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Application of Communication Theories

Children are looking at their smartphones

The above is a screenshot showing how most youths mostly rely on media platforms as their source of knowledge through search engines. They mostly always tend to avoid media that disagrees with their own beliefs, values, and attitudes. They heavily depend on search engines where they only view rather than put critical and analytical skills in accessing the information provided in those sites, and they also do not read (Bányai et al., 2017). They lack time to think much about the information provided, meaning they lack research skills, for they always rush for a quick search of information in the search engines. Many youths always consider it time-consuming and complex regardless of the much information provided on the internet (Leung & Lee, 2012). Young people’s use of the internet in streaming shows online always makes them avoid commercial and media contents that they do not choose to participate in while browsing. Having online platforms such as Netflix and Hulu that allow one to make a special payment to view certain content has allowed many youths to choose which media to use and consume.

The Uses and Gratification theory of communication clearly shows that many audiences always rely on a particular media to satisfy their own needs. Mass communication sees the audience as an active, who can select content and make informed media choices rather than inactive participants (Eginli & Tas, 2018). From the above-demonstrated incidence, it is clear that many youths always rely on the internet to view what they are interested in and what supports their attitudes. They would prefer spending time watching a show on television than spending time reading a book. They tend to ignore other information, for they always feel irrelevant, making them poor researchers. High dependency on the search engines to quickly obtain information has made many youths have no research skills, for they always directly search for what they feel is part of their interest. There is a need to train the children on the importance of having research skills and finding the relevance of other information provided through the search engines rather than directly relying on their interest.

The media system dependency mainly relies on how the audience mostly depends on the media for information. Dependence brings about the interrelationship between the content aired by the media, society’s social status, and the behaviour portrayed by the audiences. Audiences who mainly select media to achieve their goals will depend on the media. The press that provides relevant and sufficient information will benefit the respective audience. The respective audience will become highly dependent on the different mediums as a source of information (Ho et al., 2015). The degree of dependence on the media depends on how the audience feels that the media can fulfil its goals. In our incidence above, the youths will rely more on those sites that they think offer relevant information to them and try to ignore those that do not fulfil their goals. They will end up signing up to media platforms relevant to their needs.

The propaganda theory clearly states that the news media will always give out news content that serves the interest of the established power. The real news prepared by the media usually passes through some stages of filtering before the same information reaches the audience. The corporate media firms will have to share a common interest with other sectors of the economy to maintain a conducive political and economic environment for them to be profitable. Many media firms always value advertising as the primary source of revenue attainment. Thus, they try to avoid antagonizing advertisements, leading to loss of profits. The above theory gives us a clear understanding of how the institutional pressures and actions get covered (Littlejohn & Foss, 2009). Through the above agreement, it becomes possible to develop effective tactics that will take advantage of these contradictions and bypass the filters applied to the raw material media content and reach the public through alternative media forms. The propaganda theory will be beneficial in helping the activists to have a good understanding of where will be crucial for the application of their efforts to influence the mainstream media coverage of issues (Klaehn et al., 2018). From our incidence, relying on search engines information might not always give us all the clear and original data as per the propaganda theory description. Information filtering always occurs to cover up information antagonizing their firm’s policies and ways of doing business. The above shows that not all information provided on the online sites reveals the original content of the incident. Online sites may give you filtered information, making you have the wrong perception of the scene.

The agenda-setting theory gives a clear understanding of how most media firms put much importance in influencing the topics of the public agenda. The media firms control the audience’s views. They have the power to establish news prevalence to their viewers. In contrast, those nations with a higher power in politics and economics will enjoy much media exposure than the rest of the countries. Politics, economics, and culture mainly influence the agenda-setting theory. The theory shows that the media has a more significant impact in instilling what they should think about instead of what they believe (Shaw, 1979). The audience terms any news item frequently covered to be more important than the rest of the news items. Media is also responsible for shaping and filtering what the audience sees rather than reflecting the stories. The agenda-setting theory brings about psychological effects to the respective audiences. The higher the rate of a specific story publishment on social media, the higher the probability the audiences will remember the story in their memory (McCombs et al., 2014). The above theory criticizes my incidence because, through the use of the search engines in gaining information, one only is dependent on his interest and considers other information to be of no value. Therefore, no matter the emphasis put across by the media across certain news items, the audience will only view the data according to his interest and attitude towards it.

The knowledge gap theory is clearly described as infusing mass media information into a particular social system leading to an increase of socioeconomic status segments. Those populations with lower socioeconomic status will have a lower rate of acquiring this information. The above will influence the creation of a knowledge gap between the two population segments. The knowledge gap elimination between the higher and lower economic class is through equal information services. Knowledge is seen as a commodity with no equal distribution among people in the society where those at the top ladder tend to have more accessible access to knowledge. For instance, when a new idea arises in the community, higher strata will better understand it, thus increasing the knowledge gap (Lind & Boomgaarden, 2019). In our incidence, the youths who are highly dependent on the media for gaining information will have higher chances of gaining knowledge of arising issues as compared to those who have no capabilities of media access. The above will lead to creating a significant knowledge gap between the youths. Access to the media will help them gain much knowledge on the current trending issues making those who have no access to the press be left behind in terms of knowledge.


Bányai, F., Zsila, Á., Király, O., Maraz, A., Elekes, Z., Griffiths, M. D., … & Demetrovics, Z. (2017). Problematic social media use: Results from a large-scale nationally representative adolescent sample. PloS one12(1), e0169839.

Eginli, A. T., & Tas, N. O. (2018). Interpersonal communication in social networking sites: An investigation of uses and gratification theory framework. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies8(2), 81-104.

Ho, S. S., Liao, Y., & Rosenthal, S. (2015). Applying the theory of planned behaviour and media dependency theory: Predictors of public pro-environmental behavioural intentions in Singapore. Environmental Communication9(1), 77-99.

Klaehn, J., Broudy, D., Fuchs, C., Golder, Y., Zollmann, F., Chomsky, N., … & Boyd-Barrett, O. (2018). Media theory, public relevance, and the propaganda model today. Media Theory.

Leung, L., & Lee, P. S. (2012). The influences of information literacy, internet addiction and parenting styles on internet risks. New media & society14(1), 117-136.

Lind, F., & Boomgaarden, H. G. (2019). We do and don’t know: A meta-analysis of the knowledge gap hypothesis. Annals of the International Communication Association43(3), 210-224.

Littlejohn, S. W., & Foss, K. A. (Eds.). (2009). Encyclopedia of communication theory (Vol. 1). Sage.

McCombs, M. E., Shaw, D. L., & Weaver, D. H. (2014). New directions in agenda-setting theory and research. Mass communication and society17(6), 781-802.

Shaw, E. F. (1979). Agenda-setting and mass communication theory. Gazette (Leiden, Netherlands)25(2), 96-105.


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