Mass Media

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The Mass Media

1. Functions
i. Information Function
ii. Surveillance Function
iii. The Social Function
- Entertainment
- Socialisation
iv. Commercial Function
v. Political function

2. Key types
i. Traditional Media
- Print (newspapers, magazines, billboards, books)
- Electronic Media (radio, television, film)
ii. New Media
-web-based and mobile technologies (the Internet, social media, etc)

3. Characteristics of New Media/ Social Media
i. Reach - equally capable of reaching a global audience, more decentralized in dissemination ii. Accessibility - at little or no cost
iii. Democratic – anyone can be involved in social media production iv. Immediacy
v. Permanence – content is often there and can be edited after production

4. Mass Media Theories
i. Hypothermic needle theory
ii. Cultivation theory
iii. Agenda setting theory

5. Media Trends
i. Media Convergence - the merging of mass communication outlets ii. Rise of global media companies, e.g. Viacom, News Corporation, Time Warner iii. New tools for reporting and distribution of news and/or content – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube iv. Press Freedom and Democracy: Crackdown was the word of the year in 2011. Never has freedom of information been so closely associated with democracy. While Tunisia (up to 134 from 164) and Libya (160 to 154) fared well, Egypt dropped from 127 to 166 after a wave of detentions by the army in the wake of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. America falls from 20th to 47th after heavy-handed approach to Occupy demonstrators. (For press freedom index, refer to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092173/World-Press-Freedom-Index-2011-U-S-U-K-drop.html#ixzz2EGEFQUlf and the 2 attached documents on press freedom.

6. Implications of trends
i. Cultural dilution vs Cultural Imperialism
ii. Knowledge acquisition vs Information overload/ inaccuracy iii. Empowerment/ discernment vs Propaganda
iv. Media hegemony vs Voice of the minority
v. Desensitisation vs Empathy
vi. News vs Opinion
vii. Journalism vs Entertainment
viii. Self expression vs Voyeurism and exhibitionism
ix. Social Orthodoxy vs Political Correctness
x. Plugged in/Wired 24/7 vs Slowing down
xi. New Media: promise vs limits

7. Vocabulary
i. Yellow journalism: a derogatory term describing the jargon used by journalists which is exaggerated and/or hackneyed. ii. Gutter press: newspapers or magazines which concentrate on gossip and scandal than serious, objective reporting. iii. Propaganda: information (often biased) disseminated systematically to propagate a particular idea, practice, political party, etc. iv. Cultural imperialism: the way in which countries are insidiously influenced by continual exposure to Western (particularly American) radio, television and film material which subverts and distorts their indigenous cultures. v. Global village: communication technologies have made different countries and cultures more closely linked so that pockets of humanity can no longer either remain ignorant of or isolated from one another. vi. Fourth estate: another term for the press.

vii. Tabloid: a general term referring to widely circulated newspapers read by people from all levels. Such newspapers are not regarded as ‘high brow’ and often give more emphasis to entertainment than intellectual content. viii. Copyright: exclusive legal right to print, publish, perform, film or record literary, artistic, or musical material ix. Free press: a social and political situation in which newspapers and other media are permitted to present whatever they wish to the public. In practice, however, such a situation usually does not perfectly exist due to various constraints. x. Hypothermic Needle Theory: The theory implied that the mass media had a...
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