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The Mass Media Definition: The section of the media specifically designed to reach a large audience.

This includes television, radio, newspapers, etc. Facebook is NOT to be classified as part of the mass media it is social media , which is an entirely different thing. Key Ideas about the Mass Media 1. The media is a construct. It was/is designed for a specific purpose, and will always be controlled by some interest/party. 1.1 Most of the mass media (advertisements, TV shows, etc) is driven by commercial interests. Even supposedly government-controlled media have to make some money. Thus the media is not a window into the human soul, neither is it an enlightened way for the human race to communicate it is simply a way to make money by producing and selling appealing things. 1.2 Some media is politically funded. As mentioned above, they still have to make some money, but they tend to be less pressured by the profit margin because they receive money from the government or lobby groups. EXAMPLE: The British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC is funded by the Foreign Office, and serves to promote British interests worldwide. Of course, this worked very well in the 19th century when no one else had any radio services now, however, the proliferation of various media companies has led to the BBCs inability to perform its primary function, and thus its funding has been cut. Note: Do not use SPH as an example of a politically funded news agency. The relationship between SPH and the government is complex and only ignorant people classify the relationship in such simple terms. Of course, you could insinuate such a relationship, but dont assert it. 1.3 Some news companies are not politically funded, but are associated with certain political standpoints. Why is this so? People like to read about things that they agree with - thus it is a smart business move to report the news with a conservative/liberal slant, as that will attract more viewers. This is the profit motive at work once again. EXAMPLE: Fox News Channel in the USA. Fox News is owned by Australian TV mogul Rupert Murdoch, and has been accused of painfully obvious conservative bias in its reporting. (Conservative bias means it favors the Republican Party) Fox News is very popular amongst redneck, shotgun toting, Obama-hating Republicans, but obviously it receives less stellar reviews from more liberal sections of American society. Why go out on a limb to be biased? Because it makes money. 2. The media is subject to censorship. This is somewhat related to the previous idea of it being a construct, in that it is affected by interests and both external and internal influences. Definition of censorship: the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.

2.1 Censorship is practiced by political authorities to maintain political stability. EXAMPLE: In China, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) routinely censors information on the Tiananmen incident, the political unrest in Tibet, or the situation with the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang region. They do this by making certain terms ungoogleable and banning the publication of material on these subjects. The idea here is, if people dont know or cannot access information about politically sensitive information, there can be no discussion or debate about the issues, and thus the political status-quo is maintained. 2.2 Censorship is practiced by political authorities to maintain the moral fabric of society. This takes many forms. The system of content rating is the main mechanism through which this is accomplished if youre too young, you cant watch it. Taboo subjects include sex, violence, drug use and other subversive things like homosexuality, etc. Of course, this type of censorship is entirely justified in some cases (child pornography is almost universally banned), whereas in other cases, it is debatable. (media containing homosexual material is routinely censored in many conservative countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc) 2.3 Censorship is not just something that the government does to the free press. Corporate censorship exists as well the free press acts to censor itself, entirely without government intervention. Editors are unlikely to publish stories that will hurt their company, or cause a loss of readership. However it must be said that this kind of censorship is hard to quantify or track, and is perhaps negated by the fact that there are many companies out there, each promoting their own views, and thus the big picture is available to the masses anyway, even if individual companies practice censorship.

3. The mass media shares an interesting relationship with society. It acts both as a disseminator and a socializer in other words, it is shaped by society and it shapes society. The basis of the mass media (or at least the commercial aspects of it) is shaped by society. Shows like The Price Is Right and Who Wants to be a Millionaire feed off the capitalistic, moneygrubbing nature of modern, westernized society. TV producers produce what people want to watch. Yet, such TV shows arguably reinforce societal trends of money-mindedness and greed. It can thus be said that the mass media picks up the dominant trends in our culture/society and amplifies them, serving as a way for the most popular notions in society to become even more popular. The mass media also acts as a homogenizing agent for society, promoting the values and the things society wants to see at the expense of everything else, leading to a blander, more onedimensional society.