COST-1117EL Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Communication Theory, Hypodermic Needle, Mass Communication

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March 13
Continuing mass communication theory
Media effect theory
Mass communication vs mass media
Characteristics of mass communication:
Different because It can reach a large audience quickly
Attacks scholars
Offers slower (also lean) feedback but may be changing as society evolves
Mass Media:
Agenda setting theory
Media scrutinizes for many reasons
Journalist report incomplete information
Powerful effects vs limited effects:
Hypodermic needle and magic bullet:
o Syringe contains content and once injected the effects are strong and
o Both generally say the same things
o Embraced a strong and direct relationship, both linear and deterministic
o In crisis this theory speaks louder
o Powerful effects
o The greater the exposure, the more powerful
o Perceived as passive, homogenous and anonymous
News media as a reflection society:
Before McCombs and shaw’s study of the 1968 presidential campaign, it as widely held
that the news media is simply reflected the public’s interest
Public demanding news covers what they want to hear about
Limited effects
Problems: If public is deciding what the news talks about that means they already know
about it so the news is irrelevant ~ Should use other outlets such as twitter
Bernard Cohen (1963)
Media is good at telling us what to think about
The public starts to reflect the medias agenda
limited Effects
Quotes that appear
Focus on content
Agenda setting Theory, what is it?
1. At the moments, what are the critical issues in Canada and around the world?
2. How do you know these issues are critical?
3. What makes you believe these issues demand attention?
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