Posted by: Jeff Collet | October 9, 2017

Thoughts on How Media Influences Culture and Identity

When training for combat and peacekeeping operations, military organizations place a premium on optimal communication between individuals and units alike. According to U.S. Army doctrine, there are two barriers to communication: physical and psychological. The physical barriers are distance and the noise of battle. Psychological barriers include: bias, perception, stress, and so on.

In order to overcome these barriers, military organizations institute protocols to ensure that information can be delivered rapidly, intuitively relayed, and universally understood. Call signs, code words, phonetics, and acronyms are just a few examples of these protocols.

As a necessary result, the military as a culture selects for those who can function and thrive in an environment that demands such a high level of procedural discipline and attention to detail.

When we think of culture in a broader sense and the equally competitive if not combative state of media and communication generally, the tactics employed do not seem too dissimilar. Now more than ever, given the ubiquity of global reach for media entities, there is a need for mass communicators to simplify the parlance of a more diverse yet more intertwined society.

Even the most well-reasoned, carefully written, and sincere publications find themselves obligatorily trapped in a language game that oversimplifies cultural, political, and ethnic identities, and diminishes the reality of the individual. However, for the individual there is a reward system when one can readily engage in the speech of the day. These language games self-perpetuate as content influences culture and culture influences media.

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