Definitions of Key Communication Concepts
Discuss about the Powers of Mass Media and the Effect of Media Content Consumption.
The history of the human communication started with the oral or spoken tradition. The dissemination of communication has progressed from the simple oral tradition to writing, print, the wired electronics to wireless electronic goods, and lastly the digital communication. Generally media refers to all the tools of mass communication including internet, television, newspapers, magazines, telephone and many more. The technological advancements have made the pictorial representations of messages possible through broadcasting as well (Perse & Lambe, 2016). Media images are now omnipresent in the modern culture. The media can provide any kind of news to the society, in fact, the influence of media has been so powerful that its impact can dominate any decision in the society. The society also depends on the media as the primary source of entertainment. Indeed, media image has a strong impact on both the society and individuals. Media provides the easiest mean of communication where people can connect to their relatives and from another part of the world as well (Labrecque et al., 2013). If the distinctive features of media are discussed from a sociological point of view, it can be seen that the impact of media is long established. This essay will detail on the distinctive features and effects of the mass media. It will also discuss the ethical implications of the content of media.
The communication process model can be broken down into few parts. The first stage of the model is the message which goes to the sender from the receiver through the communication channels. There are other concepts in the model that are encoding and decoding which is concerned with the understanding of the message (Lee, Lewis & Powers, 2014). When the sender originates a message which is supposed to reach the receiver, the destination of the message, through encoding the sender changes his/her thoughts into symbols and through decoding the receiver assigns the meaning to the symbols. In the communication process, the message refers to the thought or the opinion that is communicated. The channel is the medium which helps the message to travel from the sender to the receiver, and the feedback is the response to the message.
In this essay the primary focus is on the channels of communication which is media. The sender passes the communication through effective channels that reaches to the mass. Despite of having a large reach of the mass communication there is a huge drawback of the medium that there is no scope of feedback and there is no personal touch in the message (Shoemaker & Reese, 2013). However, there are a lot of biases in the media communication model while the information passes through the media channels. There are distribution of power and other influencing contents which impacts on the mass media as to what exactly to be concealed and revealed.
Elaboration of Key Concepts
All the mediums of mass media such as television, newspaper, films play a pivotal part in organizing and delivering all the symbols and signs which help people to understand and make sense out of the events in their respective surroundings in everyday life (Couldry, Livingstone & Markham, 2016). The focus of the interplay lies between the figurative dimensions of open communication and the traceable after effects. The way mass media portrays events, political issues or any real life story result into the act of developing an apparent reality in the minds of people, even sometimes in the subconscious as well. This development of events comes in several structures of thought organizations and can result in giving people a kind of sense of belonging to few fragments of society where this naturalization process happens. According to Gehlbach & Sonin (2014), the way, mass media communicates to people about certain events, have created diverse versions of world and highlighted the tendency of developing a convincing and perceived reality, especially when apparent actual events like natural disaster or mass murdering happen, compared t the outright fictitious events. However, several fictitious events carry impacts with consequences on the individuals. The past experience relatable to those issues that are portrayed through the media channels have an important impact in the shaping of thoughts, ideals and beliefs in people (Klinger & Svensson, 2015). The perceptive of the procedure of how the society evaluates and represents certain event or belief acts as the guide to the media business in order to convey the information with the proper elements, giving people their own way to interpret that what is going on in the world and the revolutions take place.
There are some issues in the industry that are privileged undoubtedly while several other issues are overlooked and entirely ignored in order to give the world an evaluative framework while judging through what the society have witnessed and recognized for the people learn about their rights, races, norms and the local and global affairs through the media channels (Lewis & Westlund, 2015). The channeling procedure involves the continues destruction and construction of the societal issues through the personalized interpretation of the world as stated through the mass media which is very much significant as the media interpretations are crucial to choose a standpoint representing a fragment of the society. However, there might be a complex relationship between the actual reality and the media representation and it is widely underestimated as sometimes it acts as an artificial illusion to break into the intellect of the society (McQuail & Windahl, 2015).
Power Possessed by Mass Media
From the beginning of the printing press in the year 1450, media contents have got a widespread exposure that has attributed to the changes in opinions of the society (Edwards & Cromwell, 2014). This has always been a matter of concern to the critics and academicians as they have emphasized the vulnerability of the certain age groups and how they can be misled by the deceptive interpretation of some contents, especially the major concern are the young ones who are not enough grown up for those exposure (Bagdikian, 2014). The effects of the mass media show that its impact exists and scholars have proven that it has affected the society in several ways. However, the researchers now emphasize on the qualitative measures of the media research that obscures the major link between the power history and its effects.
