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Mass media - Social Sciences

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Mass media
What does mass media mean?
Mass media: Form of communication that reaches large audiences, including newspapers, magazines, books, television, cinema and the internet
What are the differences between print, broadcast and electronic media?
Print= NewspapersBroadcast= Television and radioElectronic= Internet
How have changes in communications technology transformed the media in the last 30 years?
Why has there been a decline in newspaper readership in the last 25 years?
In a world that has an increasing amount of negativity, people feel that reading the newspaper only drags their mood down. People would rather not know about what is happening in the world if the news is negative.
The increasing availability of news stories on websites like Facebook and Twitter mean that people can rely on the internet for information. Another massive factor related to this is that newspaper companies now have apps for mobile phones meaning that people don’t have to go out to buy a newspaper to find out what’s happening in the world.
People are now busier than ever before. Adults are working longer hours and the younger generations are spending more and more time in education. This increasingly busy lifestyle means that people have very little time to sit down and read a newspaper.
Different newspapers report events in different ways. For example, some papers portray some political parties positively whilst other papers portray the same party negatively. This leads people to become confused about what is really happening in society therefore people opt out completely as they don’t know what to believe.
How have household TV viewing habits changed since the 1990s?
85% of homes in the UK have at least one digital television.TV viewing has increased since the 1990s because digital television allows for a much wider variety of channels meaning that everyone can find something on TV to suit their needs.However, it could be argued that growth of other digital devices such as mobile phones and I-pads means that the amount of people that watch television is starting to decline.
How widespread is internet use?
The internet has now taken over TV and Radio as the most powerful form of media in the entire world.Statistics:91% of households in the UK have internet accessInternet use is higher in younger peopleAdvertisers spend more money on internet adverts than TV adverts
What is the digital divide?
The digital divide shows how some groups are restricted and have very little access to new media.
What is the ‘hypodermic syringe’ approach?
This model suggests that theaudience passivelyaccepts the message ‘injected’ into them by the mass media.This model believes that there is a DIRECT correlation between the violent behaviour shown on TV, computer gamesetcand anti-social and criminal behaviour in real life.EXAMPLES INCLUDE THE JAMIE BULGER CASE AND BANDURA’S STUDY OF THE CHILDREN AND THE BOBO DOLL
What is the ‘uses and gratifications’ approach?
What is the ‘decoding’ approach?
This approach suggests that the content of a particular television programme has several possible meanings. It may, therefore be decoded or interpreted in a number of different ways by different people.The decoding theory suggests that the audience isnot“passive”.How we decode a particular programme is shaped by our cultural and social backgrounds, our age, gender and ethnicity. How we actually respond to the programme’s messages depends on what type of person we are.
What is deviancy amplification?
Deviancy amplification:The way the media may actually create or make worse the problems they report.
What are ‘moral panics’ and give examples of their related ‘folk devils’?
Moral panic:A wave of public concern about some exaggerated or imaginary threat to society, stirred up by exaggerated and sensationalised reporting in the mass media.Examples:The moral panic about the violence amongst teenagers. The folk devils were the MODS and the ROCKERSThe moral panic about children using the internet. The folk devil is middle aged men who use social networking sites being seen as potential child abusers and paedophiles
Why might Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of so much of the media be a problem?
With Rupert Murdoch owning so much of the media many sociologists are concerned that all stories reported will be bias in favour of his own social and political views.Murdoch will use the following techniques:Propaganda- selecting certain information to give you an image about something.Censorship- Preventing certain images from becoming public knowledge.Bias- favouring one side of a view on a debate.Spin- Managing the content to make things look better than they are.Gatekeeper- the person in control of content.Norm referencing- The media represent some groups in a positive light and some groups in a negative light e.g. Greenpeace are always portrayed negativelyAgenda setting- The media set the agenda of public discussion by including some stories and people’s views but not others.
What is the pluralist approach to media ownership and content?
Pluralists believe that the audience are given what they want in the media. For example, reality TV shows have become hugely popular over the last 10 years and as a result there has been increasing amount of them on a variety of channels.Pluralists argue that media owners do not influence the content of what the audience is presented in the media.There are a huge variety of different television shows, radio programmes, websites, newspapersetcthat cater for everyone’s tastes and opinions
We, as members of the public, have market power. This means we can switch newspapers if we are unhappy with the content. This means newspapers have to give us what we want- not what they want!
There is freedom to set up new newspapers if the ones in existence don't meet our needs. People can make their own newspaper, websiteetcif they are not happy with the ones that already exist
aOna day-to-day basis, the owners do not worry about the content it is often the job of newspapers editors and journalists. Editors and journalists what to give the audience a story that they will spend money to read
What is the conflict approach to media ownership and content?
Based on the theory of Marxism (rich company owners known as bourgeoisie control society)The owners of newspapers (bourgeoisie) put their own personal views and interests across in the media. This helps them to maintain power in society.The bourgeoisie use the terms previously discussed on the Murdoch slide to control the ideas of the public
In 1982 media owner Rupert Murdoch sacked editor Harry Evans for including stories in the newspaper which went against the political party that Murdock supported.
