The Mass Media - PowerPoint

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					The Mass Media
• In communication, media (Singular:
  Medium) are the storage and transmission
  tools used to store and deliver information
  or data.
• Mass media is a term used to denote a
  section of the media specifically
  envisioned and designed to reach a very
  large audience such as the population of a
  nation state.
• Propaganda is a concerted set of messages
  aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of
  large number of people.
• As opposed to impartially providing information,
  propaganda in its most basic sense presents
  information in order to influence its audience.
• Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic
  attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate
  cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a
  response that furthers the desired intent of the
  propagandist. —Garth S. Jowett and Victoria
  O'Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion
• It was coined in the 1920s with the advent
  of nationwide radio networks, mass-
  circulation newspapers and magazines,
  although mass media (like books and
  manuscripts) were present centuries
  before the term became common.
• Sometimes also called PUBLIC MEDIA
• Analog telecommunications include
  traditional telephony, radio, and TV
• Digital telecommunications allow for
  computer-mediated communication,
  telegraphy, and computer networks.
• New media is a term meant to encompass
  the emergence of digital, computerized, or
  networked information and communication
  technologies in the latter part of the 20th
• Maybe also digital media?
• Will alter the meaning of geographic distance.
• Allow for a huge increase in the volume of
• Provide the possibility of increasing the speed of
• Provide opportunities for interactive
• Allow forms of communication that were
  previously separate to overlap and interconnect.
  Eg webpages
• Electronic media and print media include:

• Broadcasting, in the narrow sense, for radio and television.
• Various types of discs or tapes. In the 20th century, these were
  mainly used for music. Video and computer uses followed.
• Film, most often used for entertainment, but also for documentaries.
• Internet, which has many uses and presents both opportunities and
  challenges. Blogs and podcasts, such as news, music, pre-recorded
  speech and video)
• Publishing, in the narrow sense, meaning on paper, mainly via
  books, magazines, and newspapers.
• Video games, which have developed into a mass form of media
  since cutting-edge devices such as the PlayStation 3, XBox 360,
  and Wii broadened their use.
• Mobile phones, used for rapid breaking news, short clips of
  entertainment like jokes, horoscopes, alerts, games, music, and
• Advocacy, both for business and social
  concerns. This can include advertising,
  marketing, propaganda, public relations, and
  political communication.
• Enrichment and education.
• Entertainment, traditionally through
  performances of acting, music, and sports, along
  with light reading; since the late 20th century
  also through video and computer games.
• Public service announcements.
          Media as industry
• The idea that media is an ‗industry‘ (as
  well as a social and political institution)
  has implications for how we think about
  the economic ‗possibilities‘ of media and
  communications technologies.
• the idea that there are people trying to
  make money out of media &
  communications technologies – and
  therefore thinking of markets, costs,
  ownership structures, income streams,
  and so on – then we‘re pushed to think
  seriously about the ‗commercial realities‘
  of media businesses
• McQuail notes, ―Although the media have grown
  up in response to the social and cultural needs
  of individuals and societies, they are largely run
  as business enterprises‖
• We need more and more to consider them as
  ‗industries‘, thanks in particular to their changing
  status in the so-called new ‗information
  economy‘, in which systems of production and
  distribution are increasingly tied up together, and
  where telecommunications is increasingly
• media are hybrid, selling products to
  consumers but also a service to advertisers;
  (in other words, they have dual objectives –
  and sometimes there are conflicts between
• media businesses are expensive and difficult
  to enter; (particularly in smaller markets, and
  particularly in the context of traditional ‘mass’
  media; this is changing, with digitalisation, and
  it’s one of the key principles that people like
  Helen Coonan are relying on when they say that
  digitalisation will allow new entrants; it’s fair to
  say that the jury is still out on this one…)
• Ownership is not the only factor—it‘s also
  important to understand who ‗pays‘ for the
  product. Lines of influence can be traced
  to ―a range of private investors (among
  them other media companies), advertisers,
  consumers, various public or private
  subsidy-givers, and governments‖ (198),
  and that line is always complex.
• Generally there are three categories of ownership:
  commercial, private non-profit, public sector. ―For media
  ownership it will be relevant [to determine] whether a
  company is public or private, a large media chain or
  conglomerate or a small independent. It may also matter
  whether or not a media enterprise is owned by a so-
  called ‗media tycoon‘ or ‗mogul‘, typified as wanting to
  take a personal interest in editorial policy. Non-profit
  bodies can be neutral trusts, designed to safeguard
  independence of operations, or bodies with a special
  cultural or social task such as political parties, churches,
  etc. Public ownership also comes in many different forms
  ranging from direct state administration to elaborate and
  diversified constructions designed to maximize
  independence of decision-making about content‖.
 Implications of media as industry
• Public interest vs State interest
• Individual interest vs public interest vs
  State interest
• Individual interest vs public interest vs
  State interest vs corporation interest vs
  journalistic interest
     Agency in reading of media
• To read the paper is not just to participate in the observation of
  events, nor even only to judge them from the perspective of a world

