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Components of the Mass Media

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What is the Mass Media?

Mass Media- refers to print, radio, television, and other communication technologies

Mass- implies that the media reach many people

Media- signifies that communication does not take place directly through face-to-face interaction. Audiences have the capability of tuning in or out on the media mass

Causes of Media Growth.

The Protestant Reformation: In 1517 Martin Luther wanted people to develop a more personal relationship with the bible and encouraged millions of people to read the bible. The bible then became the first mass media product in the west and by far the best selling book.

Democratic Movements: From the eighteenth century and on, the citizens of France, the United Sates and other countries demanded and achieved representation in government. Therefore, Democratic governments depended on informed citizenry, thus, encouraged literacy and growth of a free press.

Capitalist Industrialization: Modern Industries required a literate and numerate workforce as well as rapid means of communication to do business efficiently.

Theories of Media Effects.

Functionalism: The mass media:

– performs an important function by coordinating the operation of industrial and postindustrial societies

– are important agents of socialization

– help ensure conformity

– provides entertainment

Conflict Theory: Believes the mass media does not serve the interests of the entire society and favours the interests of the dominant classes and political groups

– the mass media broadcasts beliefs, values, and ideas that create widespread acceptance of the basic structure of society, including injustices and inequalities

– ownership of mass media is highly concentrated in the hands of a small number of the people and is highly profitable for those people

Diversity and Gender Differences in Mass Media.

MediaWatch is a non-profit feminist organization working to eliminate sexism in the media. In 1992-93 it sponsored an analysis of minority representation on Canadian television. Figures 14.2 and 14.3 in the Brym text show the results of the analysis.

The Internet.

International inequalities in Internet access mirror global inequalities.

Rate of Internet connectivity (per 1000 people) in North America is more than double the rate in Western Europe, nearly 15 times higher than in Eastern Europe, nearly 23 times higher than in South and Central America, more than 28 times higher than in the Asia-Pacific region and more than 68 times higher than in the Middle East and Africa.

Media Imperialism- the control of a mass medium by a single national culture and the undermining of other national cultures ex. American domination of the web.

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