Mass Media Worksheet

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What were the major developments in the evolution of mass media during the 20th century? There were a few major developments in the evolution of mass media during the 20th century. One of those developments was radio. Radios were the first major nonprint forms of mass media. Radios reached a huge number of people, they were less expensive then telephones, and they were extremely popular. In 1946, televisions were introduced as a new form of mass media. There were approximately 17,000 televisions at this time. Within 7 years, two-thirds of American households had a television. Television had become the dominant form of mass media. There were three major networks that controlled 90 percent of the news programs, live events, and sitcoms that Americans viewed. The broadcast technology, radio and television, forced newspapers and other forms of print media to adapt to new media landscape. Print media was more durable and was easily archived. Print media also gave people more flexibility in terms of use. For example, they had more time with a magazine because a person could read it wherever and whenever they wanted. Broadcast media was aired on a specific fixed schedule. This allowed broadcast media to provide a sense of immediacy and fleetingness. In the 1980s and the 1990s, the media world went through drastic changed again. This drastic change was the introduction of cable television. Cable providers gave people a wide menu of channels that they could choose from. Some of these channels included were specifically tailored for things like golf, classic films, or sermons. Until the mid-1990s, television was still dominated by the three large networks.

How did each development influence American culture? All of the developments in the evolution of mass media had some sort of influence on the American culture. The reach of radio meant that the medium was able to downplay regional differences. Radio also encouraged a unified sense of the American lifestyle. The...
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