Suggest changes that would, in your opinion, make the paper better.

Instructions: Appropriateness of comments (academic), Essay assessment organized intelligently and systematically. All the insights and opinions that you offer in your Peer’s Paper Evaluation are to exhibit the same high standards for objectivity as was required for essays. Your peer review should be 1,000 words (+/- 100 words) formally written following APA format. Do not count any reference citations you may use in your word count:

1. Proper introduction and conclusion to review

2. strengths and weaknesses of the essay.

3. give a formal written evaluation of it.

4. Suggest changes that would, in your opinion, make the paper better.

5. You are to evaluate the argument, how the paper’s thesis is developed, and the way the paper is put together.

critique the essay

Instructions: Appropriateness of comments (academic), Essay assessment organized intelligently and systematically. All the insights and opinions that you offer in your Peer’s Paper Evaluation are to exhibit the same high standards for objectivity as was required for essays. Your peer review should be 1,000 words (+/- 100 words) formally written following APA format. Do not count any reference citations you may use in your word count:

  1. Proper introduction and conclusion to review
  2. strengths and weaknesses of the essay.
  3. give a formal written evaluation of it.
  4. Suggest changes that would, in your opinion, make the paper better.
  5. You are to evaluate the argument, how the paper’s thesis is developed, and the way the paper is put together.
  6. Conclude with a statement of your overall impression of the paper.



Topic: What is the power of big media and how has it changed given technological changes in the last twenty years?

By James Jeffrey

Big media has gained significant power to influence the population since the freedom of speech was granted. Large media companies not only can influence what products people buy or not, but they can affect how the population will vote on political matters. In essence, big media can help shape and change society. In the last twenty years, technology advancements have made information reporting go broader and faster than it could have ever hoped through traditional methods. This means that the rate of which big media organizations can influence society is unprecedented and only increasing. While getting the public information faster should be deemed a good thing, it comes at a cost which is accuracy. Speed on information availability has become more important than accurate information which has given birth to the term fake news. Fake news is inaccurate information that has the power to influence society when used in malicious ways. As technologies advance, it will be critical for big media companies to ensure they stop fake news from spreading as more than just their reputation is on the line, all society is at risk.


As the world’s population increases and globalization brings the various societies closer together, human’s longing for information, in particular for news on current events that occur not only within the population’s current country and but across the globe. Advancements in technology have aided this need to be informed. Big media companies have taken advantage of these advancements to inform people at a much faster rate than ever before. Since people are being notified so quickly, media companies have the power to influence not only the information people but can influence the opinions of the population, especially in politics and votes during elections. These opinions go beyond reporting on the precise facts of the story to speculations on why certain events occur and which products people should or should not buy. Media companies are expected to be held to a high level of ethics, however, the urgency to get things reported and be first to crack a story has the potential to disseminate inaccurate information to the population which in the past few years has given rise to the term ‘fake news.’ This paper will discuss the power of big media and how has it changed given technological changes in the last twenty years.

The Power of Big Media

The reporting and opinions produced by big media companies reach hundreds of millions of people every day, and because of the extent of that reach, these companies have the power to change how the public perceives certain things. When people’s perception shifts, especially when it is a large percentage of the population, society changes (Happer & Philo, 2013). In Canada, our society has changed significantly over the past 20 years. For example, in July 2005, Canada became the fourth country on the planet to legalize gay marriage (“LGBT rights in Canada”, 2019) and in October 2018, the recreation use of marijuana became legal (“Cannabis in Canada”, 2019). Leading up to changes in public perception of these topics changed. On the gay marriage topic, we went from 41% in favour of same-sex marriage to 74% between 1997 to 2017 (“Are 4 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER you in favour of same-sex marriage? 74% of Canadians and 80% of Quebecers support it”, 2017). On the marijuana topic, a poll conducted by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that about 68 percent of people across the country were in favour of legalizing cannabis (Press, 2017) up from 51% that were in favour in 2001 (Savas, 2001). In both these examples, we can see a significant change in the way society viewed each topic. While there were many contributing factors to the public’s favourable opinions on these two social issues one of the main influencing factors can be contributed to the positive exposure each topic received from the press in the years leading up to legalization. Big media companies, in essence, control what events we see in our daily news feeds and each put their own interpretation to the news. No topic is more covered than politics. Depending on the news feed, a person subscribes to will determine how a politician is presented. It is no secret that CNN is not a fan of the Trump administration and stories coming from that network rarely portray President Trump in a positive light, and conversely, Fox News, a more conservative network rarely reports any negative on President Trump. When a person is being bombarded with press about a person, it does not matter if that press is negative or positive, that person is more likely to take on the opinions reported by the media network in which they rely on for their daily news. This amount of influence on public opinion is the real power of the media.

