What is Mass Communication?
What is the term "mass media“?
• Refers to various audiovisual culture industries that send content from a particular source to a wide audience— • For example, recorded music and television.
• A means of public communication reaching a large audience.
• Mass media denotes - as a class, that section of the media specifically conceived and designed to reach a very large audience (typically at least as large as the whole population of a nation state). • Coined in the 1920s (with the advent of nationwide radio networks, masscirculation newspapers and magazines), although mass media was present centuries before the term became common.
• The term public media has a similar meaning: it is the sum of the public mass distributors of news and entertainment (: NEWSPAPERS, TV and RADIO, BOOK (publishers), etc. • To this have been added more recently the INTERNET, PODCASTING, BLOGGING • All of these public media sources have better informed the general public of what is going on in the world today.
• The mass-media audience has been viewed by some commentators as forming a MASS SOCIETY with special characteristics, which render it especially susceptible to the influence of modern mass-media techniques such as ADVERTISING and PROPAGANDA • It is also gaining popularity in the blogosphere when referring to the mainstream media (MSM). • The mass-media audience can be easily persuaded one way or another (depending on the subject of discussion) whether or not they want to believe the media.
• Mass media can be one of the hardest forms of media to decipher what is true and what is not.
• Mass media are tools for the transfer of information, concepts, and ideas to both general and specific audiences. • They are important tools in advancing public goals
• The twentieth century in the United States was characterized by the transformation of artisans, local hobbies and small businesses into highly centralized, rationalized industries working like production lines, and the entertainment and informational media were no different. • In the process, pleasure was turned into profit. • And when governments occasionally intervened to regulate, or alternative technologies destabilized established forms and interests, ways were found of accommodating threats or capitalizing on others' innovations, resulting in renewed corporate control over each medium. • For instance, when newspapers were confronted with radio and then TV, they bought into these sectors as quickly as possible, where cross-ownership laws permitted. • Even the Internet, initially celebrated as a source of freedom from centralized control, has gradually come under corporate domination.
• These tensions are played out in the history of radio and motion pictures. • Radio began in the 1920s as a means of two-way communication, a source of agricultural stock-price and weather information, a boon to military technology, and a resource for ethnic cultural maintenance. • Then radio became a broadcast medium of networked mass entertainment dominated by corporations in the 1930s that was confronted with wartime censorship and the advent of television as an alternative in the 1940s. • Grew in the 1980s and 1990s & carrying on in 21st C
• Using mass media can be counterproductive if the channels used are not audience-appropriate, or if the message being delivered is too emotional, fear arousing, or controversial. • Undesirable side effects usually can be avoided through proper formative research, knowledge of the audience, experience in linking media channels to audiences, and message testing.
Types and Functions of Mass Media
• The mass media are capable of facilitating short-term, intermediate-term, and longterm effects on audiences.
Short-term Objectives are:
• • • • Exposing audiences to concepts Creating awareness and knowledge Altering outdated or incorrect knowledge & Enhancing audience recall of particular advertisements or public service announcements (PSAs), promotions, or program names.
Intermediate-term objectives include:
• All of the earlier ones, as well as changes in attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of social norms.
Long-term Objectives include:
• all of the earlier tasks, plus focused restructuring of perceived social norms, and maintenance of behavior change. • Evidence of achieving these three tiers of objectives is useful in evaluating the effectiveness of mass media.
Mass media performs three key functions:
• Educating • Shaping public relations & • Advocating for a particular policy or point of view.
• As education tools, media not only impart knowledge, but can be part of larger efforts (e.g., social marketing) to promote actions having social utility. • As public relations tools, media assist organizations in achieving credibility and respect among public health opinion leaders, stakeholders, and other gatekeepers. • Finally, as advocacy tools, mass media assist leaders in setting a policy agenda, shaping debates about controversial issues, and gaining support for particular viewpoints.
• TV is a powerful medium for appealing to mass audiences—reaches people regardless of age, sex, income, or educational level. • TV also offers sight and sound, and makes dramatic and lifelike representations of people and products. (AUDIO+VIDEO)
• For audiences of the late 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s, TV presented or reinforced certain health messages through product marketing. • Some of these messages were related to toothpaste, hand soaps, multiple vitamins, fortified breakfast cereals, and other items.
• Radio also reaches mass and diverse audiences. • The specialization of radio stations by listener age, taste, and even gender permits more selectivity in reaching audience segments. • Since placement and production costs are less for radio than for TV, radio is able to convey public health messages in greater detail. • Thus, radio is sometimes considered to be more efficient. • Radio requires somewhat greater audience involvement than television, creating the need for more mental imagery, or "image transfer." • Thus radio can reinforce complementary messages portrayed in parallel fashion on TV. • However, the large number of radio stations may fragment the audience for message delivery.
