The Mass Of Mass Communication

1942 Words8 Pages
It cannot be said that the era of mass communication has simply come to an end. Rather, this essay will argue that instead, the traditional ideologies of the term, mass communication, have been modified, transformed and revolutionised. The content surrounding mass communication has not changed substantially, however the way audiences are consuming it, has. Firstly, a working definition of mass communication must be established before an argument can commence. Peters and Simonson (2004) provide a definition which states that mass communication is when a message is dispersed “on a large scale, to a mass audience” (p.9). Chafee and Metzger (2001) see it as “mass pro- duction and dissemination of messages” (p.366). They also point out that the concept of mass communication was initially contextualised in the 1920’s and used interchangably with the term, mass media (McQuail, D., 2000, p.4). That being said, one must begin to understand what mass communication was considered to be some years ago. Only then can one understand how it has been modified and transfomed into its present state in centemporary society. Alongside Peter and Simonson (2004), Turow (1992) supports the notion that mass communication has not merely become extinct, it is “only different now from what it was in its formative era” (p.2). This ‘formative era’ refers to the 1920’s to the 1960’s when mass communication included radio, television, newspapers and magazines produced by media institutions (Chafee, S. & Metzger, M., 2001, p.366). These traditional forms of publication and broadcast were limited by space and time, meaning that one could only watch the news on television or listen to the radio at the time of broadcast, in the location of the devices themselv... ... middle of paper ... ...ents” (p.33). Dwyer (2010) goes as far as saying that the internet is purely another means by which old forms of mass communication can be disseminated. From a neutral perspective, one is not more reliant than the other. For example, traditional media such as prime time news are often seen to be using content from online, just as much as bloggers revolve their discussion around controversial broadcasts (Weimann et al., 2014). This is evident in the recent X Factor debarcle which was initiated by social media uproar revolving around the television programme. This was further covered by traditional television news broadcasts. Evidently exhibiting the “interlocking” of old and new forms of mass communication (Couldrey, 2005, p.186). Perhaps Jenkins (2006) puts it best in saying that the lines between old and new forms of media commuication are in fact, quite blurred.

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