The media influences so many people’s behaviour nowadays. Information can be spread after a few clicks of a button, whether it is true, false, speculation or gossip. This can affect relationships in various ways, be it between celebrities and ordinary people or between celebrities themselves and their loved ones. The media can manipulate, influence, persuade and pressurise society, along with even controlling the world at times in both positive and negative ways; mentally, physically and emotionally.
Controversial stories are reported and printed with no reliance of it being fact or not. The public is “meant” to believe everything they’re told and not question it. With it being so easy to say assert an opinion so easily after a few taps, it can lead to investigations and front page headlines. Additionally, as newspapers and magazines have websites, articles can be posted and received quicker than printed articles, and are updated more regularly. Links to these articles can be posted to social media platforms – like Facebook and Twitter – as well as being emailed and messaged directly between friends and family. Today, the media is everywhere, and can easily get to places if needs be in ‘BREAKING NEWS’ scenarios. According to Global Web Index, 54% of daily media time is online. Also, on a typical day, 12% of people watch online TV, 10% listen to online radio, 12% read online press, 28% use social networking sites, 13% are micro-blogging, 9% read or write blogs, and 17% do other things. This means there is constant access to news and the goings on in the world, with the aid of links from social media sites, as you can receive news so quickly, all information whether it’s true, false or opinion.
The media can influence the way people are viewed, which means people’s careers can change within a flash. The media can also manipulate people in the spotlight to lead their life a particular way, or to rebel against what they ‘should’ be like. Miley Cyrus, 21, grew up around fame, with the influence of her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, as well as famous godmother Dolly Parton, both of which are American country singers. Therefore, Miley Cyrus was bound to attract public eye. Miley has had minor acting roles, but became a famed child star at the age of 11, with her success in Hannah Montana, a TV programme based on a teenage girl (Cyrus) with a split life between that of an ordinary schoolgirl and of a ‘teen pop sensation’. By having the role of Hannah Montana she became a role model to millions of young girls around the world which she didn’t ask for, but it came with the job.
Her style and public acts started to change during her 15 month engagement to Liam Hemsworth at the age of 19. Some say she was too young to be in such a committed relationship. The media started to pick up on everything she did. She’s been caught up in controversial matters which could be seen as inappropriate to her younger fans. She has been accused of taking drugs, her ‘twerking’ scandal, and also spitting water over her fans at concerts. This all creates a bad image of her to the public, and especially to parents. However, Miley’s positive and beneficial acts are not drawn upon by the media, like the fact she supports many charities. According to looktothestarts.org, a celebrity charity fact website, Cyrus has supported around 39 charities over her ten year career. A key way Miley raised money was by promoting charities through her concerts. The City of Hope charity, dedicated to research and providing treatment centres to help and support people suffering from cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases, is a charity Miley has performed for, with the aid of the Jonas Brothers, Jordin Sparks, and Gavin DeGraw. In addition to this, whilst still in a relationship with Liam Hemsworth, it was reported that Miley Cyrus, then 19, cut her hair off for charity which she tweeted about to clarify, and that she was happy that she did so.
Many celebrities and sportsmen are influenced and manipulated by the media, but have to ignore it to perform well. Diver Tom Daley, who is one of England’s top athletes, has had to deal with the pressure of having to perform at his very best, whilst battling with internet abuse and the media through most of his senior career. He’s won three Commonwealth Games gold medals, along with one silver, an Olympic bronze medal, national titles, and more. He had success with Splash!, a diving show with celebrity participation, over the last two years, as well as Tom Daley Goes Global, where he travelled with best friend Sophie, to Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, various European countries, and Morocco. At the 2012 Olympics Daley was one of Team GB’s golden boys and high hopes were expected of him. Diving comes with pressure in itself, but with the added pressure from Great Britain and the media this doesn’t help when going into competition. Daley didn’t secure gold, which led to news stories being published of Tom doing too much media and PR work along with not training hard enough. Alexei Evangulov, of British Swimming, questioned Daley’s media commitments and Tom defended himself. This was the February before the 2012 Olympics, which couldn’t have helped Daley. He still came away with a bronze medal for all his hard work. Daley stayed away from social media during his completion periods, so he was away from opinion. Not all reports were positive about him, but the people writing the articles may not understand diving and the mentality needed for the sport. Daley is a private person, and who can blame him? He’s an ordinary boy from Plymouth, participating in a sport he loves. Diving is an ‘on the day’ sport, which with one bad dive can affect whether you get a medal or not.