Mass media includes print media like newspaper and magazines, electronic media like radio, television and video and new age digital media like internet, blogs and mobile phones. To know the origin and history of media, we should know the growth and evolution of mass media.
History and Origin of Mass Media
History of mass media can be traced back to the early days of dramas that were performed in various cultures. However, the term Mass Media originated with the print media that was also its first example. The first newspaper was printed in China 868 A.D, but due to the high cost of paper and illiteracy amongst people, it didn't prosper.
Regarding the origin of the Mass Media, Europe can boast to be the primary source. It was Johannes Gutenberg, who for the first time printed a book in a printing press in 1453.
Gradually, during the period post-Second World War, radio, television and video were introduced. The audio-visual facilities became very popular as they provided information and entertainment. Of late, it is the Internet which has become the latest and most popular of the mass media. Here, information has been generated through various websites and search engines. One can play games, listen to radio while working and chat with friends and relatives, irrespective of location. It also gives information on various topics such as literature, politics, science, sports, fashion, movies, education, career, jobs, etc., similar to other types of mass media.
Thus, due to the progress of science and technology, history of media has evolved and reached the present-day world of internet, cellular phones, blogs, podcast and RSS feeds.
Pros and Cons of Mass Media
Mass media enjoys a very prominent role in our lives. There are various effects of mass media on the society at large. Media tends to influence and it's obvious, there are positive as well as negative influences of mass media. However, it also depends upon the way audiences perceive things. The power of the mass media is by far recognized by everybody in terms of advertising, marketing and as a medium to broadcast information to people at large. Since mass media is used to communicate and interact with people from various walks of life, it can often result in a conflict of options. Print media (magazines, newspapers, brochures, press releases, newsletters, etc), electronic media (television, radio etc) and the Internet are all part of mass media. Today, mass media can give a person phenomenal exposure and this can result in various effects of the mass media on the society. However, have you paused to think about the pros and cons of mass media? Well, one cannot blame a particular medium because of outside influences. Here, we shall take a look at such advantages and disadvantages of mass media.
Pros of Mass Media:
- The wide reach offered by mass media is phenomenal. It can target a global audience.
- In terms of newspapers and magazines, it can reach a specified target group. Besides, it is easily accessible. For example, the newspaper lands on the doorstep and we have the latest news in our drawing rooms due to the television set.
- Certain types of media have a loyal fan following. This would mean that an advertiser, publication or news channel would have a ready audience.
- We have the latest news and information at the click of the mouse! The Internet is such a medium that it can give many options for the kind of information required.
- Television, movies, Internet and the radio are some of the best forms of entertainment.
- Mass media can be used for educational purposes in an effective manner.
Cons of Mass Media:
- At times, the information reported may not be authentic from every angle. Hence, there may be a misinterpretation of a situation.
- News can be manipulated to influence the minds of the audiences. For example - a particular political party may manipulate reports in their favor, which would indicate the political control in the media.
- Media bias can occur due to various issues. A journalist or an editor may give personal preference to an issue.
- A particular event or a celebrity may receive undue importance and set wrong ideals before the youth. It may present an ostentatious lifestyle, which may inculcate wrong ideals amongst youngsters.
- Unnecessary sensationalism of an issue may project wrong information to the public.
- Misleading messages may again divert young minds towards a wrong path.
- Wrong interpretation of news may even blow things out of proportion. This would create further unrest in any place or even violence in case of extreme situations.
- At times, a particular event or news item may receive too much attention simply because of the lack of important news or snippets. This would again present a wrong idea before the public.
- Certain types of mass media such as newspapers or leaflets have a very short shelf life. In terms of advertising, it would not serve to be useful for every kind of product or message.
These were some of the pros and cons of mass media. Ultimately, it always depends upon the individual and the way a particular message is perceived for a positive influence of the mass media!
Mass Media Influence
How does mass media influence society? Mass media is one of the far reaching forms of communication and is fast changing the way we see, do and understand things. Here's an article on the influence of mass media.
How does mass media influence society? Before answering this question, perhaps it is pertinent that we address the question: what is mass media?
Understanding Mass Media
Statistics show that there are few things which impact the human mind more than mass media. The advice of teachers, parents and relatives may fall on deaf ears, but the mass media influence holds us all spellbound! At this point, it becomes necessary to define mass media.
Mass media may be defined as any form of communication which is meted out to the people at large, through the various forms of communication. What modes of communication are we talking about? Well there can be no static definition for the channels of mass communication as they are increasing all the time. But any form of communication which is seen and understood by a large mass of people can be taken to mean mass communication or mass media channels.
