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Lecture 2

CS101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Mass Media, Mass Communication, Social Forces


Department
Communication Studies
Course Code
CS101
Professor
Ian Roderick
Lecture
2

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Jan 12, 2012
Why study mass communication?
Mass communication is essential to uniting individual and groups- the
formation of ‘publics’
oConstitution of state was not possible without the rise of mass
media
oCulture has become secondary to congress
Public interest is ‘discovered’ in mass communication
Mass media do not simply transmit neutral information- content is not only
informative and entertaining but also transforming
Mass Communication
3 primary forms of mass communication:
oCentralized- Hollywood model of thinking, newspaper
oDecentralized- collected from different sources, availability of
information, collected and redistributed (cable, internet), ownership
controlled by major media conglomerates such as Disney, NBC,
ABC
oExchange- twitter, individuals and groups communicating with each
other through various conduits
Examples?
Centralized- magazines
Decentralized- Google, hulu, netflix
Exchange- facebook (can also be decentralized as well), blogs
Does it matter who owns the outlet?
Should what is communicated be controlled?
Does the form of mass communication make a difference?
Laswell’s/Transmission Model
Manipulative process
Focus was on propaganda, but was applied to mass media
A force that could shape people in ways other social forces couldn’t
Think of mass media as an autonomous source
Shannon and Weaver’s mathematical model
Technical forms of communication
How communication systems work
Unidirectional
Assumption that under normal conditions the message will be received
The hypodermic model OR The magic bullet model
Media acts upon people
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Sees society as made up of individuals who are isolated
Schramm Model
Not just about receiving messages, but decoding it
Organizations have to encode the messages
Audience is actively involved
Recall:
What do all these models have in common?
What is the principle difference between the first three and the Schramm
model?
oUnidirectional (one way) versus a loop (two-way)
PLEASE DO NOT INFER THAT THE SCHRAMM MODEL IS THE ‘RIGHT’
MODEL
Again, why study mass communication?
The impact and effects of mass communication
Mass Media and Democracy
Raymond Williams quote
Society depends on facts and opinions
More and more people allowed to vote, more opinions
Good society grants everyone access to mass media
Types of communicative institutions
1. Authoritarian
2. Paternal
3. Commercial
4. Democratic
Authoritarian
Simply transmits the will of the ruling class or elite
A critique of the centralized state controlled communication institutions to
be found in socialist as well as far-right countries
The state determines both what can and what will be communicated
Actually argued that communications should be protected from state
surveillance
Paternal
Oriented to the protection and guidance of the public rather than to simply
exercise authority and control over it (though can certainly be closely
related)
Adopts a public service model
In-built tendency to see the people as masses in need of protection and
enlightenment
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