The media of mass communication pdf

Media influence is the actual force exerted by a media message, resulting in either a change or reinforcement in audience or individual beliefs. Media effects are measurable effects that result from media influence, or a media message. Whether that media message has an effect on any of its audience members is contingent on many factors, including audience demographics and psychological characteristics. These effects can be the media of mass communication pdf or negative, abrupt or gradual, short-term or long-lasting.

Not all effects result in change: some media messages reinforce an existing belief. Researchers examine an audience after media exposure for changes in cognition, belief systems, and attitudes, as well as emotional, physiological and behavioral effects. There are several scholarly definitions of media. Bryant and Zillmann defined media effects as “the social, cultural, and psychological impact of communicating via the mass media”. Perse stated that media effects researchers study “how to control, enhance, or mitigate the impact of the mass media on individuals and society”. Lang stated media effects researchers study “what types of content, in what type of medium, affect which people, in what situations”. Media effects studies have undergone several phases, often corresponding to the development of mass media technologies.

From the early 20th century to the 1930’s, developing mass media technologies, such as radio and film, were credited with an almost irresistible power to mold an audience’s beliefs, cognition and behaviors according to the communicators’ will. There were two main explanations for this perception of mass media effects. First, mass broadcasting technologies were acquiring a widespread audience, even among average households. People were astonished by the speed of information dissemination, which may have clouded audience perception of any media effects.

This propaganda exemplified strong-effect communication. Combing through the technological and social environment, early media effects theories stated that the mass media were all-powerful. Considers the audience to be targets of an injection or bullet of information fired from the pistol of mass media. The audience are unable to avoid or resist the injection or bullets. Starting in the 1930s, the second phase of media effects studies instituted the importance of empirical research, while introducing the complex nature of media effects due to the idiosyncratic nature of audience individuals. United States during this period, focused on the effect of media upon young people. Many other separate studies focused on persuasion effects studies, or the possibilities and usage of planned persuasion in film and other media.

Researchers uncovered mounting empirical evidence of the idiosyncratic nature of media effects on individuals and audiences, identifying numerous intervening variables, such as demographic attributes, social psychological factors, and different media use behaviors. With these new variables added to research, it was difficult to isolate media influence that resulted in any media effects to an audience’s cognition, attitude and behavior. Some kinds of communication on some kinds of issues have brought to the attention of some kinds of people under some kinds of conditions have some kinds of effect. Though the concept of an all-powerful mass media was diluted, this did not determine that the media lacked influence or effect. Instead, the pre-existing structure of social relationships and cultural contexts were believed to primarily shape or change people’s opinions, attitudes and behaviors, and media merely function within these established processes.