Explorations in Mass Communication: Issues and Controversies

Catherine Murray Fall 2003

CMNS-130 C.A. Murray

Course Team
Diana Ambrozas Doris Baltruschat Wei Gao Natalie Tkachev

CMNS-130 C.A. Murray

Course Objectives To provide a map to navigate the field history & political economy Popular culture & media analysis Society and technology Locate contemporary controversies CMNS-130 C. Murray .A.

A. Framing of Arguments and Proof Interpretation & Debate Evaluation/Originality CMNS-130 C.Course Skills Develop the Four stages of critical thinking: Description Analysis. Murray .

Evaluation A-A+ range Values. Hierarchy of patterning proofs Interpretation High B Comparisons and analogies. Argument and Illustration. knowledge applied. Murray . Judgement.A.The Alchemy of Grades Description C+ Basic facts mastered and patterned Analysis B range Meaning of patterns probed. Understanding If creative originality or thought leadership an A plus CMNS-130 C.

Course Tools Framing arguments Organizing proof Writing persuasively Developed in tutorial debates Short essay paper CMNS-130 C.A. Murray .

Murray .A.Lecture & Tutorial Support Notes for lectures available from TA: Friday Lectures are audiotaped and available in library READ before lecture Tutorials Attend each tutorial Participate in debate Essay assignments: start by week 4 EXAMS • Mid Terms are Pop Quizzes in Tutorial • Workshop for final exam available CMNS-130 C.

allied with state or business corporations ( & now entertainment corporations) Central to institutions of democracy and capitalism 130 outlines how media work. Murray . political and social worlds around us Do the Media create critical citizens or consumers? CMNS-130 C.A.The Big Picture Communication is a battleground of power Historically. how they are shaped by and shaping the economic.

Murray .A.Recent Issues & Controversies CMNS-130 C.

Key Concepts Media & Communication defined Mass Communication defined Model of the Communication Process Mapping the Flow CMNS-130 C. Murray .A.

Murray . writing. range of speed of communication among large groups of people CMNS-130 C.A. a technological development that extends the channel. what enables communication to take place May be interpersonal and one on one( speech.The Definition of Media Broadly. facial gesture) which is beyond scope of CMNS 130 May be technical/broader in scale Specifically.

A.Media of “Mass” Communication Print Audio Newspapers Magazines Books Radio Music/Sound Recording Film TV Videogames Visual Digital Internet CMNS-130 C. Murray .

messages in any way Using talk.A.The Definition of Communication From Latin Communicare Verb: to share. impart. to make meaning common To give or receive information. writing or other means Definition: Fleras page 36 “ a meaningfulCMNS-130 exchange of C. signals. Murray . gestures.

Murray .A.Origins of Communication Part of human search to transcend time and space One of the oldest of human practices: Essential for social survival. economic organization Formal study rooted in classical politics from times of Ancient Greece and Rome under a different title: rhetoric. persuasion (humanities) Development of the study of Mass Communication allied with rise of social sciences and mass marketing WW2 CMNS-130 C. literary criticism.

A. Murray . group or institution through a transmission system or medium to large audiences or markets From one ( or few) to many Implies concept of gatekeeper: controller of transmission/message design Implies concept of effectiveness and efficiency: is messaging achieving what it intended? CMNS-130 C.Mass Communication Communication from one person.

and receiver Murray .Transmission Model of Communication Sender…. no longer one way and there is more interaction and feedback CMNS-130 between sender C.Receiver Based on Harold Lasswell‟s model ( 1948) Helps identify the stages through which communication passes so each one can be properly studied Modern models recognize networks are more complex.A.Message….

A. or marketing Implies the study of state or government policies. and advertising ( stimulus response assumption) Sees mass communication as a process of transmitting intentional messages for the purpose of social control.Transmission Model II Central Questions: Who says what to whom with what effect? ( transmission model) Useful in early study of propaganda. Murray . economic processes of advertising and commodification of popular culture CMNS-130 C.

magazine. radio. television. Murray . not two way Newspaper. satellite or Internet 4.A. CD or videocassette. 6. 3. 2. Message produced in complex organizations Message fixed in some form with information and symbolic content ( either in digital bits or commodity form) Message is sent/transmitted or diffused widely via a technological medium Message is delivered rapidly over great space Message reaches large groups of different people simultaneously or within a short period of time Message is primarily one-way.Characteristics of Mass Communication 1. CMNS-130 C. 5.

Murray . … from many to many--almost infinitely Rise of transactional media ( pay per bit) Resistance of media piracy:swapping and downloading CMNS-130 C.Transformation of „Mass‟ Communication Arrival of computers and switched twoway interactive technology …digitization Internet From one to one.A.

Murray .A. working to reduce risk by merging and oligopoly CMNS-130 C.Nature of the Mass Communicator/Sender Mass communication is produced in complex formal organizations With multiple gatekeepers Using a great deal of money Increasingly in private sector institutions in the West Existing to make a profit In a highly competitive market.

interpenetration of marketing. Murray .7 Trends in Communication 1. wireless untethered access: ubiquity Communication across borders virtually instantaneously 2. Compression of space and time • • • Larger and larger territories covered: networks of networks emerging (www) Mobile. consumption and media Widespread ideology of consumption/consumer “sovereignty” 3. Deregulation and Concentration and Conglomeration • CMNS-130 Withdrawal of public sector. Commodification • • Spread of private and not public enterprise.A. less regulation. more role C.

circulation.Disney.Vivendi.7 Trends Cont‟d 4. News. Viacom. Bertelesmann 5.A. 7. Globalization : • Growth in international trade in cultural products. Digitization and Convergence    Conversion of sound pictures and text into computer readable formats by representing them as strings of zeros and ones Now. Sony. manipulation and repurposing or storage of information on unprecedented scale 6. Specialization ( part of “demassification”)  Narrowly “casting‟ or “targeting” communication to particular interests… shrinking share of general interest TV Personalization   The “daily me”: personal tailoring of media diet/media products Ideal type: MP3 downloading of custom music CMNS-130 C. rise of 6 or 8 main companies dominating markets and merging industries • AOL Time Warner. telecommunication providers involved in TV and cable Digitization enables the production. Murray .

A. design of the sign.A Different Approach: the Cultural Model Encode meaning-----decode meaning Involves Creation of the Text. symbol or codes and signification or interpretation Fleras.. p. Murray . The enrichment that communication brings in terms of culture. cohesion and connectedness is widely acknowledged. 36: Communication is much more than message exchange. CMNS-130 C.

237). CMNS-130 C.Cultural Model II Central Question: How does communication construct a map of meaning for people in everyday life? (cultural model) How do people negotiate common meaning and are bound by it Starts from the assumption that: Embraces ideology/belief systems and ritual: mass communication is the representation of shared beliefs where „reality‟ is produced maintained.A. Murray . p. repaired and transformed Any attempt to understand the power of the media requires us first to understand how these products are located within and work to construct meaning in everyday life (Grossberg et al.

CMNS 130 Looks at issues of policy and political economy Interaction of technology. Mass Media and Communication in Canada Fleras a sociologist His agenda: This text intends to “out” the mainstream media as a persuasive dynamic that manipulates and conceals even as it enlightens and informs. there are sufficient “openings” for oppositional forces to transform the media…vii.A. reinforce and advance the interests of the powerful. organization of cultural industries and cultural power Text: Augie Fleras. Contradictions prevail: to the one side the media reflect. Murray . To the other side. CMNS-130 C.

A.Next Week: Media and Modernity Read Fleras Tutorial: Introduction to the Media BACK TO LECTURE NOTES BACK TO INDEX CMNS-130 C. Murray .

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