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Introduction to Mass Communication

Write an essay that explores the distinctive powers of the Mass Media and the effects of media content consumption on audiences. Discuss also the ethical implications of the creation and delivery of media content. 
 

Introduction to Mass Communication

Mass media are the technologies that are used for transferring ideas, information and concepts to a mass of people. Mass media plays a significant role in the spreading of information to the mass audience (Wimmer & Dominick, 2013). It helps in the exchange of knowledge throughout the world which is pivotal in this modern time. People use various technologies to communicate with the mass. The tools which are used for mass communication can be in print such as newspapers and magazines, cinema, radio and television and the most recent one being the internet. Mass media and communication has a vital role in shaping societies and cultures. Through the advances in technologies over the years, mass communication has reached a new level, from where it can shape the ideas and opinions of individuals of today’s societies (Wimmer & Dominick, 2013). 

Mass media and communication is one of the influential factors which are at play in this modern world. Tools of mass communication have become so integrated into our daily lives that live without it has become unimaginable. Mass media connects people with one another on a global level which was not possible in old times. It brings together people from all types of background and places. The whole world is so well connected, that it created a vast network of individuals who are joining for a common goal or work (Vivian & Maurin, 2012).

Mass media has immense power in the modern world. Proper use of mass media can shape not only individual minds but also the ideas of a whole government (Vivian & Maurin, 2012). It holds the power to control the minds of the mass which is a power beyond imagination. Its use in a positive way to shape the opinions of people can build a nation and if used to change the ideas of the mass in negative ways, can lead to fall of an empire. The technologies that are used for mass communication have a lot of power over the audiences (Vivian & Maurin, 2012).

Print media since its invention has played a crucial role in our societies. It is still one of the primary tools for sharing information to the general mass of people in every country (Crowley & Heyer, 2015). It mainly consists of newspaper, magazines and books which are used for distributing a lot of information of various kinds. Newspapers are very efficient in the distribution of information, knowledge and ideas as it is used on a daily basis. Every day thousands of papers with new information are distributed to the people in a single city. Hence, the number of newspapers which is used all over the world is uncountable (Crowley & Heyer, 2015).

The newspapers are manufactured by various companies in different languages which make it more available to the common mass (Barker, 2014). The audience of newspapers is enormous, and the information it carries is conveyed to a huge number of people every day. The newspapers mostly work in local levels with local people working in the whole process of information gathering to the printing of the news in the newspapers. The newspaper companies not only spread valuable information to the public but also create thousands of jobs for people (Crowley & Heyer, 2015).

The Influence of Mass Media and Communication on Society

Books are another type of print media which is pivotal for the education and learning system. The learning and development of the intellect of a person are based on the use of books. Books are the source of detailed information on a particular subject matter. A book shapes the mind of a person from childhood and is responsible for the intellectual power of an individual. So books have a significant hand in the upbringing and education of a child (Barker, 2014).

Books are not only used for academics but also for entertainment and gaining knowledge on subjects and topics which are beyond the academics scope. Books are the primary tool of storytellers (Barker, 2014). Thousands of great stories are being conveyed to the whole world through books by people who have the sound quality of storytelling. A great many stories are told through books which can influence people from various generations. There are books whose stories are considered legendary making the writers legends (Barker, 2014).

In today’s modern world, a book can have the power to bring people from diverse backgrounds from all over the world together. Books have great influences on popular culture. For instance, the book series of Harry Potter written by J.K Rowling has created a phenomenon all over the world in the 21st century.  This particular story brought people together from all over the world. It influenced not only popular culture but also people in their personal lives (Barker, 2014).

Film and television are another media which has immense power over the mass (Seiter et al., 2013). Films are motion pictures which are created by people to visually show stories related to various aspects of life. Films are a source of entertainment for audiences as well as important messages which can educate and enlighten people. The film is both an art and a way of communication. Films have the power to inspire people. Films convey information in such a way that it leaves an impression in the mind of the audience. The visual representation helps people to understand a particular matter in a more descriptive way. Thus, movies have an immense effect on the mind of people. It can have both negative and positive effects (Seiter et al., 2013).

