The role and functions of the mass media are frequently a subject of debate in modern societies and critically asses a range of theories of their influence on beliefs and behaviors. From the beginning of 15th century with the development of media, It had the simple meaning of communication, which used tools to produce, store and deliver information. Later, society witnessed new ways of spreading more types of information as in data, image, sound and communication tools between people.
Modalities to share information developed and ease the amount and quality of material delivered to us today. Mass media has a major impact on society, and triggered vary reactions form communities, by delivering information about other societies, and made possible access to information, which once seemed impossible to detain. As a natural reaction, media effects had been theorized by classifying different reasons and targets in societies.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
It Is Impossible to underestimate the Impact of Modern Mass Media on every single person, and a society as a whole. We all know that news programs on TV provide us with the current events going on worldwide; however, It Is already a fact that the same events are Interpreted and hon. differently In different countries. Before the news can be shown on TV they are edited in order to satisfy audience’s needs. Thus, it is possible to say, that a process of “inventing reality’ does really exists.
The main pivot recorded as media, started in 1 5th century, when media theory was based on what was called the Printing press, which emerged into a limited but continuous development. According to Barman modernity in media was a phenomenon which took place in three conventional phases mentioned below. (Barman 1982, 16-17). But what is in fact mass media and what is it based on? Media technologies diversified In order to reach a large audience on mass communication.
By broadcasting radio, recorded music, film and television It meant mass production of electronic devices for people. These events were recorded In early modernity between 1500-1789 (or 1453-1789 in traditional historiography), followed by classical modernity recorded between 1789-1900, (corresponding to the long 19th century, 1914 as the last date in Hobnail’s scheme) and late modernity which was recorded at the end of the ass’s.
Devices that were used to broadcast information were lassie by the era that were invented and produced on a mass scale as listed: print (late 1 5th century, books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines), recording (gramophone records, magnetic tapes, cartridges), cinema (1 900), radio (1910), television (1950), computers (1 980), internet (Bibb mobile phones (2000). In the late 20th Century, mass media could be classified Into eight mass media industries: books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, radio, movies, television and the Internet.
With the explosion of dealt communication technology In the late 20th and early 1 SST centuries, the question of what forms of media should be classified as “mass media” has become more prominent. For example, it is controversial whether to a classification called the “seven mass media” became popular and there was a strong debate of the interaction of the latter technology in society. (Anyone, 2008). Overall knowing what media and what does it involve in order to deliver it to the masses, creates vary effects on society, backed by sociological theories.
The four main theoretical approaches to the study of mass media are: functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interaction and the postmodern media theory. From the mid-twentieth century functionalism was focusing “on the ways in which the media helps to integrate and bind societies together” (Giddiness 2009, IPPP). This approach talks about the social functions of media helping to stabilize the social system, finding helpful the information received through news, video images, radio, newspapers, and so do on; information that gives us the knowledge we need in our day to day life.
Correlation is understood as the way the media explains to us all, the information that has been transmitted. A next stage introduces the continuity, which is the role hat media plays on showing a dominant culture and the social developments by creating common values. An important role is the entertainment, and here media helps as a release valve of the everyday pressures by giving amusement and diversion. Last, but not the least, invigilation is when media can be used to encourage people to help in crisis moments (economic, social, moral).
An example is the use of media to raise funds for different charities by creating a public appeal, which has the idea of raising funds for individuals in need of medical or financial support. The functionalist theory seems to be nothing more than an explanation on he way media is given to us and the ideal way it should interact with the recipient of information, but does not give any clues on how is received or how it could influence or modify people. This theory implies that the audience is a passive subject that has no other reaction as to the one the media wants to give.
The conflict theories explains the way media can manipulate the viewer when mass media corporation own the information channels that we use (political economy approach) and studies the effects of mass media on the population and society (the culture industry). The main remises of the political economy approach, is that our main sources of information and entertainment are owned by a small number of people that create a sort of information monopoly biased by the interests of a few.
According to this theory the information we receive would ultimately be what they want to give us, minimizing any other point of view that would not help their cause. This cannot be verified entirely, just by looking at the freedom of speech or sharing information. Culture theory has its roots on the Frankfurt School of critical theory that has Theodore Adorn as one of its more influential writers. This school of thought considered the effects of mass media on culture and public, states that all the messages and information we, as viewers receive are permeating the way we think and at the end is changing our individuality.
A mass society, where people all around the world has the same values and the same interest is being formed by receiving the same standardized information on what is good, bad, cool, in, etc. With these theories, it can be seen that the recipient of the information is always a passive subject that cannot make his own mind or think anything else than what “someone else” wants him/her to think. This implies that the mass media people do not allow any free will from people and we 2009).
As a strong reaction, symbolic interactions perspective opposed to the previous theories, and believes that even though media gives us information we, as viewers, interact with the messages and create a dialogue between others and ourselves which ultimately modify our way of life. This means that it considers the recipient of the information as an active participant that is engaging in moral and political debates, which makes it all more real and approachable.
In the postmodern RA, Baudelaire and his idea of hyperthermia, admits that in today’s world, where electronic media has made everything available to us as it is happening, has transformed the way we perceive things that come to us through television or the internet. We no longer Just see the messages but they actually become real only when we see them through the mass media channels. In other words, we believe things because they appear on television, no matter the message.
Mclean expresses the idea of medium as message, focusing on the type of media that we are using, where Frankfurt School saw modern media as a threat to cultural development ND its products. But where do society stand as the audience in between all these theories? People perceive the information given according to their own cultural background. It cannot be missed the fact that not all societies from the modern era are at the same level. With only 18% of people having access to internet, it cannot be stated what is the level of sharing information to the masses.
However, as everything in the world is influenced by something, mass media is also being influenced, which makes it lose the main purpose which it serves. It is well-known that by means of ass media people’s behavior and beliefs can be adapted to the goals of certain individuals or organizations. However, the dramatic effect of mass media may seem small at the first sight, because it is a long slow process of adding up necessary information in order to modify public opinion.
From my point of view, the main function of mass media should be Just the reflection of reality, without any interpretations, adaptations and other means of misleading the people. With the development of such sciences as psychology and political science, politicians and other authoritative individuals have learned how to control people’s minds by means of mass media. Although a lot of states claim to be democratic and have the freedom of speech, some sort of censorship is still being exercised there.
That is why the same events are reflected differently in different countries. This is done in order to satisfy the interests of governmental officials, who strive to gain as much power over people as possible. It seems natural, Just because it is what government was created for, to control the people. However, it is not politically correct, when a country is democratic, but implements undemocratic assure in order to broadcast information.