Bullying is the use of power or physical force to bully someone who is considered to be weaker, usually by compelling them to do things against their will (Brackett & Rivers, 2014). This violent behavior is normal among school-aged children as well as in the workplace. It includes threats, violently assaulting others, removing others from a club, and even spreading lies about a specific individual. Despite attempts to curb this violent behavior, it is still widespread in schools and workplaces. Since it has the ability to influence people’s actions, the media can play an important part in preventing bullying. However, according to the Katz and Lazarsfeld’s (2017) model, majority of individuals are indirectly influenced by media. They form their opinions based on the interpretation of opinion leaders who are directly exposed to the content (Katz & Lazarsfeld, 2017). The media should hence make use of these leaders to create awareness and educate people on the causes and effects of bullying.
Media’s Ways to Decrease Bullying
To start with, publishing educative content on social media, magazines, and newspapers about the negative effects of bullying is important. Today, they a wide range of users all over the world. It is a good platform where the content can be posted, and the content reaches to the right audience within the shortest time possible. For instance, posting information of previous examples on the effect to the perpetrator as well as on the affected person shows the readers the dangers expected from the act.
In addition, advisory and engaging content is helpful in keeping people away from harmful thoughts. Students lack information that challenge them and engage them in doing constructive tasks (Gruber & Fineran, 2016). Constant posting of encouraging and helpful content brings the urge for them to work hard and become successful, while at the same time, diverting their minds from such harmful actions as bullying. On the other hand, people in the work place need to know about other alternative ways to divert their minds like engaging in corporate social responsibilities and how to socially interact with other individuals without feeling more superior. This information can be obtained from opinion leaders who obtain their information from specific groups that Katz and Lazarsfeld (2017) call ‘elite media’ and give their thoughts through mainstream platforms to the members of the public.
The media thus have the obligation to create awareness about the existing rules and regulations that govern the act of bullying. People should be aware that there are existing laws set to fight for the rights of every citizen and measures are taken against those who violate them. Most individuals are ignorant and only bully out of peer pressure and influence from drugs while others get the influence from television programs, movies and video games. In a national conference conducted in the United States, children confessed that popular movies, music, and video games play a role in promoting harmful behavior (Arnett, 2014). There is hence the need for television networks to create awareness and sensitize people on the harmful effects of bullying. The media with the incorporation of expert opinion are in a good position to provide critical analyses of issues related to unacceptable behavior.
Regular discussions that educate the public on how to successfully deal with bullying in schools are necessary. Creating that awareness enables the public to obtain the necessary information which is important in addressing bad behaviors. Advertisements created in favor of educating children and adults while providing them with accurate knowledge are also important. Such approaches promote problem-solving activities among schools and in work places and help in addressing harmful behaviors.
Another important way the media can help to reduce bullying is by imposing strict measures that are against any form of information that seem to promote bullying. There is a lot of content present in television programs and social media that encourage bullying at school and in the work place. The measures would be imposed to regulate the advertisement of influential information. The rules and consequences for breaking them should clearly be stated, so that anyone found promoting such related behavior knows the effects afterwards.
Encouraging the affected people to speak out and expose bullies is also helpful. The media are a good platform where a person can post experience, receive encouragement, and educate other people about the negative impacts of bullying. Giving the affected people an opportunity to share their experiences on television networks and post them on social media platforms discourages others from engaging in bullying. Also, providing people with the chance to speak out against unhealthy behavior in schools and at work places promotes a good social life. For instance, supporting activists in giving out their views and helping them to reach out to as many people as possible through social media accounts and television networks is one of the major ways to speak against bullying (Dillenburger, McKerr, Jordan, Devine, & Keenan, 2015).
Today, social media create a platform in which people can easily connect and interact. Through the use of this network, schools have the opportunity to contact the parents by creating interactive platforms where family members and school staff share ideas on how well they can mentor and study the behavior of their students or rather children. From the help of the parents, teachers can learn deeply on how well to address student’s behavior and how to handle bullying cases. They may also discover how they should work together towards ending the practice.
