When someone talks about the impact of information, they usually speak about the influence of information on the audience. The results of media influence can manifest in three areas: informational, motivational and behavioral.
It is easier to see the effect of audience awareness than the motivational effects. Awareness is seen as the result of cumulative effects of all the media available to city residents.
The most knowledgeable are people who actively use various channels of information. They appear at the stage of selecting sources of media. The impact of the media is somehow realized in communication and cooperation with other people. In modern society, media is designed to maintain and strengthen various social subsystems – small groups, socio-territorial, industrial, industry communities.
Certainly, media influences and changes people’s lifestyle through impact on individuals, groups of people, or wider communities. The concept “lifestyle” is a good methodological basis for the study of objective and subjective media effects.
In the problem “media and lifestyle”, three stages can be distinguished. They are the reflection of society and its subsystems in press materials, radio and television; the media as a means of influencing the improvement of lifestyle; the consumption of media in life.
It should be noted that public opinion cannot exist outside of economic, social, political, ideological and moral relations.
The influence on public opinion is especially strong during political elections. Media’s aim is to empower citizens, to help them make their choice. However, the majority of people do not have the adequate knowledge of political events. Thus, thanks to the media, public opinion is shaped.
Media is a relatively independent system, characterized by content, properties, forms, methods and levels of certain organizations. The main feature of the media is publicity, its unlimited number of users, the presence of special technical devices, equipment, and fickle audience amount. The viewership varies depending on the interest in a particular broadcast, message, or article.
There are two main areas of media influence on the formation of public opinion. The first one is semantic manipulation, which is a careful selection of special concepts that awake either positive or negative associations. Since this method is based on certain associations, it can easily affect a person because of his/her habits or beliefs. The second area of media influence is the formation of stereotypes. Stereotypes can influence somebody subconsciously, or they can be used to manipulate human consciousness. Stereotype is closely linked to the vital functions of society in general, and certain groups of people in particular.
Thus, public opinion largely determines on the development of public life. However, we can conclude that not only public opinion can determine the media, but also the public opinion is influenced by various factors, including the media, for example, through the ideology and propaganda.