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Functions of mass media

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Functions of mass media

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Functions of mass media

  1. 1. MASS COMMUNICATION DEFINED The process of communicating information to lots of people at once e.g. via television, radio or newspapers Messages distributed by institutions such as the media have the potential to reach very large and anonymous audiences in a process called mass communication
  2. 2. Some other definitions:  Mass communication is the technological means of sending information, ideas and opinions from a mass communicator to a complex audience. It is also defined as comprising the institutions and techniques by which specialized groups such as broadcasters, film producers and publishers employ technological devices to disseminate symbolic content to large heterogeneous and widely disperse audience.
  3. 3.  By definition, mass communication is a message created by a person or a group of people sent through a transmitting device (a technological medium) to a large audience or market.
  4. 4.  Mass communication occurs when a small number of people send messages to a large anonymous and usually heterogeneous audience through the use of specialized communication media.
  5. 5. Explanation:  The units of analysis for mass communication are the messages, the mediums, and the audience.
  6. 6.  Mass Communication represents the creation and sending of a homogeneous message to a large heterogeneous audience through the media
  7. 7. MASS AUDIENCE  They are large in number.  They are widely dispersed.  Members are unknown to each other.  Mass audience is non traditional & anonymous.  Audience is heterogeneous; it means audience is from social strata(having different demographic & psychographic characheteristics)
  8. 8.  Audience is a mass market of consumers.  Mass audience is homogeneous in its choice of some particular object of interest(like Pepsi, Coke, Bollywood movies, Mc Donald culture)  Mass audience is an object of management & manipulation.  Mass audience is non-traditional & anonymous.
  9. 9. MASS CULTURE  Non-traditional.  Non-elite.  Mass culture is a commercial culture.  It is consumed worldwide.  Mass culture is homogenized culture.  It is the result of mass culture & mass communication.
  10. 10. MASS MEDIA  Mass media is any medium used to transmit mass communication. Until recently mass media was clearly defined and was comprised of the eight mass media industries; Books, Newspapers, Magazines, and Recordings, Radio, Movies, Television, video & computer games and The Internet.
  11. 11.  A cell phone or any phone for that matter is not typically considered to be a mass medium. A telephone is a simple two way communication device, capable of serving only few people at time. Looking at the definition of mass media, it is clear that a mass medium must communicate a message to a large group, often simultaneously. However, modern cell phones are no longer a single use device. Most cell phones are equipped with internet access and capable of connecting to the web which is in fact a mass medium. Does this make cell phones a mass medium or simply a device to access the web?
  12. 12. FUNCTIONS OF MASS MEDIA Before Noticing the functions of Mass Media, Some facts should be viewed i.e.  Mass communicators are impersonal. They are part of the institutions they work for and should not be blamed personally for what comes from the institutions. The credibility of the message is not for the individual communicator, but for the institution or the organization that sends it.
  13. 13.  Thus, mass communication deals with collective sender. For example, a newspaper is not produced by only one person. The newspaper is the end results of collective efforts of reporters, editors, type-setters, proofreaders, designers and printers. These must be well-trained persons.
  14. 14.  The other important area of notice is that mass communication deals with the concept of mass audience. Here, there is no common motivation. Audience do not act together. They belong to different classes-different education and socio-economic status. The message communicated in the mass media is open to the public and everyone has access to it provided she/he has the mass communication technological device as well as understands the language in which the message is sent.
  15. 15.  Mass communication has a specific method of feed-back which could be in the form of letters to the editor, rejoinders, reviews and articles. This method takes time to go through and it is often volunteered. Not everybody would have the capability to do it. Many people also feel lazy to write. If this is how mass communication works then what are the specific functions of the mass media in society?
  16. 16. Traditional functions of Mass Media:  To Inform/surveillance  To Educate/socialization  To Entertain  To persuade/interpret
  17. 17. INFORM/SURVEILLANCE Media informs public about different events, happenings and phenomenon. The information flow is necessary for unity and coherence if we live in the society of collectivity. Surveillance refers to the news and information role of mass media. This role can be subdivided into warning surveillance associated with the news media (information about pending threats such as floods, military attack, and depressed economic conditions) and instrumental surveillance associated with both news and popular media (transmission of useful information about news products, entertainment guides, stock market prices, etc.).
  18. 18.  Surveillance information also can come from books, films, television programs, and other types of literary culture that provides information on human issues. Information travels quickly via the electronic media. The benefit of this is instantaneous awareness; the disadvantage is that misinformation can travel just as quickly as accurate information, and speedy dissemination
  19. 19. EDUCATION/SOCIALIZATION Education on the policies of governments and on the rights and responsibilities could be carried out through the mass media. The media also have a role in socialization, the transmission of values within a society, particularly the modeling of appropriate behavior and attitudes. The notion is that the mass media present images of society, which viewers then can learn and adopt for themselves. This in turn helps create a stable society with common social values. In its simplest form, the socialization role of the media gives people a common discussion topic: yesterday’s soccer match, the new popular movie.
  20. 20. Television and film have the greatest potential for Education/socialization because they seem to be the most realistic. They can be quite influential, particularly on young people; and images or role models of social behavior as well as fashion, grooming styles, and other aspects of social interaction can be presented through television and film. Their effectiveness is evident in the similarity of youth culture throughout the world, in which the only common influence is provided by the media. Teens and young adults in societies as diverse as Canada and Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Finland have many common tastes in fashion, dancing, music, hair styles, and so on.
  21. 21. ENTERTAINMENT The mass media also entertain the public by providing emotional relaxation, intrinsic and cultural enjoyment (i.e. provision of momentary escape from problems) and killing boredom). Entertainment is a related function of mass media, sometimes called the diversion function because it diverts us from the real world. Entertainment always has been part of society, increasingly so in an age in which more people have a greater amount of leisure time. Through sound recordings, film, radio and television, entertainers have been able to attract audiences around the globe. Painters, sculptors and poets reach mass audiences through books and magazines.
  22. 22. The entertainment function of the media has been subdivided into three categories: stimulation (as an cure to boredom), relaxation (as part of an soothing and perhaps meditative environment), and release (as a means to safely express anger, hostility or fear). Sociologists have observed that a consequence of wide- spread availability of quality media entertainment is that it may function too well as a diversion. People are increasingly becoming spectators in music, sports, theater and so on. It is far easier and perhaps more fun to watch a soccer match on television played by world- class athletes and broadcast by top-notch camera operators than it is to actually work hard, practice often, and risk injury by personally participating in the game.
  23. 23. PERSUADE/INTERPRET Interpretation is the function of mass media that provides a context for new information and commentary about its significance and meaning. Traditionally, newspapers provided such interpretation in their editorial and commentary sections, reserving news pages for supposedly neutral information. Reporting was said to be objective; that is, free from comment and interpretation. The idea was that reporters would offer factual information untainted by commentary, and readers would decide for themselves the significance and meaning of that information. Such a quest for objectivity is less apparent today in newspapers, and the vast amount of television reporting seems to have blended the news-reporting and commentary functions. If interpretation is the function, persuasion is the motivation for the producers of such messages.

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