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The Development and Influence of Mass Media

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Mass media is the means of communication that reach large numbers of people in a short time. Mass media comes in many forms and dates as far back as the early 1900s. The earliest noted form of mass media is print media, which consists of newspapers, magazines, books, brochures, and things of that nature. The very first mass media printed was a newspaper publication in Boston. The first newspaper that was printed in America was called Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick (Tracing the Story of Journalism in the United States, . Mass media has evolved drastically since the first newspaper was published. There have been some major developments in evolution of mass media; the most notable development is the various mediums in which the public uses to distribute information in this day and age. The forms of mass media distribution are broadcast media, audio media, outdoor media, and new age media.

Broadcast media also knows as electronic media consists of television, radio, and film. Audio media consists of CD’s and DVD’s. Outdoor media, which is also known as advertising media includes billboards, signs, blimps, and skywriting. New age media consists of mobile devices, computers and the Internet, which is now in its own category and is probably the most used form of media distribution currently. The development of mass media has influenced American culture in many ways. Although development is generally a good thing, not all of the influences have been positive. Broadcast media has brought entertainment to our doorsteps. In the beginning, there was much separation, and quality entertainment was generally reserved for the wealthier people, but as television, radio, and film developed it began to bridge the gap between ethnic groups and social classes. Television, radio and film helps to keep us abreast on what is going on in the entertainment world, keeps us up- to-date with politics as well as the local and global current events.

The downside to that is the messages being broadcast are for the most part biased in nature. They push their agendas on the masses and put these false senses of reality into our youth brains. The youth are trying to live up to the standards that are being broadcast to them from the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Broadcast media is being used to tell us what we should look like, what we should wear and if we are not living up to these standards then we are basically not living. Outdoor media originally was used to advertise businesses and goods but as times evolved so has the use of this form of media. Billboards and signs are presently used to promote education as well as awareness on health issues but also to promote local events. Outdoor media is also used to promote political agendas such as propositions to support. Audio media is considered to be a major influence on the youth in American culture. Compact discs (CDs) and digital video discs (DVDs) are part of what is considered pop culture.

Varieties of music from different genres as well as videos are being distributed and is said to have a negative impact on the younger generation. On the flipside audio media is also used for text books and Bibles. New age media has influence American culture tremendously through the advancements in cell phone technology as well as the Internet. With these forms of media the world is at everyone’s fingertips, there is no limit to what can be done with new age media. As convenient as these things have made our lives it has also caused our culture to suffer in terms of interpersonal relations. We have been so accustomed to text messages and e-mails that many of us are lacking when it comes to one-on-one contact. Many of us prefer to text rather than call, send an e-mail rather than write a letter or video chat rather than meet at a coffee shop. The term “media convergence” involves interlocking of computing and information technology companies, telecommunications networks, and content providers from the publishing worlds of newspapers, magazines, music, radio, television, films, and entertainment software.

Media convergence has definitely affected everyday life. The merging of media has impacted the way in which we communicate with each other; it has given us easier access to local news as well as news concerning other countries. Media convergence has helped businesses to expand their markets, we can now shop online, and if something is not available locally we can shop across the world and receive our goods in a relatively short amount of time. Media convergence has turned small business into big businesses and helped home-based businesses market their goods and services globally.

Media convergence has also affected the way we advertise, a website cannot be visited without some form of advertisement being streamed on the site. Because of media convergence it is now possible to manage your finances and bank from home, watch the stock market trends and invest in stocks all while earning your degree at home. We consume media daily from a vast array of outlets, some of the distributors are more interested in being the first to drop the breaking news that they do not take the time to check the authenticity of what is being projected to the world. We can read the same headline from several different outlets and get something different from each one. We have to be responsible in what we choose to take in. Media literacy is extremely important; we must study the media to have a clear understanding of what is being presented to us and what the agenda behind it is.

Tracing the Story of Journalism in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.writesite.org/html/tracing.html Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1425043/media-convergence

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