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1 Introduction and Economics of Mass Media

1 Introduction and Economics of Mass Media - SOCIOLOGY OF...

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SOCIOLOGY OF THE MASS MEDIA The Role of the Mass Media in American Society I. Mass Media = media that reach a relatively large audience of usually anonymous readers II. Two major factors that create change in media industry: a. Economics = changes in how media content is paid for and by whom; audience vs. advertisers barb2right media outlets do not sell content, but access to desirable audiences b. Technology = the tech changes that occur in the production and distribution of media content; (1) improved existing media and (2) created new forms of media III. Major forms of mass media a. Media is a plural of medium, derived from “medius” which means “middle” barb2right communication media are the different technological processes that facilitate communication between the sender & receiver of a message b. 1700/1800’s – newspapers, books, magazines; “dime novels” i. Partisan = took clear political and religious positions when covering news & events ii. Distributed by the Pony Express – limited to specific geographical regions barb2right regional focus c. 1855 – invention of printing telegraph barb2right disseminated over large geographic areas barb2right change in focus d. Advances in steam engine & development of transcontinental railroad barb2right deliver to different regions e. 1814 & 1837 – invention & improvement of photography; media included pictures with stories (Civil War) f. 1892 – invention of motion picture g. 1871 – first formal advertising agency established; by 1880s full page ads running in newspapers/magazines i. 1872 – first mail-order business established by Aaron Montgomery War in Chicago h. 1891 to 94 – invention and improvement of Radio - Nikola Tesla & Guglielmo Marconi i. 1900-38 – radio growth; beginning of government involvement in mass media in licensing broadcasters i. 1912 Radio Control Act regulated broadcasts & content ii. 1920 KDKA in Pittsburgh begins regular schedule = BIRTH OF RADIO ERA iii. 1924 – over 1400 stations to 3 million radio sets; targeted a “general” audience iv. 1930-42 – first radio serial airs – “Little Orphan Annie” v. 1934 – half of US homes have radio vi. 1950 – average US home has 2 radios j. 1900-38 movie industry growth i. 1908 “set up shop” in Hollywood & produced first animated cartoon “Fantasmagorie” ii. 1913 full length feature films produced iii. 1922 – 40 million tickets weekly; 1938 – 80 million tickets weekly iv. 1928 – television sets put in three US homes as a test k. 1900-38 Advertising: three big changes i. 1917 – formed American Association of Advertisers to collectively respond to government legislation ii. Changed how they viewed consumers 1. Initially viewed consumers as rational – felt need to convince us to buy product; focus on FACT 2. Found could use emotional appeals – focus on VALUES, EMOTION, LIFESTYLE iii. Began to focus on desirable demographics or those that want/afford products l. 1939 – television introduced to mass public at NY World Fair m. 1939 to 1980: the TV era i. TV not immediately popular – slow adaptation b/c dominance of radio, expensive, B&W ii. 1951 COLOR television
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