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  • Writer's pictureArturo Leal

Hypodermic Needle Theory - The Media, Marketing, and who we trust.

Times are changing and so is how we make our decisions. We are flooded with information everywhere we turn that is trying to influence our choices, big and small. One way we are influenced by these outside sources is called the Hypodermic Needle theory where we are told something and we accept it as the truth. This is an older method but only works if you trust your source. When a Math teacher tells a student “1+1=2”, it is a fact presented by an authority figure so it is not questioned. people used to receive information from the media and accepted it as fact. Pew Research did a study on American's trust in 30 different news outlets. They found that based on your political ideology, you were more likely to follow particular news outlets. This may be because people want to hear things they are going to agree with, but this is not necessarily a good thing and does not promote critical thinking.

Dragnet 1951 Television Series

I don’t get my news from major broadcast networks not because I don’t trust them, but because I don’t want to pay for cable. I get my news from social media and the home page of my web browser. I know my news sources are not reliable so I use them as a jumping-off point to do research. If I haven’t had the chance to look into it, I start conversations with where I got my source. “Hey, I saw this thing on TikTok where they talk about…”. There are some reputable sources on TikTok like @lisaremillard who is an award-winning journalist who spent 20 years in television and transitioned to better utilize social media.

A big part of this theory is trust in the source you are getting information from. Lisa Remillard is a great source because she presents the facts in her 60-second videos. Her intention is to inform her followers while maintaining a neutral position on the issue. I feel like I am given the information and I am allowed to make my own decision. It is the same thing when it comes to marketing a product, I need to trust the manufacturer, but more importantly, I need to trust the person pushing the product.

I have followed Peter McKinnon for several years now and I am always looking for a better camera bag. So when he partnered up with a backpack company I knew nothing about I did not hesitate to preorder the bag on Kickstarter. I have followed Peter's career and felt like he would not put his name on a product unless it was something that was functional, durable, and fill the gap other camera bags could not. I was told this was the last bag I would need from a source I trusted so I accepted it as fact and bought it. Fortunately, I love the bag and still trust my source.

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