Yes, the study of sociology which is defined by Max Weber in Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology) as “a science that attempts the interpretive understanding of social action to arrive at a casual explanation of cause and effects” is crucial for the student of the media because;
|Karl Heinrich Marx|
Students of the media are taught about how the messages they create in the course of producing news are not meant, designed or tailored for an individual but for the society as a whole. The main duties of the media are to inform, educate and entertain, in performing these duties a student of the media through his study of sociology learns to understand what type of news a particular section of society or society as a whole might find to be informative, educative or entertaining.
In Ghana’s history before the coming of the Europeans and the advent of rural urban migration most societies were isolated from each other, rarely meeting or interacting with people from other societies. This led to various societies which were divided on ethnic lines readily believing that their own way of life was the best way and that other societies were strange or evil. In today’s global world especially in the media, condemning other societies can lead to misunderstandings and violence e.g. the Rwandan genocide between Tutsi’s and Hutus. But through a student’s knowledge in sociology he/she will learn more about various societies and also understand their actions better, this will lead to the student knowing more about different ways of life and the more he/she will appreciate and educate members of the society about how much all humans have in common. A student of the media cannot afford to ignore the variety of the world’s societies because in the selling of your news, during interviews and speaking to sources you will need to deal with people from other societies. The better you understand cultures that differ from your own, the more likely it is that you will be successful.