Mass Media Influence on Politics.docx - Mass Media and the...

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Terry, BaryMass Media andthe Influence onPoliticsComparing and Contrasting Major Election Trends
Mass Media and the Influence on PoliticsFrom the invention of papyrus to modern day technologies, media has been shaping, engaging, and challenging the societal norms, education, communication, business and even the platform of politics throughout the years. The last century for mass media has been phenomenal, with the tremendous progression of how the media is produced. As well as when, why, and where the media is received. With the evolution of media, it has created great opportunities. These openings have changed the lives of every single person on the planet and society. We can chart the evolution of mass media and how it has influenced our individual and societal thinking about politics and politicians. Before we can truly understand how media has helped shape the landscape of politics andthe Americans’ perceived opinion of politics, we need to understand the history of media itself. Throughout our history we can trace media’s start all the way back to prehistoric times where theearliest forms of media would have been cave paintings. Then next comes the discovery of paper and calligraphy, where records and “books were painstakingly handwritten, and no two copies were exactly the same” [Thend]. When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15thcentury, this was a pivotal point in media’s evolution. This invention was able to produce mass quantities of print material at a fraction of the time it would have taken being handwritten and this also allowed for more readers and a larger audience. In 1690, the first newspaper was published in America but was quickly suppressed [Pubnd]. Just over 100 years later, in 1791, the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights was ratified into law by Congress and this gave citizens and the press the freedom of speech. Through technological and industrial advancement, in 1810,a German printer, Friedrich Koenig, was able to create a steam engine printing press where it wasable to produce more than double the amount of pages per hour than the hand-operated printing press [Thend]. Through those industrial advancements, the rise of the newspaper and other print materials were gaining traction and were again able to reach a wider audience base with print news. With scientific discoveries, inventions and advancements, came the telephone, radio and television in the progression of mass media. “In the early decades of the 20thcentury, the first major non-print forms of mass media--film and radio—exploded in popularity. Radios, which were less expensive than telephones and widely available...”[Thend]. Due to the price difference,the radio was the most popular in the homes of Americans during the early 20thcentury, which gave a new medium for individuals to receive their news. After World War II, American households were able to afford to purchase a television set. By the 1960’s, broadcast technology

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