Chapter 1 presentation

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Chapter 1 presentation

  1. 1. Mass Communication: A Critical Approach
  2. 2. Although culture is most often associated with “fine art,” it can be more broadly defined to include the entire spectrum of ways people express themselves in a particular time and place. In fact, mass media—the cultural industries and channels of communication—can be seen as both artifacts and distributors of culture.
  3. 3.  This spectrum includes art, beliefs, customs, games, technologies, traditions, institutions, and all of the communication (the creation and use of symbol systems to convey information and meaning) that surrounds these items and events.  Mass media are the cultural industries that produce and distribute:
  4. 4. Communication can be understood to have gone through five phases of development—oral, written, print, electronic, and digital—with previous phases continuing and adapting as new technologies introduced new techniques for communicating. 1.Oral communication 2.Written communication 3.Printed communication 4.Electronic communication 5.Digital communication
  5. 5. In early societies, information and knowledge circulated slowly, first through oral traditions, and later through the handwritten word. Johannes Gutenberg’s development of a movable type printing press in the fifteenth century ushered in an age of true mass communication, with the ability to reproduce printed works faster and for far less expense than handwritten methods.
  6. 6.  The invention of the telegraph in the middle of the nineteenth century heralded the start of the electronic age, which eventually expanded into such media as film and radio, and hit its full stride in the 1950s and 1960s with the development of television.
  7. 7.  With the commercial development of the Internet, digital communication allowed images, text, and sound to be converted into electronic signals and transmitted globally. The current digital era is marked by a nearly free flow of information.  Web-based commentators known as Internet bloggers are now a key element in news, e-mail is outpacing attempts to control communications beyond national borders, and nearly one billion people use social media worldwide.
  8. 8. The rise of social media and political clout turned out to play a larger role than traditional television advertising in the most recent presidential election. It is worth asking whether TV will continue to play an outsized role in future federal elections.
  9. 9. After decades of study on how people use forms of mass communication, and perhaps how creators of mass media use them, scholars have developed two different approaches to understanding mass media.
  10. 10.  Senders (authors, producers)  Messages (programs, ads)  Mass media channel (TV, books)  Receivers (viewers, consumers)  Gatekeepers (editors, executive producers, media managers)  Feedback (messages from receivers back to senders)
  11. 11. The linear model of mass communication. This model sees mass communication as a straight line, with a sender sending a message through a mass media channel to large groups of receivers. In the process, gatekeepers, such as news editors, function as message filters. While this model allows for some feedback, it does not capture the complexity of how people truly use mass communication.
  12. 12.   A cultural approach to mass communication is a more complex process that examines the various meanings audiences attach to media messages, whether or not those meanings were ever intended. The cultural model also suggests that senders shape media messages to fit or support their own viewpoints. This is known as selective exposure.
  13. 13.  Recognizes that individuals bring diverse meanings to messages  Audiences actively affirm, interpret, refashion, or reject the messages and stories that flow through various media channels
  14. 14. Media innovations typically go through four stages. Many new forms of mass communication start out as creators try to solve specific problems during emergence or the novelty stage. During the entrepreneurial stage, an inventor or company finds a way to turn the invention into a marketable item. Once it catches on with the general public, the product enters the mass medium stage. Finally, there is the convergence stage, in which many different media forms merge onto online platforms and large audiences fragment into smaller niche markets.
  15. 15. Media convergence, from a technological standpoint, refers to the technological merging of content across different media channels. From a business standpoint, convergence refers to a business model that involves consolidating various media holdings under a single corporate umbrella. Dual roles Technological merging of content across different media channels Cross platform, the consolidation of media holdings under one corporate umbrella Media businesses Companies like Google make money by selling ads rather than by producing content
  16. 16. From a cultural standpoint, media convergence has led to changes such as people watching television programs on their own schedule, making media choices based on social media recommendations, and uploading their own media content. The accessibility of media content through devices such as smartphones and tablets has led to media multitasking and an increase in media consumption. ◦ Make media choices based on social media recommendations ◦ Discuss programs as we watch them through “live-tweeting”  Can Twitter save live TV? http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2013/03/20/can-twitter-save-li
  17. 17.  Watch TV shows on Hulu and Netflix or DVR/On-Demand options
  18. 18.  With media convergence, there has also been a significant shift in the kinds of stories sought and told. Media institutions and outlets are basically in the narrative or storytelling business. Reality TV and social media dominate. ◦ Ordinary citizens are able to participate in, and have an effect on, stories told in the media. ◦ Media institutions and outlets are in the narrative business.
  19. 19. In the twentieth century, critics and audiences created a hierarchy of high and low culture. This idea could be understood as a “skyscraper,” with pop culture, video games, and popular music near the bottom, and ballet, classical literature, and art museums at the top. (Fig 1.2 in your text is a great image!) Top floors are associated with “good taste” or high culture. ◦ Ballet, symphony, art museums Lower culture. floors are associated with popular culture or low ◦ Soap operas, rock music, video games Different media for each, but many people consume both
  20. 20. In contrast, culture could be viewed as a map, or an ongoing and complicated process that better accounts for diverse individual tastes. This model recognizes that people can appreciate a range of cultural experiences without ranking them from high to low.
  21. 21.  The values by which American society judged culture underwent a major shift around the 1950s. The first half of the twentieth century is often referred to as the modern period.  Four key values: Efficiency Individualism Rationalism Progress
  22. 22.  By the last half of the twentieth century, what is called the postmodern period had started.  Four features: Populism Diversity Nostalgia Paradox
  23. 23. One way to gain a better grasp of media complexity is to attain media literacy using a critical process. Using the following five steps of a critical process will help you recognize both the strengths and weaknesses of media forms, while minimizing the impact of personal likes, dislikes, and cultural prejudices on your final conclusions.
  24. 24.   Description: paying close attention, taking notes, and researching the subject under study. This involves examining the media closely, looking for recurring ideas or themes, noting from what perspective a particular account is given, figuring out what is missing from media accounts, and considering other ways to tell a given story. Analysis: discovering and focusing on significant patterns that emerge from the description stage.
  25. 25.    Interpretation: asking and answering the “What does that mean?” and “So what?” questions about one’s findings. Here you determine the meanings of the patterns you have analyzed. Evaluation: arriving at a judgment about the value of the subject through subordinating personal taste to the critical “bigger picture” resulting from the first three stages. Here, you make critical, informed judgments. Engagement: taking some action that connects our critical perspective with our role as citizens to question our media institutions, adding our own voice to the process of shaping the cultural environment.
  26. 26.  Developing an informed critical perspective and becoming media literate allows us to debate the role of the media as a catalyst for democracy and social justice, as well as part of a world economic order controlled by relatively few multinational corporations.  New, blended, and merging cultural phenomena challenge us to reassess and rebuild the standards by which we judge our culture.

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