In Print: Mirrors or Movers? Framing the Debate about the Impact of Media Content

Does media content mirror or move society? Is it just a reflection of current norms or does it actively change who we are and how we see things? What responsibility does this influence place on media companies? What is the contribution of the media sector to social responsibility? These are some of the questions this report concisely answers based on input from industry experts.

With practical examples from various media companies, the report discloses how the media questions, campaigns, inspires, silences, amplifies, and normalizes the society through content. These emphasize the role of the media in promoting sustainable development.

The inceptive pages examine the direct and indirect impact of the media on the society. With the use of accurate illustrations, it showcases initiatives of media houses that have been managing their direct impacts on their environments – the likes of the Sky, the Guardian, and the Elsevier.

The report also does not fail to inform that media companies are embracing and embedding sustainability reporting into their activities with content making for about 40% of the focus areas.

The report stresses that although measuring the impacts of the influence of content on the society can be difficult, yet content can be likened to carbon emissions, which, if not controlled, would affect different audiences in varying capacities. Thus, media companies should take responsibility for the impact of their content on the society.

In summary, media companies are encouraged to demonstrate that their content shape the society because content ‘foot print’ may be modest but its ‘brain print’ is often enormous.

Mirrors or Movers? clearly an open discussion, concludes with a clarion call for further debate on other pertinent questions which readers, experts, media consultants, and any other interested individual or organization may avail themselves the opportunity of participating in.

Publisher: Media CSR Forum

Date of Publication: June 2013

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