The biggest media companies are actually owned by only a very small amount of people. For example the company Trinity Mirror (owned by one person) has 155 newspapers, and more than 200 websites. Many believe that the owner directly controls what goes into the newspapers they sell.
What is agenda setting?
Agenda setting- The media set the agenda of public discussion by including some stories and people’s views but not others.
What is gatekeeping?
Gatekeeper- the person in control of content.Gatekeeping- letting certain stories be shown in the news but not others
What is norm referencing?
Norm referencing- The media represent some groups in a positive light and some groups in a negative light e.g. Greenpeace are always portrayed negatively
How do news values affect the content of the news?
Newspapers know that in order to make a profit they need to include stories that are “newsworthy”.Gatekeeperswill consider possible stories and decide if they have enough news values to be newsworthy. If they do then they will be included because it is likely to make people buy the newspaper and thus increase profits (the profit motive)News values include:Immediacy- Is the event a recent occurrence? e.g. it happened today or yesterdayHigher status- Is the event about elite people or ‘celebs’?Dramatisation- Is the event full of excitement?Violence- Does the event contain spectacular visible forceful behaviour?Risk- Is the event victim centred based on their vulnerability and fear?
How does profit motive, advertisers, the government and legal constraints affect the content of the news?
Profit motive:Newspapers are sold by a business and all businesses want to make a profit. This means that newspapers need to include stories that will “sell” their newspaper. This is the profit motive.Advertisers:Advertisers are an important source of revenue for newspapers. Sometimes advertisers can have an impact on the stories presented in the news e.g. The Daily Mirror stopped reporting negative stories about Tesco and the horse meat scandal when Tesco threatened to stop working with the Mirror.The government and legal constraints:We know that the media exaggerate the truth but it is illegal for them to just make stories up. The media are subject to laws of libel, which prevent the publication of false statements that could damage a persons reputation.
What does political socialisation mean?
The process via which we acquire our political values, beliefs and preferences.Reading a certain newspaper can “socialise” us into following a particular political party
What influence does the mass media have on voting behaviour?
Politicians may side with a particular newspaper as they know that newspapers can effectively “politically socialise” the audience into supporting a certain party and disliking other parties. The media will rely on certain newspapers to“spin”stories in their favour andagenda setissues that portray their political party favourably.
How does the mass media help people in the creation of their identity?
Identity refers to how we see ourselves and how other people see us.Even thought we may not realise it, we make choices throughout our lives which shape our identity.Individuals may make choices about clothing, jewellery, hairstyle, tattoos, piercings, leisure activitiesetcall because of what they see in the media.
How does the internet help empower people politically?
Individuals or groups can use the internet to broadcast their political opinions.This could be on social networking sites, through videos on YouTube, setting up a webpageetcThis can range from the Prime Minister to individuals trying to start their own political party.
How does the internet help the growth of pressure groups?
The internet is the most powerful tool used by pressure groups.A pressure group is:Groups of people with a shared interest in getting the government to change the law in certain areas. Pressure groups can range from a small group of individuals to a network of millionsHow pressure groups use the media:Getting the public to sign online petitionsRunning a publicity campaign with adverts on the internetPublishing promotional literature onlineOrganising marches, demonstrations and strikes on social networking sites likefacebookand twitter
How are ethnic minorities represented in the media?
How are men and women represented in the media?
How are old and young people represented in the media?
Children are represented in a positive way e.g.CuteAs stylish miniature adultsAs being articulate and clever
Youths (teenagers) are portrayed in a negative way by the media e.g.VandalsFailures in educationLacking employment prospects
Older people are also presented in quite negative ways e.g.GrumpyDisabledMentally challengedA burden to families
What role does the media play in moral panics and deviancy amplification?
Stage 1A criminal or deviant act is performed
Stage 2The media reports the act in an exaggerated fashion and create a “folk devil”
Stage 3The public become concerned about the “folk devil” because of the sensational mediareporting
Stage 4The public’s concern leads to the police cracking down harshly and stereotyping anyone that looks similar to the originaloffender
Stage 5Groups in society that have been labelled as the “folk devil” become upset at the harsh treatment they are receiving so rebel back against society by committing crime (deviance amplification).
What are the current debates about dangers of media and internet for children?
A criminal minority make use of the internet and chatrooms to make contact with young people with the intention of developing relationships which they can progress to sexual activity. Paedophiles will often target a child, posing as a young person with similar interests and hobbies in order to establish an online 'friendship'.Cyber Bullying – whether by internet, mobile phone or any other method – is another aspect of the use of new technologies that provide an anonymous method by which bullies can torment theirvictimsOne of the key risks of using the internet, email or chatrooms is that young people may be exposed to inappropriate material. This may be material that is pornographic, hateful or violent in nature
Can you give 3 recent examples from the news that relate to anything above?
You have to watch/read the news to be able to do this!





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Mass media - Social Sciences