The Role and Power of the Media in Shaping a Country, and Citizens' Behavior toward Public Health Care in a Multicultural Society

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Media, as a means of passing information, is a significant tool that can be used to modify the life of individuals, through behavior change, and perception. It can thus be used to change the society. Media such as television, newspapers, and radios can easily influence the individual perception of matters such as health, politics, and education either positively or negatively. The purpose of media is primarily to change knowledge, attitude, and awareness with the intention of modifying behavior as the primary goal. This is because the information is easily accessible to a huge population and the media is perceived to be genuine and credible. Thus too much exposure of people to the media can promptly change their behavior, perception of significant issues and worldview. In a multicultural county like Australia, media campaigns are often employed to promote public health by passing information about various topics on health to a specific targeted population. The aim of this essay is to scrutinize the role and power of the media in shaping a country, and citizens’ behavior toward public health care in a multicultural society.

 The primary role of media is to pass information to a wide range of the population. In Australia, media was traditionally used to pass information from the government to the citizens, and it was thus known as mainstream media (Waller, 2010). During such times, the people relied on the media to pass them any communication from the government concerning significant issues that affect them. Since modern methods of communication had not developed by then, the administration relied on traditional media to communicate. Currently, the mainstream media has developed to play a significant role in conveying data to the general public, on social and political issues and other matters that affect individuals and a country. It is currently known as mass media since there are some issues that are discussed by the media, and the intended information gets easily conveyed to a large population. In so doing the press investigates, scrutinizes and reports facts about the public policies and their impact. According to the Australian Collaboration (2015), Australians depend on the media for the realities and interpretation of the world. The Australian Collaboration (2015) further opines that the information the citizens of Australian get from the media such as the radio, television, and newspapers helps them to comprehend the world and influences their decisions on daily issues regarding social and political issues.

Media plays a vital role in controlling the behavior of individuals and their perception of the society. Rolph et al. (2015) argue that media is still used as a technique to control individuals and their understanding of the world. It is known to influence the way people think and react to issues affecting their daily living. Also, media has proven a crucial source of ideas regarding life and other aspects of existing. This gets done through the dissemination of information and analysis of public affairs through actual research and detailed reporting. Such gives a voice to the general public because media expresses the dealings in the society and everyday critical happenings in the community. Therefore, media is used to educate and enlighten the general public by influencing their behavior in the society, individuals and the government’s values, convictions, conducts and worldview (Waller, 2010). As a result, media gets used as an essential instrument in shaping behavior, values, beliefs and values of people in a given society. However, contemporary media in Australia has not lived up to this expectation. Most media outlets usually edit their content to fit their preferences and the perceived needs of the general public thereby distorting the original purpose of the media.

The media has the power to control and influence change in the world. According to Ivancevich & Mattterson (2017), the press gets its power from the ability to influence and control, since it has the skills and the strategies to manipulate information to change the main aim of a story. The development is as a result of because the media has the power to decide on what information should get discarded and what should get consumed as the broadcast information. Germov & Freji (2014) point out that the primary objective of the media is to broadcast information to a wide range of population at a minimum cost. Many people use media to get daily information and news at a low-cost either through listening to the radio, viewing television or reading newspapers, to get a comprehension of the society and get involved in the world. Thus media can easily interfere with the information to present inaccurate information and misrepresentation of people, an issue or the community.

            The media is used by the government, organizations and health organizations to circulate information to the general public as Ivancevich & Mattterson (2011) argue. This is because the media has the authority to access information that is not available to the public as a consequence the society depend on media to obtain this information, hoping that the information reported by the press is accurate, dependable and reliable. The data may be, for example, about the actions by the government, political strategies, research or new initiatives. The info publicized by media can influence people and the society positively or negatively. For instance, people can use the info passed through media to develop particular actions or behaviors depending on how they process such information. Communication through media can also reach a wide range of audience and in the process help the communicator in passing across his or her intended message. The society can also react to the information by developing actions meant to either repulse or accept the message.