In some instances, it is hard to notice bullying activities, since some are indirect, but cause harm to the affected person. Through the use of the media, people can be educated on the existing bullying activities in the work place and school. Opinion leaders are invited to interviews to talk about the act as well as give practical advice on how to prevent bullying. They can also use influential social media platforms to tackle issues related to this harmful act and give solutions to those who are most likely to involve themselves or to be affected.
How International Product Would Collaborate with Media to Create Awareness to Audience
Collaborating with an international product to create awareness about the existence of bullying, its impacts, and consequences is effective. Such kinds of products are known across the world and people would easily embrace information linked to a product they are familiar with (Labafi, Khajeheian, & Williams, 2017). A product like Coca-Cola is known worldwide; therefore, it would be easy to reach out to many people. For instance, the company has well established social networks with traffic of followers and customers. Using these platforms in creating awareness about bullying can be done while still advertising its products. Hence, many potential and existing customers of Coca-Cola will access the information.
In another way, Coca-Cola would directly collaborate with a television station, where it will benefit from free advertisement, while media station addresses bullying issue. In this case, both mutually benefit each other. They would then organize campaigns based on addressing issues that affect both the product and bullying. For example, creating a media campaign to promote non-violent values, good behavior, and positive attitude towards other people which features Coca-Cola product in order to co-ordinate both local and international efforts.
Also, Coca-Cola can decide to take upon its responsibility to award students and people at different work places who portray positive behavior by collaborating with a media company where advertisements would be made to the targeted audience. Through this act, the target audience would realize that bullying is unacceptable to the society and consequently work towards winning an award. The Coca-Cola Company can also decide to absorb students perceived to have good moral behavior through the help of the media who create awareness by reaching out to a large audience. Human beings yearn for good things in life; they would strive to become better in character and behavior as they aim to have a reward.
Another interesting way is by organizing awareness campaigns and projects where Coca-Cola acts as a sponsor and offers financial support by collaborating with some of the best media personnel in public speaking who have a great influence on society or rather opinion leaders to reach out to schools and work places. The projects could also involve workshops and conferences that are focused on identifying the causes and solutions of violence among school going children and people at the work places. Awareness can be done by moving from one school to another and from one organization to another through telling people about the dangers of bullying and teaching them about alternative activities to exercise and practice during their free time. Information is well absorbed when individuals hear from other people’s experiences, as well as from influential figures in the society. As a result, organizations and schools have the chance to learn about the necessary actions to take in order to reduce bullying and how to deal with already existing cases (Holt, Green, Tsay-Vogel, Davidson, & Brown, 2017).
In conclusion, the media have a major impact on reducing bullying. It covers both schools and work places. Through creation of awareness and use of opinion leaders, it can efficiently work towards ending the harmful practice that is common among the youth in school and employees at work places. Collaboration with internationally recognized products may be also beneficial in reducing and eventually eradicating bullying.
Arnett, J. J. (2014). Adolescence and emerging adulthood. Boston, MA: Pearson.
Brackett, M., & Rivers, S. (2014). Preventing bullying with emotional intelligence. Education Week, 33(21), 32-33.
Dillenburger, K., McKerr, L., Jordan, J. A., Devine, P., & Keenan, M. (2015). Creating an inclusive society… How close are we in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder? A general population survey. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 28(4), 330-340.
Gruber, J., & Fineran, S. (2016). Sexual harassment, bullying, and school outcomes for high school girls and boys. Violence against Women, 22(1), 112-133.
Holt, M. K., Green, J. G., Tsay-Vogel, M., Davidson, J., & Brown, C. (2017). Multidisciplinary approaches to research on bullying in adolescence. Adolescent Research Review, 2(1), 1-10.
Katz, E., & Lazarsfeld, P. F. (2017). Personal Influence, The part played by people in the flow of mass communications. New York, NY: Routledge.
Labafi, S., Khajeheian, D., & Williams, I. (2017). Impact of media richness on reduction of knowledge-hiding behavior in enterprises. In A. Gyamfi, & I. Williams (Eds.), Evaluating Media Richness in Organizational Learning (Advances in Knowledge Acquisition, Transfer, and Management), (pp. 135-149). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.