Evolution of Mass Media

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Media towards mass audience has taken several leaps and bounds in history, especially during the 20th century. Three mediums in particular for reaching a mass audience revolutionized media broadcasting in their time, and are all three still popular and successful today: radio, television, and the World Wide Web. The textbook provides a detailed description of the early beginnings for each medium and similarities are evident. These similarities being: each of the three started with only a few companies dominating the medium, all have heights of dominance, and all have controversy and imposed regulation due to inappropriate.

The radio, television, and internet, in their early beginnings, had few companies that controlled the medium. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) dominated radio broadcasting. Early in chapter 29, the textbook states, “The story of this agency’s entry into advertising into broadcasting, and its relationship to the dominant network at the time, NBC.” (207) As far as television, the textbook speaks of the few “extremely profitable large-market station operators”, NBC,CBS, and ABC. The World Wide Web started as strictly text-based browsing supported few browsers like Lynx.

The next two common aspects of the mediums, height of dominance followed by codes of regulation, are evident in the text. In their primes, radio, television, and the WWW experienced worlds of success. With this success came times controversy as far as content on the air. Radio shows like Frank and Anne Hummert’s “soap opera factory” experienced controvesry over “tasteless and inappropriate content”. For TV, the FCC enacted a “Television Code” that help keep broadcasting appropriate. The WWW allows access to many pornographic materials that can be managed by programs that block this content.
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