The mass media have been around us for many centuries and affect every aspect of our daily lives. At times, most of the mass media users are the captive audience. The issues in this unit will discuss the meaning and types of communication media and socialisation.
At the end of this unit, you should be able to:
- define mass media
- discuss the different types of mass communication
- discuss mass communication media and media and socialisation.
3.0 MAIN CONTENT
3.1 Definition of Mass Media
Concisely, the term mass media simply translates to the modern means of giving news, opinion, education, entertainment and agenda-setting to large numbers of people, especially through radio, television, newspapers, magazines and films. According to Joseph Dominick (2009:36), a medium is the channel through which a message travels from the source to the receiver (medium” as singular, media” is plural).
When we talk about mass communication, we also need channels to carry the message. Therefore, mass media are the channels used for mass communication. The definition of mass media will not only include the mechanical devices that transmit and sometimes store the message (television cameras, radio microphones, printing presses) but also the institutions that use these machines to transmit messages. “A Media Vehicle is a single component of the mass media, such as a newspaper, radio station, television network, or magazine.
3.2 Types of Mass Media
There are basically eight different mass media: radio, television, film, books, sound recordings, newspapers, magazines and the internet. Of course, these eight are not the only mass media that exist. Others are billboards, comic books, posters, direct mail, matchbooks and buttons. These eight media listed above have the largest audiences, employ the most people and have the greatest impact. People are also most familiar with these media.
3.3 Mass Communication Media
For us to understand the mass communication media, it is important to look at the meaning of mass communication. It has been viewed as a process in which “professional” communicators use media to disseminate messages widely and rapidly in large and diverse audiences in attempt to influence them in a variety of ways.
There is need to define which forms of communication should be considered as vehicles of mass media.
Components of Mass Communication From the definition, talking on the phone is not a form of mass communication because the audience is not large and diverse; usually
there is only one person at each end of the line. Similarly, any situation in which life performers and audience can see each other directly in a theater or church, at sports events or parade- is not example of a mediated communication.
3.4 Mass Media and Socialisation
At times, the media consciously attempt to inculcate values and behaviour in the audience. The radio and television usually portray in social responsibility adverts or announcements the dangers of alcohol and over speeding. Recently, advertisements on cigarettes remind smokers that they were liable to die.
Joseph Dominick (2009:36) opined that “of all the mass media, television probably has the greatest potential for socialisation. By the time an individual is 18 years he or she will have spent more time watching television than any single activity except sleep.”
We have explained that the mass media are the channels through which professional communicators reach their target audiences. The mass media agencies enhance socialisation, convergence and control. It is through the mass media, that cultural interactions succeed.
In this unit, we have dealt with the meaning and scope of mass media by examines the types, mass communication media and mass media and socialisation.
6.0 TUTOR-MARKED ASSIGNMENT
- What is mass media?
- Mention the major types of media.
- List five components of print medium.