Mass Media

Mass Media
8 aspects to consider in our
course this semester
The eight aspects are...
• Their importance
• Demassification
• Primary Mass
• Conglomeration
• Globalization
• Media Models
• Media Melding
• Economics
Their importance
• “Studying the media gives people the
tools to know whether the media are
living up to their potential as
facilitators of democracy.”
Importance of Mass Media
• 1. Pervasiveness
• 5. Persuasion
• 2. Citizenship
• 6. Binding influence
• 3. Information
• 4. Entertainment
Primary Media
• Print
– Newspapers
– Books
– Magazines
• Radio
• Television
• Computers
• WWW combines
text, audio, still and
moving visuals.
Chemical Media
• Film
– “silver halide” most
efficient as storage
medium and can be
projected effectively.
Mass Communication Models
• Marshall Mc Luhan--Canada, 1950s
• “Hot” media require thinking,
– Newspapers, books, magazines
• “Cool” media require little effort
– TV, radio
Models continued
• Entertainment -information model
• A dichotomy
• All media can entertain, inform and
Elitist Populist Model
• Elitist-Populist Model
Elitist-Populist Model
• Elitist
– media have obligation to improve,
better raise public
– educate, uplift, refine
– Responsibility: provide cultural &
• Populist
– marketplace decides
– give people what
they want
Push-Pull Model
• Push media
• Pull Media
• Active
• Passive
• Thrust messages at
you; beepers, ad
• Receivers are on
• You steer them
• TV, Radio
Economics of Mass Media
• Two ways to sell media products:
• 1. Advertising support
– advertisers pay for access to customers
– movie makers use “product placement to
pick up advertising directly
– direct payment
• 2. Circulation revenue
– Direct audience payment--HBO, subs
– Audience donations
– Private support
– Government subsidies
– Auxiliary enterprises--A newspaper may
sell newsprint from its paper factories in
“Economic Imperative”
• Means that you must make money
• The principle at work when TV shows
are cancelled due to low ratings.
• Promotions
Upside and downside
• Free press
• Independent press
• Hard to get certain themes on air
• Media won’t investigate their co’s
• Who owns the “free” press?
US Media Landscape
• 12, 227 radio stations
– Average is 5 per household
• 1,564 TV stations
• $40.8 billion in Adv revenues
– 70% to TV; 30% to radio
• 84% have VCR’s
• $123.4 billion total stock market value of Fox,
(News Corp) Walt Disney and CBS
Factoids about Cable
11,800 cable systems.
Time Warner cable the largest.
Telecom Inc is largest MSO.
67.4% US HH subscribe to cable.
50% of cable wired HH have >30 chs.
Cable costs average $27.43 a month
HBO first satellite channel--1975
Industry revenues about $29 billion.
Some thoughts about kids and
• TV is on 7 hours 9 minutes a day.
• Children 2-17 watch TV 3 hours a day
• 1,392 crime stories on ABC/CBS/NBC eve.
news in 1998.
• From 1996-1998 in Prime Time
– 5% increase in violence
– 30% increase in foul language
– 42%increase in sexual content
The Internet
35% of US population use Internet
57 % Internet users are men
71% purchasing online by men.
$1.3 billion spent by teens and kids to
buy goods online in 2002 (projection)
• $128.4 billion total stock market value of
American Online, Inc., May 1999
Media Demassification
No longer seek mass audiences
Radio began to demassify in 50s
Now target segments of market share
Use demographics, psychographics
Effects of Demassification
• Advertisers bypass mass media to
reach audiences.
• Alternative media--narrowly focused adv
Direct mail
Point of purchase TV commercials
Grocery stores
Place-based media
Doctor’s offices
• Tendency
– Revenue base will change.
– Mass media will lose advertising support.
– Did you see Blair
Media Conglomeration
• Big advantage--stability through rough
• Media ownership changing
• Business mgmt. “experts” run media
enterprise; quality of media suffers
• Mergers, acquisitions, buyouts,
corporate ownership
Top Six US Media Companies
Time Warner
News Corps
Telecommunication, Inc.
Disney ABC
Media Monopoly or Not?
• Monopolies
– Justice Dept Needs evidence of
“collusion” to fix prices
– Microsoft investigation
Dubious Effects of
• Potential for self serving inherent
• Agenda is profits! Not ideology.
• Negative impact on diversity:
• Quality suffers: fewer people do more
work. People are laid off.
• Newsgathering suffers
Positive Effects of
• US book industry financially stronger
• Builder-entrepreneurs committed to
media and its traditions
Media Globalization
• “Globalization”--international
conglomerate acquisition for media
• 1. Transnational ownership
• 2. “anonymous superpowers” which
threaten US cultural autonomy
• 3. Can adopt local strategy and respect
national character and cultural tradition.
Media Melding--8 primary
media in transition
• Digitization--process that compresses,
stores and transmits data:--text, sound,
• Intracorporate Synergy--TV networks
that rely on one another’s productions;
joint ventures between Hollywood film
studios and TV networks. Partners, not
Final Thoughts on Chapter
• Correlation between media use,
education and prosperity key to
The First Amendment
• “Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition
the Government for a redress of