Mass Communication Effects


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These slides accompany a lecture in Mass Media at MontanaTech. They are based on the Hanson text, Mass Communication.

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  • Resonance – The candidate who does the best job of sending out messages that connect with target voters is the one most likely to win. Give example, pg.
  • Is there a predictable bias in American news? Critics on both the right and the left maintain there is either a liberal or conservative bias in the opposite direction.
  • Mass Communication Effects

    1. 1. Mass Communication Effects: How Society & Media Interact
    2. 2. Vote Different & Yes We Can <ul><li>New media tools like YouTube -- becoming a growing part of the political process. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Yes We Can” voted best marketing message of 2008 by Ad Age and Business Week . (See pgs 44 – 46) </li></ul>
    3. 3. History of Mass Media Research <ul><li>How has our understanding of media effects evolved over the past 200 years? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Rise of Mass Society <ul><li>Pre 1800s: People in the United States lived in rural communities with people of similar ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. </li></ul><ul><li>1800s: Industrial revolution – People move into cities, work for wages, interact with people of diverse backgrounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Fears: Media would replace church, family, and community in shaping public opinion (grew out of Propaganda and Direct Effects Model.) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Propaganda & Direct Effects Model <ul><li>Argument views audiences and passive targets (fear factor). </li></ul><ul><li>Direct effects—presume media messages are a stimulus that leads to consistent, predictable attitudinal or behavioral effects. </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect effects—recognize that people have different backgrounds, needs, values and so respond differently. </li></ul>vs
    6. 6. Critical Cultural Model <ul><li>(Our preferred method media research since we are pursuing happiness in a media world.) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus is on how people use media to construct view of the world; not effect of media on people’s behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Examines creation of meaning and how communication takes place; not survey or experimental results. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Types of Media Effects <ul><li>Message Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Medium Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Active Audience Effects </li></ul>
    8. 8. Message Effects <ul><li>How are people affected by the content of messages? </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive Effects Short-term learning of information. </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudinal Effects Changing people’s attitudes about a person, product, institution, or idea. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Message Effects <ul><li>Behavioral Effects Inducing people to adopt new behaviors or change existing ones. Much harder than changing attitudes. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological Effects Inspiring strong feelings or arousal in audience members. People often seek feelings such as fear, joy, revulsion, happiness, or amusement. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Medium Effects <ul><li>How does the medium used change the nature of the message and the receiver’s response to the message? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the social effects of each medium? </li></ul><ul><li>“The medium is the message”—Marshall McLuhan </li></ul>
    11. 11. Ownership Effects <ul><li>How does ownership affect the media? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we get different messages from different owners? </li></ul><ul><li>How important are the six largest media companies? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Active Audience Effects <ul><li>Audience members seek out and respond to media for a variety of reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>People can be segmented by geographics, demographics, or psychographics (study these definitions). </li></ul><ul><li>Looks at audience members as selective consumers rather than naïve victims of the media. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Media, Politics, and Society
    14. 14. How Do Campaigns Affect Voters? <ul><li>Resonance Model A candidate’s success depends on how well his or her basic message resonates with and reinforces voters’ preexisting political feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive Model Views the political campaign as a competition for the hearts and minds of voters. A candidate’s response to an attack is as important as the attack itself. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Media and Political Bias <ul><li>News with an explicit point of view (opinionated style) is popular on cable television eg Fox vs MSNBC. </li></ul><ul><li>Audience members tend to view news as biased if it does not actively match their own point of view. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Liberal vs. Conservative Bias <ul><li>Conservatives point out reporters tend to be more liberal than public at large. “The duty of the press is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” </li></ul><ul><li>Liberals point out that media are owned by large corporations that tend to be more conservative than the public at large. “Freedom of the press belongs to those who own a press.” </li></ul>
    17. 17. Herbert Gans: Basic Journalistic Values <ul><li>Gans evaluated the actual values exhibited within content on CBS and NBC news programming and Time magazine and Newsweek magazine. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Basic Journalistic Values <ul><li>Ethnocentrism The belief that your own country and culture are better than all others. </li></ul><ul><li>Altruistic democracy The idea that politicians should serve the public good, not their own interests. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Basic Journalistic Values <ul><li>Responsible capitalism The idea that open competition among businesses will create a better, more prosperous world. But must be responsible. </li></ul><ul><li>Small-town pastoralism Nostalgia for the old-fashioned rural community. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Basic Journalistic Values <ul><li>Individualism The quest to identify the one person who makes a difference. </li></ul><ul><li>Moderatism The value of moderation in all things. Extremists on left and right are viewed with suspicion. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Basic Journalistic Values <ul><li>Social order When journalists cover disorder they tend to focus on the restoration of order. </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership Media look at the actions of leaders, whereas the actions of lower-level bureaucrats are ignored. </li></ul>
    22. 22. NETWORK (Sidney Lumet: 1976) Logline: A TV network cynically exploits a deranged ex-TV anchor's ravings and revelations about the media for their own profit. Question: How does this film predict today’s rash of trashTV and shock-laden newsbroadcasts? Writer: Paddy Chayefsky Starring: Wiliam Holden, Robert Duvall, Dunaway. 121 Minutes.