            The ability of the media to investigate important social and political issues, and present them in an approach that attracts the attention of the general public helps the media to obtain and exercise its power (Waller, 2010). The support and authority they get from the government and other organizations further enhance this. Therefore, the media enjoys this power depending on the freedom it acquires from the society. When the media possesses less power from the society, it often edits the information before it disseminates it to the community, thus only publicize what is accepted by the community while discarding other significant but not acceptable information. On the other hand, when media enjoys strong power, it usually presents information as it is assertively regardless of the contradiction. Power possession, therefore, signinificantly influences the capability of the media to efficiently pass the intended message to the audience.

The Role of Media in Relation to Culturally Safe Care

            The media is used to deliver valuable health information to the public hence can be used to improve healthcare and provide quality health in the society. The framing of the information is influenced and impacted by the predominant culture in a multicultural society, hence the health information disseminated can sometimes get biased and affect health care services negatively (Naim et al., 2011). The electronic media is influential because it provides information to a massive and increasingly different population. The internet is also a significant source of health information to the society as it contains a collection of websites that are usually committed to offering medical and healthcare information such as the info about specific diseases, their symptoms, and possible cure (Germov & Freji, 2014). The information found on these sites help individuals in gaining knowledge about various diseases thus can easily promote good health through precautions. However, some information presented by these media can sometimes be misleading and, therefore, people can misinterpret and misdiagnose their sickness, and the whole health process. Thus individuals should be careful when searching the health information from the media such as the internet.

The media can be used in health awareness and promotion campaigns in the public health services. According to the World Health Organization (2009), media can significantly be employed in promoting healthcare education and health services due to the increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer and depression. To achieve this in a multicultural society such as Australia, the media has to harness the health information so as the publicized information can be culturally appropriate. Consequently, the data should be available to all cultures without prejudice, stereotype or stigmatization (VicHealth, 2015). This is because media can be of substantial influence in forming and controlling the worldview of the dominant culture. As a result, language and communication can be used by the media to promote culturally-safe health care in a multicultural society like Australia.

The media contributes to social health care by influencing how people think about their health, the health services, and programs, and therefore help promote healthcare service and consumption of quality health care. Although the popular culture typically influences the templates used in health topics by the media, they are also affected by the views of other diverse culture. According to Wills & Elmer (2011), the media’s ability to influence safe healthcare in a multicultural society mostly depends on the theory of cultivation. According to the theory, the media is responsible for shaping the understanding of norms and reality by the general public.

Example of articles that have influenced health

The article by the National Indigenous television, “racism put indigenous kids at abuse, while culture protects the the royal commission finds” points out how culture can get used for the benefit of the indigenous people. The article is a report from research carried out by an indigenous television on the impact of both culture and racism to the indigenous people especially the kids. This article essentially promotes social safety and health care in the Australian multicultural society. According to Blanco (2017), a strong connection to culture helps in protecting indigenous kids from potential discrimination in different institutions, hence aid in promoting equality in public institutions such as the public health institution. 

The media is used to promote different cultures in a multicultural society. The article argues that educating young people on their culture help to encourage a strong positive connection to their culture, and the cultural beliefs and values hence help them cultivate a sense of identity, suppleness, and self-esteem.  Separating kids from their indigenous culture alienate them from this connection thus lack self-esteem, and may fail to secure strong attachment for the positive social network (Blanco 2017).

On the other hand, the article “business as usual’ health care unsafe for Indigenous Australians,”  reviews how the indigenous people get denied equal opportunities in access to health care services like the non-indigenous colleagues. The article argues that the non-indigenous Australians are usually treated with special attention when it comes to delivery of healthcare services as compared to the  indigenous people who are often denial some medical services and care such as; coronary angiography, when they have critical ischemic disorder or reduced blood flow to the heart (McDermott, 2017). Furthermore, the indigenous Australians admitted to the hospitals regularly get denied basic medical procedure irrespective of the health situation. McDermott in this article tries to examine the factors that cause discrimination in health service and care delivery about cultural differences. Thus McDermott researched this effect and came up with solutions that will help delocalize the Australian health system so as it can be culturally-sensitive and meet the needs of all Australians when it comes to public health care services.

