Feel free to write a thoughtful, in-depth and fully documented essay or commentary. Your effort will be most appreciated.
As langauge changes so does swearing. English swearing has shifted over the years from religious swearing (Odds Bodkins! Gadzooks! By the testicles of St Anthony!) through lavatorial (Shit! Piss!) to sexual swearing (Fuck! Wanker! Bollocks!). I'm sure this is grossly oversimplified but you get my point.
What's the next evolutionary stage of the evolution of the English profanity? Racial swearing. Words like paki, nigger and kike are virtually never heard on TV or in every day use. There are the few words now that can really shock and offend people. I don't feel particularly comfortable using them because they have such ugly connotations.
So yes, words like fuck and shit are flung around in the media but mainly because they are far more acceptable in everyday society than they used to be. I wouldn't say that the Media can influence change in society but it can have a very norming effect in language - it'll take langauge that is aready in circulation and spread it around a discourse community and into its neighbours.