• The Internet places users in firmer autonomous control of which messages are accessed and when they are accessed. • It is possible to put virtually anything on-line and disseminate it to any location having Internet access, but the user has little control over quality and accuracy. • Internet search engines can direct users to tens of thousands of web sites after the user's introduction of one or more keywords.
• Estimate that newspapers are read daily in 70 percent of U.S. households, and in as many as 90 percent of high-income households. • Newspapers are available in daily and weekly formats, and local, regional, and national publications exist. • In addition, there are numerous special audience newspapers (e.g., various ethnic groups, women and feminist related, geography-specific, neighborhood). • In India?
• Magazines form three varieties: consumer (e.g., Reader's Digest, Newsweek, People), National Hog Farmer, Beef), and business (professional, industrial, trade, and general business publications). • Magazines have several strengths, including audience selectivity, reproduction quality, prestige, and reader loyalty. • Magazines have a relatively long shelf life—they may be saved for weeks or months, and are frequently reread, and passed on to others. • Magazine reading also tends to occur at a less hurried pace than newspaper reading.
Other print Media
• Pamphlets, brochures, and posters constitute other print media used to disseminate health messages. • Though widely used, their actual utility is infrequently evaluated (e.g., units distributed vs. changes in awareness, cost analysis). • Until the 1990s, few of these print media were developed with the assistance of target audiences, and few contained varied messages, were culturally tailored, or employed readability and face validity techniques. • The extent to which persons read, reread, and keep these devices—or circulate them to other readers—is not well evaluated. • Thus, their permanence is unknown.
• Outdoor media include billboards and signs, placards inside and outside of commercial transportation modes, flying billboards (e.g., signs in tow of airplanes), and skywriting. • Commercial advertisers such as Goodyear, Fuji, Budweiser, Pizza Hut, - all make extensive use of their logo-bearing blimps around sports stadiums.
• Decades of studies on the consequences of mass media exposure demonstrate that effects are varied and reciprocal—the media impact audiences and audiences also impact media by the intensity and frequency of their usage. • The results of mass media for promoting social change, especially in developing countries, have become important.
• Identified three effects, or functions, of media: (1) the knowledge gap, (2) agenda setting, and (3) cultivation of shared public perceptions.
• The impact of mass media on audience knowledge gaps is influenced by such factors as the extent to which the content is appealing, the degree to which information channels are accessible and desirable, and the amount of social conflict and diversity there is in a community.
• The selective nature of what members of the media choose for public consumption influences how people think about issues, and what they think about them • The extent to which the media set the public's perception
• Where mass media can be especially valuable is in the framing of issues. • "Framing" means taking a leadership role in the organization of public discourse about an issue. • Media, of course, are influenced by pressures to offer balance in coverage, and these pressures may come from persons and groups with particular political action and advocacy positions. • “Groups, institutions, and advocates compete to identify problems, to move them onto the public agenda, and to define the issues symbolically"
Cultivation of Perceptions
• Cultivation is the extent to which media exposure, over time, shapes audience perceptions. • Television is a common experience, and serves as what a "homogenizing agent." • However, the effect is often based on several conditions, particularly socioeconomic factors. • Prolonged exposure to TV or movie violence may affect the extent to which people think community violence is a problem, though that belief is likely moderated by where they live. • However, the actual determinants of people's impressions of violence are complex, and consensus in this area is lacking.
• Various debates about the mass media have recurred since the beginning of the twentieth century. • Most of the U.S. population learned to read with the spread of public schooling. • At that point, newspapers divided between those appealing to the middle and ruling classes (today's broadsheets) and the working class (today's tabloids). • Ever since, there has been controversy about appeals to popular tastes versus educational ones (that the press will print, and people will prefer rap versus opera and sex crime versus foreign policy). • This division is thought to exacerbate distinctions between people who have power and knowledge and other groups.
• There has also been a debate about concentration of media ownership, which has often generated conflicts of interest and minimized diverse points of view. • The most consistent disagreements have been about effects on audiences. • This concept assumes that what people read, hear, and see has an immediate and cumulative impact on their psyches. • Beginning with 1930s panics about movies affecting young people, this perspective became especially powerful with the advent of television. • There have been vast numbers of academic studies and public-policy debates on the topic of violence in the media ever since.
• The twentieth century saw the U.S. mass media multiply in their technological variety but grow ever more concentrated in their ownership and control. • The twenty-first century promises more of the same, with an aggressively global strategy to boot.
• • • •
Mass Media and the Consumer? Mass Media and Politics? Mass Media and education? Mass Media & Health?
, very largeaudience
, Mass media
, public media
denotes -as a class, thatsection of the media specifically conceivedand designed to reach a
(typically at least as large as thewhole population of anation state).Coined in the 1920s(with the advent of nationwide radio networks, mass-circulationnewspapersandmagazines),although mass media was presentcenturies before the term becamecommon.