According to McDermott (2017), the indigenous Australians are usually neglected, discriminated against and prejudiced in the Australians health system. He further argues that although the cultural safety awareness campaign is gaining popularity, the health care providers still consider the cultural and racial background of patients before they can provide the necessary health care services that they require. As a result of the indigenous Australians usually face various barriers while seeking health care attention such as language barrier, stereotype and the exceedingly abnormal imbalance of power between the health care providers and the indigenous Australian patients (McDermott, 2017). Such a barriers can get further enhanced by the difference in the view of health and diseases which varies from the prevailing western perspective.

McDermott (2017) also points out that health care safety in a multicultural society like Australian can only get achieved if the health care providers and practitioners should treat all their patients equally without prejudice or discrimination based on race or culture. He further suggests for decolonization of the Australian health sector to allow every citizen equal access to the healthcare service by enabling patients from the diverse cultures to make significant decisions on their medical treatment while participating in the implementation of the plan. 

In conclusion, the media plays a vital role in shaping the individual behavior, attitude, beliefs, perception of significant issues and life in general. Media is used by the government, organizations and health societies to campaign and pass awareness to the general public on topics such as new programs and initiatives, political strategies a and policies and even sharing new ideas and projects with the members of the public. This is because media can have the power to access different kinds of information and can quickly get to a vast population in less time. Also, media is thought to be credible by many citizens, and their information is readily accepted without questioning by the majority of the people.


Blanco, C. (2017). Racism puts Indigenous kids at abuse risk, while culture protects them, royal commission finds, National Indigenous Television (NITV)

Germov, J., & Freji, M (2014). Median and health: moral panic miracles and medicalization. In Germov (Ed.). Second opinion: An introduction to health sociology (5th Ed.). pp.337-355). Sydney: Oxford University Press.

McDermott, D. (2017). ‘Business as usual’ health care unsafe for indigenous Australian. In daily: Adelaide’s Independent news. Retrieved from

Naim, R,Barnes, A.M, Rankine, J., Borrell, B., Abel, S., & McCreanor, T( 2011) Mass media in AAotearoa: an Obstacle to cultural competence. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 40(3), 163. Retrieved from: http://www.

Rolph, D.,Vitis, M., Bannister, J., & Joyce, D. (2015). The social and political role of the media. In D. Rolph, M Vitins, J. Bannister, & Joyce, D. Media law EBook (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press (pp3-12).

The Australian Collaboration. (2015). Democracy in Australia: Media Concentration and media laws. Retrieved from

VicHealth (2015). Promoting health equality through addressing social determinants in health setting approaches- An evidence summary. Retrieved from Health-Inequalities/ fair-foundation/Summary/Health-Equity-summary report.

Waller, L. (2010). Indigenous research ethics: new modes of information and storytelling in journalism. Australian Journalism Review, 32(2), 19/

Willis, K., & Elmer, S. (2011). Society, culture, and health an introduction to sociology for nurses (2nd Ed.). (pp45-65). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

World Health Organization. (2009). Milestones in Health Promotion: Statements from global Conference. Retrieved from http://www.who.Int/healthpromotion/milestones_health_promotion_05022010.pdf

Appendix A

A media article that potentially distracts health care safety

‘Business as usual’ healthcare unsafe for indigenous Australians”

In daily: Adelaide’s independent news

Dennis McDermott September 06, 2017


Appendix B

Potentially positive contributing media article to health care safety

Racism puts Indigenous kids at abuse risk, while culture protects them, royal commission finds.

National Indigenous Television NITV)

Claudianna Blanco 3:48PM July 12, 2017

October 13, 2023



Communication News media

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