Media Ethics

Given that big media companies have tremendous power to shape the opinions of the general population which in turn creates shifts in societies, one must ask how the public gave this much power to these big media companies. The answer to that question rests with the high ethically standards that media companies must abide by and how the public trust that media 5 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER companies always follow those standards. A significant component of the strong ethical values the media must uphold is to remain impartial in its reporting (Altun, 2011). Journalism ethics and standards are principles of good practice in which professional journalism associations, individual news organizations, and journalists themselves follow and can be described through the basic principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability (“Journalism Ethics & Standards”, 2019). In addition, “many journalists also abide by the principle of “limitation of harm” which means that they have a responsibility to not harm others while reporting a story. This is one major difference between professional journalists reporting for “reputable” news organizations as opposed to fringe news sources and fake news creators” (“Journalism Ethics & Standards”, 2019). The public is generally aware of these standards that media companies’ practice, which means the public puts a lot of trust in the information they receive from these media outlets. The larger the media company, the more confidence the public has that the information they are receiving has been reported using these principles .

Technological Advancements that have Affected Big Media

The past twenty years have seen an explosion of technological advancements that have been released on the world. Powered by the internet and driven by human’s relentless desire for information, the smartphone has been the single most technological advancement that has affected big media companies. IBM invented smartphone technology in 1992 (Tweedie, 2015); however, it was not until the iPhone hit the market in 2007 (“History of iPhone”, 2019) that people finally had access to information wherever and whenever they wanted. Not only could people find information in the palm of their hand, but they could also use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to spread the news and put their own opinion on said information. 6 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER Prior to this, someone had to be in front of the computer to view the news, wait to watch the news on television during the evening, or wait for their daily newspaper to be delivered. A lot has changed since those days, it is now reported that the majority of Americans get their news from social media platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook with 67% of Facebook’s users get news there, as do 71% of Twitter’s users and 73% of Reddit users (Matsa & Shearer, 2018). However, because Facebook’s overall user base is much larger than those of Twitter or Reddit, far more people receive their news on Facebook than on the other two sites (Matsa & Shearer, 2018). This is either news directly from the media company or news that has been shared through their social media network. For news shared by others through social media networks it means that those people not only have an opportunity to comment and influence others by their opinions but they also in some ways control the news that others see. Digital media has been responsible for some of the most wide-ranging changes in society over the past quarter-century and content shared through digital media channels has become more common than information accessed through traditional means such as broadcasting (Schroeder, 2018). This demonstrates how technology is influencing big media just as the content that big media publishes influences the population. While big media still has considerable power to influence, the way in which its information is made available has changed. Without technology advancements over the past two decades, this type of influence could not have been achieved.

The Speed at Which News Spreads

Because of these advancements in technology both with smartphones and social media, it means information now spreads faster than ever before, and the reach is even broader. In 2019, it has been estimated that more than five billion people across the planet have mobile devices which is a significant number considering that the world’s population is estimated at 7.7 billion 7 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER currently (Taylor & Silver, 2019). It is also essential to call out that people in developed economies are more likely to use the internet and social media via smartphones than people in emerging economies (Taylor & Silver, 2019). Therefore, the rich are also the ones who are the most informed and considering how information is shared these days using technology; one can deduce it is the rich who controls the information. When big media companies report information, it is now available instantaneously to the people who subscribe to those news feeds, which means it can be shared and retweeted around the globe in seconds in today’s globally connected society. When Notre Dame caught fire earlier this spring everyone knew immediately, alerts notified smartphone users, and live video feeds from big media companies were streamed across the world. There was no waiting to get home from work to find out what happened that day; we all knew that one of the most famous buildings in the world was being destroyed by fire. This speed to bring a story to the public puts extreme pressure on these big media companies. Previously media companies attracted viewers or readers if they were the first to ‘break’ a story. Now, news spreads faster than media companies can report on it due to the advancements in technology that were discussed earlier. So, with this increased pressure in getting information out to their followers, one has to question how accurate the information being reported is as there is little to no time for fact-checking. Given that one of the journalistic ethic practices is accuracy, one has to question is the human need for information at an almost instantaneous rate has caused big media companies to break one of their long-standing code of ethics principles. 8 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER

