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Mass Media

Page history last edited by Kate M. Fisher 15 years, 8 months ago


“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 and the Internet.” [1] Here is a video that decribes how some people feel about the different forms of mass media.




Newspapers were the first form of mass media. “Newspapers are usually published on a regular basis, such as every day, every week, or every month. By the late 1900's, Europe had more than 2,600 daily newspapers and Asia had more than 2,500. There were some 2,200 dailies in North America, more than 760 in South America, and fewer than 160 in Africa.” [2] Before radio, television, or even the Internet, newspapers served as the only form of media available to the common citizen. One of the drawbacks of the newspaper is that in-order to have your voice or opinion heard, you must have some sort of authority or power. I think A.J. Liebling said it best when he said, “Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one.” [5]





Television became a very important medium in the early 20th Century. Television is broadcasted using the same format as radio broadcasts, only now it is done visually.[3] The television is used as a form for  breaking news stories, and is able to break the news stories quicker than a newspaper could do. It also serves as a form of entertainment and enjoyment for the user. With all the good things that television brings, it also brings a lot of unconstructive things. Some of the programs on television are what some people would refer to as, “mind numbing”, and others would refer to as just plan inappropriate for television.






“The Internet emerged in the United States in the 1970's, but did not become visible to the general public until the early 1990's. By the beginning of the 21st century, approximately 360 million people, or roughly 6 percent of the world's population, were estimated to have access to the Internet.” [4] The Internet is not that different from the newspaper and the television, with the exception that it can almost instantly update information, where as the other two forms take a little while longer. This feature is what separates it from every other form of media. But yet again, this form of mass media has its downfalls too. With the Internet, the things you can do, see, or post are almost limitless. For example, you can do everything from send electronic messages (e-mails), to talking to someone that is on the other side of the world on a web cam, or even post pictures of you and your buddies drunk at a party. Another bad thing about the Internet is people pretending to be someone they are not and stealing someone’s identity, or even more extreme kidnapping. Some people do not like this the new technology, the Internet, or even computers for that matter. Mitch Ratliffe had this to say about this subject, "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history with the possible exception of handguns and tequila." (5) With new forms of technology, come new forms of responsibility.




Implications For Media Ecology

Mass Media has had major effects on Media Ecology today; some of the effects have been bad, while others have been good. Overall with the evolution of each new form of technology in Mass Media, came a better and sometimes faster way of communicating with one another.




[1] Lane, Beth. "What is Mass Media?." Suite 101.com. 3 Apr. 2008 <



[2] newspaper." Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 3 Apr. 2008 <



[3] television." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 3 Apr. 2008 <



[4] Internet." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 3 Apr. 2008 <



[5] Quotations About the Mass Media. 24 Apr. 2008 <



Additional Writing and Editting: Kate M. Fisher


Comments (7)

Jeff Martinek said

at 10:46 am on Sep 12, 2008


Opening quote is not distinctive enough to warrant quoting. Save featured quotes for really, really memorable or brilliant formulations that cannot be paraphrased without losing their meaning. The quote above does not qualify.

An example of a quote that DOES meet this criteria:

"The bigger the information media, the less courage and freedom they allow. Bigness means weakness." --Eric Sevareid

I found this at a site with memorable mass media quotes:
-- AdmiN (2008-04-07 18:10:19)

Jeff Martinek said

at 10:46 am on Sep 12, 2008

Or, even better:

"Television: Chewing gum for the eyes." -- Gore Vidal
-- AdmiN (2008-04-07 18:11:01)

Jeff Martinek said

at 10:46 am on Sep 12, 2008

I think that it would be good to include radio, photojournalism, and motion pictures in your discussion on mass media. The section on newspapers could use some more development, and you could tie in photojournalism with it. It could also relate to literacy, how it affected readership and maybe resulted in increased literacy (I'm not really sure on all the effects and can't think of specifics right now, sorry).
-- KathyRodine (2008-04-08 14:48:51)

Jeff Martinek said

at 10:46 am on Sep 12, 2008

I think it might be a good idea to link the forms, such as the television and radio with other wiki articles that are being done.
-- SarahAnderson (2008-04-17 20:11:12)

Jeff Martinek said

at 10:47 am on Sep 12, 2008

Also, I was wondering if you were going to add in the other forms of media, such and the books and radio. I liked that you mentioned the drawbacks of both the internet and television but I was wondering why you didn't mention how once the news is printed in the newspaper it's no longer news, it's history, that seems to be a major disadvantage for them.
-- SarahAnderson (2008-04-24 19:35:39)

Kate M. Fisher said

at 4:10 pm on Sep 15, 2008

I think it would be interesting to delve more into the Internet as a form of mass media. The Internet is used for numerous things from blogs, to podcasts, to message boards. I think that some of these topics could be more thoroughly explained, especially since they have become such a culture phenomenon in our society today. Maybe a bit of information regarding the history of mass media and how it came into existence would be informative, as well.

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