According to McQuail (2005), mass communication research is premised on the fact that the media have significant effects, although there seems to be no consensus on the nature and extent of these assumed effects. Mass communication is further described as “the use of print or electronic media, such as newspapers, magazines, film, radio, or television, to communicate to large numbers of people who are located in various places” (Berger, 1995, p. 12). A great deal of money time and effort is expended each year to focus the media in any one of countless different directions, depending on agenda. There seems to be little doubt that the media is very successful in achieving their desired results.
Media research has enjoyed impressive growth as the critical role of the media to contemporary societies – regardless of culture or country – has increasingly imposed itself on our consciousness. Any consideration of media research currently has to address issues that go beyond any cultural or national boundaries, based on the internationalisation of media institutions. There is a sense in which mass communication (or more recently media research) is, internationally, a project which has been in a sometimes precarious state of formation for over fifty years (Corner, Philip and Schlesinger, 1997). Its history is far less a matter of tracing a narrow, continuous strand of specialised enquiry than of looking at a rather disparate and still not fully documented succession of theoretical projects, empirical engagements and often heated debates.
Right from the start, in the separate kinds of intellectual response in Europe, Latin America and North America to the emergence of modernity, public communication and ‘mass culture’, the field has never consolidated itself fully as an international academic enterprise. However, much of this disunity could be directly related to the fact that media... [continues]
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