Fake News

Fake news is a type of journalism that presents little to no legitimate well-researched information but instead uses eye-catching headlines for increased sales and is spread via traditional news media or online social media (“Fake news”, 2019). Social media has actually developed a bad reputation due to fake news, which has actually strengthened the public’s favourable perception of conventional media, hence giving big media or traditional media more clout in what it reports (Ravasi, Etter & Colleoni, 2019). This means that while social media is the opinion of the general public what big media reports are considered more based in fact than opinion and therefore more powerful at influencing the public than what is discussed on social media even though it is well known that big media companies have gotten caught up in reporting fake news. When big media companies report fake news, it tarnishes their reputation. Given the rise in fake news over the past four years, there have been calls for media companies to increase self-regulation efforts to protect the public from receiving false information (Podger, 2019). One of the most critical facts about fake news is that it is actually spreading faster than real news. These fake stories spread even farther when they are targeted at poorly informed people who had a hard time telling if a claim was true or false (Buchanan, 2017). Fake news has some much power over the general public that is has been credited with swaying such both the Brexit vote in Britain and the 2016 U.S. presidential election (Buchanan, 2017). Technology advancements have enabled these fake news stories to spread and influence the population’s voting on some of the most important political events in modern history. Big media companies not only have to struggle to ensure they do not fall victim to reporting fake news, but they also need to overcome the public’s views that have already been altered but the false information by reporting real news. This constant battle between real and fake news only confuses the public 9 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER farther to the point that some people are not sure what source to believe, especially when credible big media companies have fallen into the trap of reporting fake news. This issue of fake news has become so severe that “the “Doomsday Clock,” which symbolizes the threat of global annihilation, remains at two minutes to midnight thanks to the rise of fake news” (Carson, 2019).

The Media and its Impacts on Public Opinion

The power of big media can be measured by its reach to the population. The more viewers, the more influencing power the media company has on the society. The three largest US media companies and their ratings, which is ultimately a measurement of their influencing power, have had tremendous influence over the people within that country (Joyella, 2019). These ratings demonstrate the reach of advertising and the higher the ratings, the more the media company can charge for advertising and the more revenue it earns to implement new technologies to reach even more people furthering its influence on the population. When a media company reviews a product, due to its reach to millions of followers, it has the power to boost or hamper sales for that product. It was the media’s report on the iPhone, which made it one of the most popular smartphones of all time. It was also big media reports on Volkswagon’s emissions scandal that not only hurt the car companies’ sales but impacted the entire diesel fuel market in the United States (Eisenstein, 2016).

The Media and its Impacts on Elections

Big media has significant power in shaping public opinion with particular regards to politics (Prat, 2014). The impact of the media on the previous US presidential election which saw President Trump elected over a more qualify candidate can be attributed to the reach of the 10 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER Fox News network. As previously mentioned Fox News is known to be a huge supporter of President Trump and CNN is not, Fox New has much higher ratings than CNN, which would support the theory that big media companies can help influence peoples votes since Trump was elected over Clinton in 2016 (Joyella, 2019). Big media has played an essential role in politics since freedom of the press was established in both Canada and the United States. Voters need information to make educated decisions about politics, and it is the media’s job to provide them with that information, and its journalists’ job to give it to them (Brichacek, 2016). Journalists from big media organization get involved in elections by choosing which candidates to cover and how much, and it is those choices alone can have a significant effect on voter perceptions (Brichacek, 2016). Given how technology has enabled big media to reach into audiences it may never have before it is easy to see how attention to one candidate over another can help sway a voter’s opinion. Also, research has revealed that big media organizations attract a partisan audience, CNN with its left-wing audience and Fox News with its right-wing audience, and the type of people each news organization attracts reflects the political bias in their coverage (Brichacek, 2016). The coverage into politics goes beyond reporting on fact, but rather reporting on the opinions of political experts and reporters. If the audience of these big media organizations is already like-minded, it actually does not take much to influence the media organization views onto its followers, as they are most of the way there in those opinions already.

The Future of Big Media as Technology Advances Further

While no one knows what the future brings, it has been said that change is the only constant that can be predicted. The consumption of digital media has been rapidly increasing over the past decade, and 2018 marked the first time that daily consumption of digital media 11 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER overtook traditional media with 52% of overall time spent by people; this means that digital media is now the primary source of news (Feng, 2018). Technology using artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more commonplace, and it is just a matter of time before media companies figure out a way to harness the power of AI to influence the population further. Just as social media and smartphones gave digital media a leg up on traditional media, the time will come when technology advances to the point where it has become embedded into a person’s body, and thoughts will control how information is received or sent. Perhaps when technology such as that is invented, it will be able to alert the end-user to what is real news or fake news and limit big media’s influence over society.


Big media companies have an obligation to provide people which information on current events that happen throughout the world. However, the way and the timing of such reporting can have a significant influence on the people receiving that information. Technology advancements over the past twenty years have only increased big media reach into the population and at an almost instantaneous speed. No other industry on this planet has the ability and power to shape society the way that media organization can. Freedom of speech gives media companies their voice, and technology has amplified that voice across the globe. 12 MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, POWER


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Conclude with a statement of your overall impression of the paper 

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