What is wrong with the media effects model?

The media effects model is how media and its content can effect the members of society, and what the consequences of viewing the content may be.

One criticism of the media effects model that I believe is an important issue, is that it is not grounded in theory. This model tells us that media and its content will affect the audience in various ways, but is based on the assumption that it will, rather than a solid theory. For example, according the media effects model, watching a violent clip or show will result in the responder feeling the need to imitate what they saw. However, it has never been established why this would happen. What is it exactly that causes someone to recreate a scene they have watched?

While pondering the previous point, another criticism arises. The media effects model is selective in its criticisms of violence in the media. It focuses on dramas and fictional shows and how they affect viewers, while seemingly forgetting about the violent acts that can be seen everyday on the news programs or in the papers. If the violent acts seen in fictional shows will affect the behaviour of the audience, why wouldn’t the same type of content affect someone if it was shown on a news program and actually occurred. For example, in the case of Daniel Bartlam, if his vicious crime was the result of violence in fictional tv shows and films, what would the consequences be if he was immersed in real life violence instead. Another good point is that if this was the result of viewing fictional material, why couldn’t actual footage of violent crimes or scenarios have an effect and why doesn’t the effects model address this aspect.

It seems that there are too many unanswered questions when it comes to the media effects model and more negatives aspects than positives.


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