Impact of Mass Media Health Communication on Health Decision-Making and Medical Advice-Seeking Behavior of U.S. Hispanic Population. Health Communication, 28(5), 525–529.

Javier, S. J., & Belgrave, F. Z. (2015). An Examination of Influences on Body Dissatisfaction Among Asian American College Females: Do Family, Media, or Peers Play a Role? Journal of American College Health, 63(8), 579–583.

Jesmin, S., & Amin, I. (2017). Impact of the Mass Media in Changing Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women in Bangladesh: Findings from a National Survey. Journal of Family Violence, 32(5), 525–534.

McCool, J., Freeman, B., & Tanielu, H. (2014). Perceived social and media influences on tobacco use among Samoan youth. BMC Public Health, 14, 1–8.

Rochelle, T. L., & Hu, W. Y. (2017). Media influence on drive for thinness, body satisfaction, and eating attitudes among young women in Hong Kong and China. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 22(3), 310–318.

Zartarian, V., Jianping Xue, Tornero-Velez, R., & Brown, J. (2017). Children’s Lead Exposure: A Multimedia Modeling Analysis to Guide Public Health Decision-Making. Environmental Health Perspectives, 125(9), 1–10

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