Films are of various types. It can depict historical events, science fictions, the life of people from foreign lands or a fictional story adapted from a book. People can learn about the history if they choose to watch a historical movie or can have a light hearted fun by watching a real drama portraying a good story (Seiter et al., 2013). Science fiction movies are also very popular, and it has created interests in science for people who previously did not understand topics related to science. Therefore, it is found that films have a major effect on the society. A film can have an influence on the culture of a place, or a particular culture can influence the movie makers.  For instance, movies have an effect on the way people perceive beauty. Movies have created a whole new definition of beauty and clothing. Films even set trends of the ongoing fashion (Seiter et al., 2013).

The Powers of Mass Media and Its Effects on Audiences

Television is also a visual medium. It is used to broadcast various types of programs through radio frequencies (Greenfield, 2014). Television can convey information through multiple channels which are at different frequencies. Television affects people on a more personal level. Television sets are a standard figure in a household. A home without a TV set is almost unimaginable. Thus, the information conveyed through television has a more direct relation to the viewers. Every person of a family from child to the elderly is almost addicted to television programs (Greenfield, 2014). Some programs leave a lifelong impression. For instance, animation programs watched by children have great effects on them. Some become memories of childhood. One of the most famous cartoons is Tom and Jerry. It is a funny story of a mouse and a cat which has won the hearts of not only children but even adults. Children who grew up watching this particular show still reminisce about the perks of the show (Greenfield, 2014).

Television programs depict not only stories but also news and relevant information. A person can be well informed about global situations which are taking place thousands of miles away. There are also programs which focus on educational topics or programs which are based on religious matters. The television is such a media which can relay information to a huge number of people on vastly diversified topics. Television influences our society and culture in a positive way. It provides people with useful information; it can educate people on the various subject matter, and it is a source of daily entertainment (Greenfield, 2014).

Television connects us to the world on a day to day basis. We acquire a broad range of information from television programs regarding not only local events but also global events. Televisions broadcast hundreds of channels simultaneously. These channels are often concerned with the particular area of interest. Channels such as discovery and animal planet broadcast programs which are based on science, innovation and animal life. There are hundreds of news channels which provide both local and global news every day. The television programs help a person to form a perspective of the whole world without even traveling to far reach of the earth (Peters, 2012).

Television can also be used to educate people of our society on the important issues that affect the people. The television is the easiest and quickest way to grab people's minds on topics that can be political, social, economic or even medical. People are not left in the dark on the events which are going on all around the world (Peters, 2012).

The Internet is the latest form of mass media which came to prominence from the 1990s (Dorogovtsev & Mendes, 2013). The Internet has an immense effect all over the world. Initially, the internet was only used in the West but over a period of few years, it has grown into a network of networks all over the world. The internet is used every day at a personal level as well as organizational level connecting the whole world into a network. The technologies used for Internet connections are advancing day by day which increased its used all over the world. The Internet has both positive and negative effects on people based solely on how it is used. If used in a proper positive way, its uses are endless. It can be used to research on any subject through World Wide Web, or can be used to send messages through emails. It can also be used for telephony at long distances, and it can be used to spread information such as news, ideas, and opinions to a vast audience (Dorogovtsev & Mendes, 2013). 

Print Media as a Tool for Information Dissemination

However, the internet also increased some harmful activities such as pornography, fraud, and other cyber crimes (Morozov, 2012). In spite of such detrimental effects, the internet is widely used because the positive aspects outweigh the negative outcomes. The Internet is utilized in a broad way which is improving the ways of work and life. The Internet has surpassed the intrigue of television. After the inception of the revolutionary television, the internet is the new best thing. It is used to connect with people from all over the world (Nakamura & Chow-White, 2013).

A very popular use of the internet is the social networking websites. These sites have brought the world into a single place. People from all over the world can now connect with people of their interests. The connection between people and celebrities has also grown due to social media. The entertainment business has reached new heights due to social media. It is setting trends through the social media which has a much greater mass of audience (Nakamura & Chow-White, 2013). It directly influences people all over the world. For instance, celebrities from Hollywood can connect with people living in the east which were never possible before. Although television connected people with the world, it was only unidirectional. Messages flowed from only one end. However, internet facilitated two ways communication. Now business men and women of the entertainment industry can communicate with people from all over the world (Nakamura & Chow-White, 2013).

The Internet boosted not only the show business but also other firms. Manufacturers can now sell their products online. The online shopping has become the new trend. People can buy anything from online shopping sites without compromising the quality or quantity of the products. The Internet is also used in the government sector and privet sectors. Banking has become easy all over the world due to the internet. The world economy is bound together through the internet (Nakamura & Chow-White, 2013).