• It is also to partake in membership of a national public  desire for
  identification, sense of belonging

• Hegel referred to the media as not just a collection of radio, tv,
  cinema and press institutions

• They are an assembled of institutionalised practices which, among
  other things, structure the form of modern politics, the articulation of
  public opinion, the imaginary boundaries of nationhood and the
  nature of individual political judgement and participation
• Mindless clean slates or independent

• Access to media (who can read, who
  can‘t, who‘s the targeted audience?)
• Definitely a specific message for a specific
• The manipulation of large groups of
  people through media outlets, for the
  benefit of a particular political party and/or
  group of people (dominant social group?)

• Bias, political or otherwise, towards
  favoring a certain individual, outcome or
  resolution of an event
               Media Regulation
   The legal and political regulation
• Battle between free speech and censorship
• Such regulation addresses the most obvious form of
  public participation: speech
• Protection for speech is seen as a prerequisite for the
  existence of a public sphere
• Protection as much of repression, requires regulatory
• Both freedom of speech and censorship entail the
  institution of a negotiation between Truth and Law
  The social and cultural regulation
• The way that national govts act to support
  institutions and practices which manufacture
  and disseminate the cultural goods – films, TV
  prog, museums, etc – which are supposedly
  expressive of a national identity, is more

• Introduces BBC

• Part of BBC‘s strategy was to establish an
  identity between public service broadcasting
  and the nation
   The economic and technological regulation

- What is the logic of imposing restraints on media
  ownership, whether in the form of restriction on market
  share, cross-media holdings, or ownership by foreign
- Often designed to help local media capitalists compete
  against the global bigwigs, this type of restriction only
  makes sense as a heavy-handed attempt to stage a
  diversity of opinions sufficient to constitute a credible
  public sphere
• Media regulation is not just a matter of
  censorship, repression and control

• It‘s better understood as an aspect of
  state-craft; a repertoire of interventionist
  techniques through which the media are
  steered towards fulfilling their role in
  defining the modern political field

• At the same time, constituting a capitalist
  market and a source of individual
  participation and / or distraction
      Other useful readings
• Chomsky‘s propaganda model
• Deliberate obfuscation?
•   Past-year Cambridge examination questions on the Mass Media:
    – ―Advertisements are often entertaining, but they rarely affect consumer choice.‖
      Is this your experience? (Nov 07)
    – Advertising encourages a desire for products which people do not actually need.
      Discuss. (Nov 04)
    – Can the media ever be relied upon to convey the truth? (Nov 03)
    – Should advertising be restricted in any way? (Nov 01)
    – 'A film has one purpose - to entertain.' Using examples, consider this view. (Nov
    – ‗Freedom of speech is a basic right – as long as the speakers do not abuse it.‘
      Discuss. (Nov 98)
    – ‗Films which have the greatest appeal are usually those which have the least
      value.‘ By reference to specific examples, consider how far this is a fair
      assessment. (Nov 97)
    – Compare the effectiveness of any TWO of the following as a means of news
      coverage: the radio, television, newspapers. (Nov 97)
    – ‗The media can largely be blamed for the world-wide increase in violence.‘ To
      what extent do you agree? (Nov 96)
    – To what extent should the private lives of public figures be the subject of media
      coverage? (Nov 95)
    – Television will eventually be the death of sport. Do you agree? (Nov 91)
    – Should the press be completely free? (Nov 91)