The Medium Is the Message - McLuhan
"For the content of the medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind." It is comments like these that are truly the epitome of how media is perceived in today's day and age. Marshall McLuhan makes an interesting comparison of media to light/light bulb. He says that a light, by itself, is not communication because there is no content. Yet when it is delivered through a light bulb, it reaches the area it inhabits. In the same way, media acts as the same type of content. By itself, it is just "floating around" in society, but with "light bulbs" or newspapers and other types of media, it has the potential to reach people and be heard. Media, as McLuhan says, "creates an environment by its mere presence". I think that this is very much true. The presence of media, whether it is in newspapers, on television, or in a blog on the internet, shapes the environment by the content of the media. For example, news of a possible terrorist attack or school shooting creates an atmosphere of panic and anxiety no matter what the credibility of the source (well, in most cases). In the same way, TV has massive effects on the viewers who spend countless hours in front of it watching diligently, taking everything in. Different news stations are all slightly biased to some small degree and depending on which you prefer, you will start to shift towards to that bias based on habit. Your opinions are affected by those of the news station. Some people believe everything they are fed from the television, while some other people don't believe anything that comes from a television.
The older generation of citizens living today are more likely to pick up a newspaper or listen to the radio based on how they received media when they were growing up. In the same way, the newer generations of people, the younger citizens today, are more apt to accepting new technology with open arms and embracing the blog, email, online newspaper and other forms of media that are brought forth by Web 2.0.