Effects of Media: Limited Effects
By: Shelly F.
According to the Two-Step Flow theory, the messages of the media go from the media to opinion leaders to the general public. Due to this progression the opinions of the individual members of the general public are directly shaped to their interpersonal relations to the opinion leader that they most identify with. It’s like brewing coffee. The water is the media, the coffee grounds are the opinion leaders, and the persons drinking the resulting coffee are the general public. Before the water becomes coffee it has to pass through and be changed by the coffee grounds; the resulting coffee is then consumed by whoever swallows it. In this way the original message is no longer “pure” because it has been “tainted” by the opinion leaders and then consumed by the general public. If this theory is correct then the media has very few direct effects on the general public because it has to pass through a filter of opinion leaders. An example of this would be the overturned gay marriage ban in California (http://www.heraldandnews.com/article_9e2e5fe0-2977-11e2-9350-0019bb2963f4.html). Many republican opinion leaders would say that this is a degradation of the family. While on the opposite side, many democratic opinion leaders would say that this is a step toward equal rights. Their respective spheres of influence would cause their audiences to be divided into one of two schools of thought on the matter.