The mass media has been served as the method of communication, also a symbol to the general popularity. Its function is not only to entertain or amuse the society, but also to inform and inculcate the individuals with the beliefs and values and integrate them to the institutional formation of the larger society (Freedman, 2014). In the world of concentrated wealth and the major conflicts of own class interest, a systematic propaganda is required in order to fulfill the media roles. Especially in the countries where the power is in the hands of state bureaucracy, there is always a monopolistic control over the mass media and that is frequently supplemented by the official censorship and most obviously the media serve the dominant elite class through its implementations. However, where the media is private and the official censorship is not present, it is quite difficult to distinguish the propaganda system. Where the media dynamically compete and try to expose the governmental and corporate malfunction, it is more difficult to distinguish the propaganda (Howitt, 2013). The limited character of the critics and the disparity in the resources are not evident and that effects both on the access of the media system and its performance and behavior.
The elite dominance on the media and the marginalization of the dissenter can have outcome from the filtered operation and often that is operated for their own goodwill. The propaganda model explain the systematic bias in mass media and it can explain that how the society is manipulated by the power of mass media and the political and economic policies are manufactured in the minds of society because of their own propaganda (Curran, Smith & Wingate, 2013). The theory of propaganda model is proposed by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman and hypothesizes the way news is structured before the eyes of the society. According to this theory, there are filters that can manipulate the actual news to create a bias. For instance, in the early nineteenth century the British presses had designed its news on the basis of respectable and wealthy class, however post World War II there was a sense of diversity in the newspapers as they started questioning capitalist system (Devereux, 2013). According to the researchers in the earlier times, the newspapers were not at all constrained by the corporate ownership and they were entirely free in criticizing the capitalist system. Another filter that enhances the bias in the society using the power of media is through advertizing. Most of the newspapers have the urge to attract more advertizing to cover their cost of the production because without that the owner would have to increase the price of the products. Throughout the industry there is a severe competition to attract the advertisers because getting less advertisement would affect the business in a fierce manner and the newspapers can fall into serious disadvantage for that. In fact, sourcing also work as another filter because all the media houses cannot afford to have reporters across the globe so they do not have any other option other than trusting their news sources from the significant places (Kellner, 2015). Thus media houses have to trust the sources from the corporate houses and they are quite unwilling to harm the corporate interests. The factor, flak, as described by the researchers the negative reaction to the media statement can be a major reason for the media houses to create a bias.
In the media industry, there is always a powerful opinion that the influencing factor not only lies the in the respective capabilities of the organization but also in the presenting the information to the society, however, the process of gate-keeping involves all these factors that filter and disseminate the information before conveying them to public (Pavlik, 2013). Thus the mass media uses its power to manipulate and influence the thought processes of the society.
The historical evidences suggest that the rulers and leaders have always taken control of the publications of materials that are being catered to the mass. If traced back the purpose of this process is to make the oppositional powers silent that can be harmful to their powers. One effectual strategy has been the inclusion of fear of the assumed consequences of the messages that are being conveyed to the society. This includes several effective stages to suppress the freedom of the press, censoring the media contents, broadcast of the favorable data for the ruling parties and many more. This concept is not new in the modern mass media, rather than has started ever since the beginning of the printing press. In the mid sixteenth century, the Pope had issued the list of prohibited books where the books published from the protestant churches were banned (Greenhow & Gleason, 2014). In the modern times, the television, newspapers and other media all contribute to manipulate the development of the perception of and increase the opportunities of embedding the desired agenda in the public mind. There are a lot of ambiguous messages that are conveyed to the mass through the media channel. There can be different interpretations of the perceptions, ultimate actions and beliefs. Mass media also possess the persuasive power through the public relation campaigns and advertisements and other programs that are very much hidden in nature to inject the contents into the public mind. Sometimes media has deliberately used to shape the religious and racial controversies that create a sense of fear that is desired by the rulers who are in control.
Media contents are always carefully filtered before they are exposed in front of public as it is expected to have a huge impact on the society. In the United States mass media is used for the election campaigns, propagations and as the significant channel for transmitting important messages to the society. It is also used to gather public support as they are the primary determinant of who is going to be in power. It is significant to notice that most of the agendas are set by people through diverse perceptions and that has a huge impact on the agendas taken by the media as well. In United States, the alleged murderer of President Kennedy was featured in the Life Magazine cover and media manipulated the mass through reporting on his life and huge controversies started forming in the mass and Americans were totally convinced that he is the murderer (Christians et al., 2015). The controversy went up to this level, that the wife of Lee Harvey Oswald, the murderer, came on national television and confessed that she also believed that her husband is the one who committed the crime. This portrayal of the assassination of the President in the United States is one of the instances that how mass media has the capability of manipulating the public mind. This is one of the major reasons that the media has taken control of several events in recent times.
