MASS MEDIA AND EVANGELISATION IN THE CHURCH
Communication is a necessity in the world of human beings, animals and plants and is an ever continuing process going on all the time. It is as necessary to human, animal and vegetable existence as life itself. Absence of communication and the life process wither and die. The need for communication is as basic as the hunger for food and drink, perhaps even more so. In the beginning after all, was the ‘word’ or ‘aum’; the first syllable even uttered.
“Communication is the name we give to the countless ways that humans have of keeping in touch, not just words and music, pictures and print, nods and becks, posters and plumages; to every move that catches someone’s eye and every sound that resonates upon another’s ear.” Interaction, interchange, a sharing and commonness are ideas that crop up in any attempt to define the term communication. Derived as it is from the Latin’s ‘communis’, which means ‘common’, the idea of commonality is stressed frequently in talking about communication. Communication is a process, which increases commonality, but also requires elements of commonality for it to occur at all.
Communication then presupposes a shared environment, a social relationship between those who participate. What it leads to is a social interaction, contributing to a sense of community. Since the world of birds and beasts too possess communication we speak of human communication in our study, rather than communication alone in our study. In the olden days human beings used to communicate face to face which could be called as interpersonal communication. As he civilizations grew and human relations spread far and wide and the need for better means of communication also became very essential. The kings and emperors used messengers who walked the required distance and conveyed the messages. Now the time has changed and a messenger going and informing things has become rather impossible as it would be very much delayed, and the message that has to be conveyed is not to a single person but often it is to a big group of people. In this context the Mass Media became very important. The Media texts which the individual picks up or turns on must be understood in the way of a dialogue. The Media are involved in relationships of a dialogue because they inspire some kind of response on the part of the reader, viewer or listener. Media texts are fundamentally dialogic, i.e., they are fundamentally involved in a dialogue. This is because they are intended to provoke some kind of response from the audience. Keith Tester says that, “it is even possible to understand a dialogic Media text something similar to an academic lecture.” It can be seen that it is vitally important to pay attention to the Media audiences. Adorns and Horkheimer argue that “within the single, mass audience each individual is isolated from every other individual…Modern communications Media have an isolating effect; this is not mere intellectual paradox.”
It is worth thinking about this comment. On the one hand they are saying that the Media turn us all into isolated individuals. But on the other hand, they are saying that the Media do this more or less equally to everyone. It means that we experience the Media alone. It also means that the Media treat us as if we were all the same. The Media therefore have the effect of leveling down all individuals, so that they actually become the same in all important respects. The Media challenge anything that stands out as different. From the point of view of the Media all social and cultural differences, all the specific relationships and activities which makes us precisely who we are, become things to be marginalised in the interest of the construction and maintenance of a passive and conformist audience. The current era is radically different from any other. It is nevertheless the case that current situation of cultural and...
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