The media affects public opinion because it disseminates the facts and information about key topics that the public should be aware of. Inaccurate reporting means that people have the wrong information about various issues and may make uneducated decisions.
Through newspapers, books, magazines and sound recordings, the mass media has been influencing public opinion for more than 500 years. In the 21st century, technology has made it easier to access the messages from the mass media. It has also created key opinion leaders, like Bill O'Reilly and Lawrence O'Donnell, that people may rely on to get their facts. However, just as the media can influence the public to make an educated decision, these public leaders may only report on part of the issue, impacting the way that people understand certain issues and propelling them to make uneducated decisions about topics.