Public opinion is the aggregate opinion of the masses. It is the opinion sum or the estimated view of the masses. However, the meaning of the concept ‘public opinion’ has changed over the time. There is no defined proper definition of the term, and it is employed in various ways. Often it includes the sense of public control that is a way to look at public opinion from the mass media point of view.
Media effects on public opinion he been widely researched and explored, however the degree on which it is actually taking place is not confirmed. There are many theories that look at the opinion of public and its causes. Media is claimed to be the watchdog over the public affairs in order to provide the public with a range of differentiated and well supported opinions. However it is often the case that media can’t be trusted over curtain topics as there are many obstacles to objective reporting.
If media has the power to cultivate our opinions, to what extent can we know that those are not altered and aren’t covering facts? That is a scary concept of public opinion, and there is a question about who sets the opinion, and how much power do we have to resist it? Humans need to satisfy their interests – the need to be recognised and respected, which are advantages of being informed and following the public opinion.
In my opinion, the cultivation theory and the concept of public opinion are worrying effects of media, because they produce a direct effect on our actions and beliefs. Public opinion can be a mean of control, and it can be a resource in order to integrate with the society. However, in my opinion it is important to distinguish where the curtain public opinion comes from, and to what extent it is a trustworthy source.