It is a collective phrase that represents not only the press,cinema, radio, television and internet, but also to some extent,books magazines, pamphlets , direct mail literature, posters,folk media, and natural communication methods such as rumours,education and preaching. It is so termed because its reach extendsto vast heterogeneous populations. Generally the mass media employtechnological means to communicate to the masses. They are foundedon the idea of mass production and distribution. Wiebedefined mass media as those readily available to the general public.
Theories of mass communication have alwaysfocused on the "causeand effects" notion, i.e. the effects of the media and theprocess leading to those effects, on the audience's mind. Harold Lasswell and Berelsonhave succinctly expressedthis idea. Lasswell's essential question istimeless (1949):"" Berelson said: "."(1949).
- Research papers on an Intro to Mass Communication delve into the field of study that provides an overview of mass media in the United States, its background, role, function, effect and current issues.
This theory is derived from the ideologies of Marx and Engelthat "the ideas of the ruling classes are the ruling ideas". It was thought that the entire mass media wassaturatedwith bourgeois ideology. Lenin thought of private ownership as beingincompatiblewith freedom of press and that modern technological means ofinformation must be controlled for enjoying effective freedomof press.
Mass media campaigns are widely used in Australia and elsewhere to promote physical activity among adults. Neighbourhood walkability is consistently shown to be associated with walking and total activity. Campaigns may have different effects on individuals living in high and low walkable neighbourhoods.
Feedback, a term form cybernetics, the study of messages. It refersto an inquiry, response or experiment. Feedback can be positive(when the required result is achieved) or negative; instantaneous(whenthe response is immediate) or delayed. Feedback is used to gaugethe effectivenss of a particular message put forth or situationthat has taken place.
Play is an activity pursued for pleasure. Thedaily withdrawalof people into the mass media in their after hours is a matterof subjectivity. The effect of mass communication is notescapismnor seducing the masses. Rather it is seen as anti-anxiety producing,and are regarded as communication-pleasure.
The main mediating factors which he considersresponsible forthe functions and effects of mass communications are
- selectiveexposure i.e., people's tendency to expose themselves to thosemass communications which are in agreement with their attitudesand interests; and
- selective perception and retentioni.e., people'sinclination to organize the meaning of mass communication messagesinto accord with their already existing views.
No published study to date appears to have tested a mass media physical activity campaign for moderation using an objective measure of neighbourhood walkability. Furthermore, none of the studies looked at potential impact on intermediary cognitive variables, such as intention to act on the campaign message. This omission has previously been criticised in the literature . With a better understanding of the extent of campaign success (e.g. people were aware of the campaign but did not fully understand or accept the recommendation, or were motivated to do the behaviour but then did not act), it may be possible to plan more systematic and cost-effective interventions .
These theories suggest that mediatedexperiences induce long termeffects that are very difficult to measure. The effects are likestalagmite drippings building up over time. Meaning Theory and the Cultivation Theory aretwo ofthe most significant Stalagmite theories.
Before the first World War, there was noseparate field of studyon Communication, but knowledge about mass communication was accumulating. An outcome of World War I propaganda efforts,the Magic Bulletor Hypodermic Needle Theory came into existence. It propounded the view that the mass media hada powerfulinfluence on the mass audience and could deliberately alter or controlpeoples' behaviour.
According to this theory, mass media,though not under thedirect control of the State, had to follow its bidding. Under an Authoritarian approach in Western Europe,freedom of thoughtwas jealously guarded by a few people (ruling classes), who wereconcerned with the emergence of a new middle class and were worriedabout the effects of printed matter on their thought process. Steps were taken to control the freedom ofexpression. The result was advocacy of completedictatorship. The theory promoted zealous obedience to ahierarchicalsuperior and reliance on threatand punishment to those who did not follow the censorship rulesor did not respect authority. Censorship of the press was justified on thegroundthat the State always took precedenceover the individual's right to freedom of expression.
Baran and Davis (2000) classify masscommunication theoriesinto three broad categories:
1. microscopic theories that focus onthe everyday lifeof people who process information - for example, uses and gratifications,active audience theory, and reception studies;
2. middle range theories that supportthe limited effectsperspective of the media - for example, information flow theory,diffusion theory, and
3. macroscopic theories that areconcerned with media'simpact on culture and society - for example, cultural studiestheory.