Unformatted text preview: PART I. THE NATURE AND HISTORY OF MASS COMMUNICATION CHAPTER ONE
Communication: Mass and Other Forms Objectives of chapters 13 establish the intellectual context for studying mass communication introduce some of the basic concepts and terminology we will use throughout the semester provide chronological perspective for major technological innovations Mass communication is a subspecialty within the broad subject of human communication.
From p. 10, 10th ed. "Mass communication refers to the process by which a complex organization with the aid of one or more machines produces and transmits public messages that are directed at large, heterogeneous, and scattered audiences." Note that the term mass medium refers both to a means or method of message distribution (e.g., printing press, broadcast transmitter) an industry that operates a message distribution system (e.g., newspaper publishing, television broadcasting) The communication process
(study Figure 11, p. 5, 10th ed.) Nine elements of communication
Study Table 11, p. 12, 10th ed. Note that we will add a ninth element to the eight in the text. source encoding message channel decoding receiver feedback noise effect Source: Someone who initiates the process of communicating a thought or idea to someone else Traditional mass communication sources are formal media institutions (e.g., businesses such as Walt Disney Co.). Although the Internet and mobile media provide individuals an opportunity to reach large audiences, most activities engaged in by individuals (e.g., social networking, email, file sharing, online auctioneering) are more akin to machine assisted interpersonal communication than traditional mass communication. Traditional mass communication sources have little knowledge of individual receivers. Message: The actual physical product produced by the source
Four principal characteristics of mass communication messages: public (addressed "to whom it may concern") usually expensive to produce easily terminated nonpersonal Channel: The way a message travels to a receiver
In mass communication, the term channel refers to three basic technologies used to distribute messages via the media of mass communication: printing (newspapers, magazines, books, various other surfaces) digital and analogue electronics (radio; sound recording; motion pictures; broadcast television; cable, satellite, and Internet television; the Internet and the World Wide Web) chemical photography (largely replaced by digital processes) Encoding: The activities of a source when translating thoughts and ideas into a form that may be perceived by the senses of another person
In mass communication, encoding occurs in multiple stages for: the human senses language humanmade communications devices Mass communication typically appeals to fewer human senses than facetoface communication. Decoding: The activities of a receiver when interpreting messages
Same as encoding, only reversed. Receiver: The target of the message
Five principal audience characteristics: Audience is our term for receivers in a traditional mass communication setting. large in number dissimilar widely scattered geographically anonymous with respect to senders, and each other selfdefined Feedback: + or responses of a receiver that shape subsequent messages from a source
Principal feedback characteristics in mass communication: limited delayed indirect (e.g., broadcast ratings) Feedback also can be: internal (e.g., gut feel) external (e.g., boxoffice receipts) Noise: Anything that interferes with the delivery of a message
Main sources of noise: semantic (meaning of words; e.g., slang terms) mechanical (devices) environmental (audience setting) In broadcasting, noise is often referred to as interference. Effect of mass communication
Exposure to a mass communication message can affect an audience member in three ways: cognitively (thoughts) affectively (feelings) behaviorally (actions) Three settings of communication interpersonal machine (or technology) assisted interpersonal mass Tip: As you study, concentrate on mass communication and the ways it differs from both interpersonal and machineassisted interpersonal communication. Important concepts that will become part of our vocabulary this semester:
media vehicle (a single component of a mass media industry) gatekeeper (content decision maker) profit motive ($) disintermediation (in many cases, elimination of retailers) multiple delivery platforms (message distribution methods) usergenerated content, a.k.a. UGC and peer production (e.g., YouTube, Wikipedia) mobile media, a.k.a. mobile Internet devices (iPods, iPhones, etc.) audience segmentation or fractionalization (narrowing of massmedia audiences into small, specialized, homogeneous slices of the general population) Audience segmentation emerged along with: increasing numbers of media vehicles from which to choose digital technologies that allowed audience control over the selection and timing of messages Media industries have dealt with audience segmentation in three ways: horizontal integration (acquisition of additional media vehicles within a media industry) vertical integration (merging of content providers with content distributors) adding new revenue streams made possible by technological innovation (e.g., sale of recorded music on CDs + paypersong downloads) convergence (coming together or uniting in a common interest or focus) In mass communication, convergence is used in three contexts: corporate convergence, usually motivated by economies of scale (decreased unit manufacturing costs resulting from mass production) Sometimes a media content provider (Walt Disney Co.) will team up with a media distributor of that content (ABC television network). The convergence of dissimilar media industries has yet to prove successful (Disney exited the radio business). The trend toward corporate convergence appears to be reversing, as media companies instead focus on defined growth areas. operational convergence involves fewer employees doing more work (economically advantageous to media companies, but not universally embraced by employees) device convergence involves combining various technical functions into a single gadget (increasingly possible, but consumers resist complexity) push and pull models
The traditional "one to many" process of mass communication is sometimes called a push model because media organizations push content to audiences in a manner that is linear, sometimes synchronous, whereby audiences assemble simultaneously (e.g., for a broadcast of a live event) sometimes asynchronous, whereby audiences do not need to assemble at a given time (e.g., to read newspapers or magazines) identical for all audience members The Internet mass communication model (Figure 12, p. 18, 10th ed.) is sometimes called a pull model because audiences pull content from both media organizations and individuals in a manner that can be nonlinear, asynchronous, customized for each audience member Next . . .
philosophical perspectives on the role of mass communication in society . . . ...
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