Mass media: the culture industries that produce and distribute cultural products (news, film, etc) Cultural industries: coined by a theorist that believed that popular culture is churned out just like a factory produces standardized goods. Channel of communication, produces and distributes cultural products. Mediates and serves as intermediaries between people and events. Significance: these cultural products that have shared meaning for large numbers of people. They shape what we know about the world. Produce and surround us with signs, messages, and meaning. Role media plays: the main storytellers of our society (e. g. tv shows) the primary forum of debate (e. g. news shows) Often the first source of information to which people turn. Mediating between us and events and people far away telling us what is important, who is good or bad, what we should want out of life. Significance: media is not neutral. they construct reality, don"t just reflect it to us.