Why is mass media so attractive to people? Mass media holds a kind of mystique in the minds of the people. It is because the communication is designed in such a way that it appeals to a larger demographic segment. The test of a good mass communication marketing drive is to see if it gets the people talking. If it does, then not only does it mean that the advertising drive has been successful, but the organization in charge of the mass communication is also getting publicity by the word-of-mouth channel!
Mass Media Influence
It is hard to argue with the fact that mass media has a compelling effect on the human mind. Especially on minds which are more impressionable. For example, the mass media influence on children is understandably higher than it is in adults. So how exactly does mass media influence us?
Mass Media Influence on Youth
There is a burgeoning need amongst the youth to be accepted as a part of a group, to be popular, to have friends and relationships with people of the opposite sex etc. Mass media experts understand this need of the people and hence they come out with advertisements on TV, or in the newspapers, or on websites on how people can be more popular using a certain product. Most advertisements you see which are aimed at the youth generally talk about the 'cool quotient' of the product and how it is going to be the next 'in-thing'. And if you want to stay ahead of the game, it is absolutely vital that you procure it. The visual effect, seeing the things happen in front of you and the slice-of-life effect makes them look a lot believable than they should be.
So how should mass media be used with youth? Mass media, effective as it is, can be used on the youth to drive home pressing concerns in the country. Child obesity, the dangers of alcohol and preteen sexual relations, importance of exercise and fitness etc. If these things can be done, the mass media will be able to influence the youth for the better and send better messages for the development of the youth than what it is sending today.
Mass Media Influence on Adults
Like children and youth, mass media influences adults too, although perhaps not on the same scale. Most adults with a platonic view of things will resist the temptation of being buoyed up by what the mass media has to offer. While men usually find it difficult to hold themselves back in the face of the allure of sexuality. Other subjects which also appeal to men are financial security and a luxurious hassle-free lifestyle. Women on the other hand are more tempted towards products which guarantee immunity from aging altogether and not just what the previous generation called 'aging gracefully'.
Mass media can yet be used constructively to teach the adults about the importance of insurance, financial education and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If mass media seems to interest you, read on.
Media Censorship: Why is Censorship Good
The media is a commanding entity that influences people of all ages, whether they're kids or grownups. Let's explore the reasons why media censorship should be exercised..
Media censorship has been greatly exercised in our day and age, because of its highly revealing content that can infuriate those it may offend, or influence others by its immoral message. There is always some kind of censorship involved, especially in countries where it is strictly prohibited by the government or concerned agencies, that strive to keep viewing-audiences away from such material. Children and young adults are those that are greatly affected by the media, and censorship is something that needs to be regularized before this audience.
Arguments in Support of Censorship
We'll now get into the reasons of why is censorship good and something all countries must practice even if the system is liberal like in the United States and others like it.
When it comes to derogatory music related to religion or other sensitive issues, it is usually banned from being aired on the radio, with only pirated sites being able to view these as downloads. Even profane lyrics are silenced to avoid listeners from hearing abusive content. Usually music artists record two versions of the same song, one in its explicitness and the other in a clean format. Genres are treated differently depending on what the lyrics convey. The more controversial the song, the higher the chances of the band / musician suffering from severe censorship rules.
There are certain authors who pen down details of an unstable topic, aggravating readers who find it going against their belief system or culture. Like the infamous Salman Rushdie who's book spurred not just anger and a censorship in India banning the distribution of his books, but a rage against the author to a point of driving him out of his own country. He now takes refuge beyond its borders for fear of being killed by the opposition. Certain books when they cross a fine line between what is acceptable and what is not, are often banned from readers and public circulation.
Certain content is withheld from public viewing simply because content shown is of an explicit and obscene nature, that must be monitored before viewing. Some censor boards allow the movie / documentary / television series to be viewed although blurring or cutting out the part in the sequence of events. Children and those who are too young to watch the said graphic material, aren't allowed to dabble in such immoral content. There is a 'Parental Guidance' warning with even age-specific messages for a movie,which is a practice for adults to monitor television time. Even some websites have these before one ventures forward into its content.
Internet / Magazines
Certain countries ban the distribution of magazines that feature pornographic content, including those like Penthouse and Playboyfor their vulgarity and openness towards the exposed human body through print. The Internet is a behemoth in our present media age, and the content that it provides (some of which is freely viewable) is questionable and extremely uncouth. Child pornography is a major industry that is a red alert area for the government and censorship boards, where usually these sites are either banned or shut down for good. Other kind of content that features sexual material like bedroom "toys", nude advertisements and imagery are all under control in countries that severely go against such content.
Media censorship needs to be exercised to a great extent, given the situation the world is in when it comes to such shady arenas. When keeping the young in mind, one is forced to imply such rules where even otherwise it is abhorrent to put on display