In the competitive world of mass media, the media professionals point out that there are several ethical issues rise while delivering the media content considering the influences on the media houses. Academicians frequently define ethics as the set of principles or moral. However, ethics can be absolute or situational. In terms of mass media, ethics is defined as a set of practices and principles that are articulated in a code for the media professional and help them act responsibly (Franklin, 2014). Most of the codes refer to the principle of seeking the actual truth avoiding the conflict of interest and minimizing the harm to people. When the leaders and ruling parties use the power of media, the media contents somehow get manipulated and it becomes a toll for the political powers. However, the freedom of press is quite inevitable in the democracy, but there are several unwritten rules that govern the power of press, may be silently or in open.
Conclusion and Recommendation
It is beyond doubt that the mass media has the capability in influencing the mind of people and it has much more capability beyond acting as a medium of communication between the mass and the government as frequently the power of media content is underestimated. The mass media serves to the larger benefit of the political power who most of the time acts as the owners of the media industry in different parts of the world. However, it is the primary responsibility of mass media to empower the mass by enabling them in exploring the place of interest and it should support the identities of different sections of the society and sustain the functioning of necessary organizations which is important for the group interest. It should create the conditions for the real societal agreement on the basis of open argument of differences than the artificial agreement basing on the elite dominance.
Bagdikian, B. H. (2014). The new media monopoly: A completely revised and updated edition with seven new chapters. Beacon Press.
Christians, C. G., Fackler, M., Richardson, K., Kreshel, P., & Woods, R. H. (2015). Media ethics: Cases and moral reasoning. Routledge.
Couldry, N., Livingstone, S., & Markham, T. (2016). Media consumption and public engagement: Beyond the presumption of attention. Springer.
Curran, J., Smith, A., & Wingate, P. (2013). Impacts and Influences: Media Power in the Twentieth Century. Routledge.
Devereux, E. (2013). Understanding the media. Sage.
Edwards, D., & Cromwell, D. (2014). Guardians of power: the myth of the liberal media. Lulu Press, Inc.
Franklin, B. (2014). The Future of Journalism: In an age of digital media and economic uncertainty.
Freedman, D. (2014). The contradictions of media power. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Gehlbach, S., & Sonin, K. (2014). Government control of the media. Journal of Public Economics, 118, 163-171.
Greenhow, C., & Gleason, B. (2014). Social scholarship: Reconsidering scholarly practices in the age of social media. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(3), 392-402.
Howitt, D. (2013). The Mass Media & Social Problems (Vol. 2). Elsevier.
Kellner, D. (2015). Media spectacle and the crisis of democracy: Terrorism, war, and election battles. Routledge.
Klinger, U., & Svensson, J. (2015). The emergence of network media logic in political communication: A theoretical approach. New media & society, 17(8), 1241-1257.
Labrecque, L. I., vor dem Esche, J., Mathwick, C., Novak, T. P., & Hofacker, C. F. (2013). Consumer power: Evolution in the digital age. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27(4), 257-269.
Lee, A. M., Lewis, S. C., & Powers, M. (2014). Audience clicks and news placement: A study of time-lagged influence in online journalism. Communication Research, 41(4), 505-530.
Lewis, S. C., & Westlund, O. (2015). Actors, actants, audiences, and activities in cross-media news work: A matrix and a research agenda. Digital Journalism, 3(1), 19-37.
McQuail, D., & Windahl, S. (2015). Communication models for the study of mass communications. Routledge.
Pavlik, J. V. (2013). Innovation and the Future of Journalism. Digital journalism, 1(2), 181-193.
Perse, E. M., & Lambe, J. (2016). Media effects and society. Routledge.
Shoemaker, P. J., & Reese, S. D. (2013). Mediating the message in the 21st century: A media sociology perspective. Routledge.
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
My Assignment Help. (2018). Powers Of Mass Media And The Effect Of Media Content Consumption. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/powers-of-mass-media-and-the-effect-of-media-content-consumption.
"Powers Of Mass Media And The Effect Of Media Content Consumption." My Assignment Help, 2018, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/powers-of-mass-media-and-the-effect-of-media-content-consumption.
My Assignment Help (2018) Powers Of Mass Media And The Effect Of Media Content Consumption [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/powers-of-mass-media-and-the-effect-of-media-content-consumption
[Accessed 03 March 2024].
My Assignment Help. 'Powers Of Mass Media And The Effect Of Media Content Consumption' (My Assignment Help, 2018) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/powers-of-mass-media-and-the-effect-of-media-content-consumption> accessed 03 March 2024.
My Assignment Help. Powers Of Mass Media And The Effect Of Media Content Consumption [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 03 March 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/powers-of-mass-media-and-the-effect-of-media-content-consumption.