Should this question use the definite article before "media"?

  1. Does the media influence us?
  2. Does media influence us?

Are these both OK? I have seen both being used.


3 Answers 3


"Media" is the plural of "medium," so technically, the question should read, "Do the media influence us?" However, "the media" have become something of a cultural monolith, so I reluctantly accept the singular use when described in this way.

"Do media (television, radio, Internet, billboards, etc.) influence us?" Yes, they do.

"Does the media influence us?" Yes, "it" does.


Media isn't a proper noun, so it's not capitalized unless it's in a special context. Such special cases could be

  • it's defined, as in a legal document, to reference a specific group

  • the capital M is being used to emphasize/deify the media in a rhetorical paper.

  • I wanted to know the difference between THE Media & Media. thnx
    – Scott. F
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 14:33

Neither are correct."Influence" is a possessive noun, and works as a verb transitvely, when a preposition is conjugated between a pronoun such as the personal "us": "influence on/over us" works, but not for this question phrasing without "have/having", which indicates possession.

So, instead we could say: "Does the media have influence on/over us?"

  • Why is this downvoted?
    – John
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 17:43
  • 1
    Hi, John, I think your answer is not right. Influence is never a possessive noun and to influence is a transitive verb which can take a direct object as explained by @Mark Hubbard. Please make sure that you take the tour and visit our help center for additional guidance.
    – user140086
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 6:26

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