The Internet is also a great tool in the field of academics. Students, as well as teachers, can get help from the internet regarding any subject which is there under the sun. Researchers rely on the internet for quality information regarding their subject of research. Every students and researcher alike get a platform to showcase their achievements through the internet. Their work can be spread to the academic community through the internet. People can not only read but can also take inspiration to work in a known field to generate new findings. Every day new data surpasses the old information regarding a particular topic. Researchers from all over the world are connected to form a global scientific community (Nakamura & Chow-White, 2013).

As the mass media holds such tremendous power to influence the lives of people in today’s modern world, its ethical obligations towards the people are pivotal (Collins, 2016). The people associated with any form of mass media must work within the parameters of social, political or economical ethics. The information which is conveyed to the mass through mass media must be firstly scrutinized for its negative or positive value before it reaches to the common people. The society’s notions of right or wrong regarding a particular information, idea or concept must be distinguished (Collins, 2016). People who are involved in the use of mass media to convey their findings or thoughts must evaluate the moral values of a society or culture before disclosing their opinions. Information and ideas must be rational and not just due to someone’s emotions. People should think about the interests of the common people rather than just viewing a particular topic with only one perspective (Collins, 2016). 

The Influence of Books on Education and Entertainment

Conclusion:

Information conveyed through must media should hold the truth in itself and should not have any negative affect towards the society, a group of people or any particular culture. Information must be viewed from all perspectives. People who are using mass media to share some information must be fair, honest and courageous in reporting, gathering and interpreting the information. The most important motto of the media is the public's right to know the truth. The common people deserve to know the facts related to the concerned topic. People must be accountable to their audiences who read, listen or view their messages or ideas.

The mass media owners should think about the betterment of the public's interest rather than their economic interests. The ideas conveyed through mass media should not create stereotypes which can have detrimental effects towards the society or any group of people. As the mass media has the power to influence and shape societies and cultures, it must be used in a rational, unbiased way so that the common people can get the benefits which come from mass communication rather than facing problems created by the mass communication. 

References:

Barker, H. (2014). Newspapers and English Society 1695-1855. Routledge.

Becker, L. B., & Schönbach, K. (2013). Audience responses to media diversification: Coping with plenty. Routledge.

Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2013). Science, new media, and the public. Science, 339(6115), 40-41.

Collins, A. (2016). A brief history of mass collaboration: How innovations over time have enabled people to work together more effectively. In Mass collaboration and education (pp. 31-42). Springer International Publishing.

Crowley, D., & Heyer, P. (2015). Communication in history: Technology, culture, society. Routledge.

Deibert, R. J. (2013). Parchment, printing, and hypermedia: Communication and world order transformation. Columbia University Press.

Dorogovtsev, S. N., & Mendes, J. F. (2013). Evolution of networks: From biological nets to the Internet and WWW. OUP Oxford.

Galician, M. L. (2013). Handbook of product placement in the mass media: New strategies in marketing theory, practice, trends, and ethics. Routledge.

Gentzkow, M., Petek, N., Shapiro, J. M., & Sinkinson, M. (2015). Do Newspapers Serve the State? Incumbent Party Influence on the US Press, 1869–1928. Journal of the European Economic Association, 13(1), 29-61.

Greenfield, P. M. (2014). Mind and media: The effects of television, video games, and computers. Psychology Press.

Howitt, D. (2013). The Mass Media & Social Problems (Vol. 2). Elsevier.

King, R., & Wood, N. (Eds.). (2013). Media and migration: Constructions of mobility and difference. Routledge.

Morozov, E. (2012). The net delusion: The dark side of Internet freedom. PublicAffairs.

Nakamura, L., & Chow-White, P. (Eds.). (2013). Race after the Internet. Routledge.

Peters, J. D. (2012). Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication. University of chicago Press.

Rice, R. E., & Atkin, C. K. (2012). Public communication campaigns. Sage.

Seiter, E., Borchers, H., Kreutzner, G., & Warth, E. M. (2013). Remote control: Television, audiences, and cultural power. Routledge.

Vivian, J., & Maurin, P. J. (2012). The media of mass communication. Pearson Canada.

Wimmer, R., & Dominick, J. (2013). Mass media research. Cengage learning.

Zillmann, D., & Bryant, J. (2013). Selective exposure to communication. Routledge.

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