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Evolution Of Mass Communication Essay

Effect Of Media And Mass Communication

The media is a powerful presence within the lives of others. It can be described as the main channel of mass communication. Media is often used to deliver a message to a large audience who are diverse. It can be written, broadcast or spoken. Media is a significant force within modern culture. Culture can be defined as the norms and values of a society. In our culture, the communications media hold an influential place in disseminating information, forming attitudes, and motivating behaviour. Technological advances are increasing the role of the media and its capacity to shape public opinion. Our society depends on the news media to provide information to help us form opinions and make voting decisions. It is clear the media has a huge impact on our culture. The media influences a number of subjects in our culture; one of which is deviance. Deviance can be described as the fact or state of diverging from usual or accepted standards within both social and sexual behaviour. Our cultures view on deviant behaviour is moulded by rules carried out by the government. It provides the basis of our morals and views which guides us through being a law abiding citizen. The media however plays an important role on putting emphasis on and questioning these morals and views. Deviant behaviour is often enhanced by media through deviance amplification. Some might say it is encouraged by publicizing deviant behaviour. And often provoked with the formation of ‘folk devils’. The term mass media was formed during the creation of print media. The earliest printed mass medium was the European popular prints from the fourteen hundreds. Johannes Gutenberg introduced printing to Europe. Gutenberg invented the movable type printing which played a key role within the development of the renaissance to providing the basis of today’s knowledge based economy. During the sixteen hundreds came the formation of the newspaper. It was cheaper and made large scale distribution possible. These technology advances allowed the medium to enter popular culture and enhancing its influence within society [McLuhan, 1962]. By the nineteen twenties, mass media became known not only for print media, but radio and television also. Television provided both information and entertainment which became very popular. It was considered easier than actively reading. In recent times, mass media has taken on a different form; the internet. It is now the most popular form of mass media. Not only has the internet become a sensation but mobile phones, blogs and podcasts have all become the new forms of mass media within our modern culture. The media is easily accessed and waiting for us at the touch of a button. As a result, our culture is enormously influenced by the media. In this essay I will be discussing the media and deviance and the effects it has on our culture.

One theory that was formed during this investigation was the cumulative effects model [Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, 1974]. This complex...

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All these changes in media and communication that have taken place over the last century are due to a huge technological development. Furthermore, this is a cultural and technological evolution and it is the nature of evolution that it accelerates. Therefore "the pace of change is itself accelerating", according to Ray Kurzweil "the 20th century was like 25 years of change at today’s rate of change. In the next 25 years we’ll make four times the progress you saw in the 20th century. And we’ll make 20,000 years of progress in the 21st century, which is almost a thousand times more technical change than what we saw in the 20th century".

"Technology is a drug.

We can’t get enough of it.

We feed it to our kids and watch them grow on a forced diet of desensitisation. Switch on the TV and someone will tell you 50,000 people died in India. Two seconds later you’re watching a comedy. Technology can do that. It gives us simulated realities that make us oblivious to the real world. Heroin does the same thing. So do most class A drugs. Basically we are all addicts – addicted to the comfort and convenience that technology provides – addicted to the notion that progress is directly related to the size of your computer screen… When I look in front of me, I see two paths – spiritual or material. Two worlds – developed or developing. You decide which is which…"

NitinSawhney, Prophesy (2002)

Yes, our daily lives have improved greatly thanks to new digital media, satellite communication and all the technological advances that surround us. But one thing we must not forget is that all that is there to help us, not to make us become its slaves by making us oblivious to what really matters. Now that we have access to more information we should make good use of it in order to try to solve the problems that we have around the world.