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Trends in the Mass Media

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  1. Trends in the Mass Media

  2. Quiz • Which is better: Abercrombie & Fitch/Banana Republic/American Eagle/Other? Why? • Name a favorite Real World star. • Who is Paris Hilton? • Which breast did Janet Jackson expose?

  3. Quiz • Who is the U.S. Secretary of Defense? • Donald Rumsfeld • Who is George Bush’s White House spokesperson? • Tony Snow • Who is the governor of California? • Arnold Schwarzeneggar • Who is the governor of NC? • Mike Easley

  4. Quiz • What do the Budweiser frogs have in common with Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor?

  5. Media vs. Medium • Media are plural • Medium is singular

  6. Mass Media as a Subject of Study? • Pervasive • Persuasive • Source of information • Entertainment value • Socialization function • The Media are a unique entity – not just a ‘product’

  7. Brief Historical Context • Media in U.S. and British Colonies • Regulation of the Media – general

  8. Brief Historical Context • Creation and Regulation of Electronic Media in the 1920s • Trusteeship (Social Responsibility) Theory - underlying principles

  9. Important Trends • 1. Demassification narrower audience and content focus • Audience Fragmentation • “Less” mass audiences • Focused content

  10. Important Trends • 2. Deregulation • Reduced government control & oversight regarding content, ownership, etc… • “Different” regulation, say critics, in favor of media elite

  11. Important Trends • 3. Convergence • Media overlap in form & content. • Brands available in multiple media. • TV, magazine, web, radio… • ESPN brand: TV (4+channels, mag., radio, web, movies)

  12. Important Trends • 4. Conglomerization • Media properties part of large international corporations • Link to diagram

  13. Important Trends 5. Consolidation - fewer owners • Oligopoly • Few companies control industry • Dominant media ownership model • Monopoly • One company controls market or industry

  14. Important Trends • 6. Commodification & • (Hyper-)Commercialization All content is a brand to be sold • Sole purpose to make profit off of products sold • Everything is a brand • Examples: Extreme Make-over: Home Edition; 40-Year Old…

  15. Important Trends • 7. Globalization • Media corporations globalized. • Messages and ownership cross borders • US exports most entertainment/news media in the world • We are influenced also, but we can pick and choose most marketable programs (BBC)

  16. Global Mass Media Systems • Globalization affecting media everywhere • Democratic media obliterate borders • Small media & web enable democratization (also subversive communication) • Rich countries dominate industry • Fear loss of national sovereignty

  17. Global Mass Media SystemsFour mass media systems in the world 1.State-run (Government Ownership) Media are a tool of the state. Typical of dictatorships & communist countries. Soviet model, North Korea, Cuba

  18. Global Mass Media Systems 2. Authoritarian model Generally free market economic model (advertising) Tight government control over content, sedition illegal Journalism a risky career Typical in dictatorships (Iraq under Saddam)

  19. Global Mass Media Systems 3. Libertarian U.S. model (generally) Great freedom of speech, right to criticize government Funded mainly through advertising True libertarian model is rare

  20. Global Mass Media Systems 4. State-funded Independent Independent of government but funded through taxes (CBC, BBC, PBS) Free to report, criticize government

  21. Global Mass Media Systems 5. Mixed Model Some government control Some level of freedom Some advertising economic support Some government economic support China, US, Britain

  22. Summary of Media Trends • Oligopolistic corporate owned • Larger, less connected w/audience • Profit, stockholder satisfaction are primary goals • Demassification of audiences and messages • Less regulation regarding content and ownership • Little to no social responsibility

  23. So What? In the media marketplace… • You are a demographic to be sold. • They want you to believe they have your best interest at heart. • They are shirking their social responsibility. • Consumption rules. Media corps and advertisers want your money and brand loyalty. • You are a consumer, not a citizen. • They are earning a great deal of money via items 1-5.

  24. Do you care? • Are you/we being used? • By whom? Who are the communicators? • To what end? • What are some legitimate responses to the current media environment? • What are the implications of NO response?

  25. Bread and Circuses • Roman satirist in the time of Caesar Augustus Juvenal wrote of “bread and circuses.”

  26. Beer and Circus • Murray Sperber of Indiana U. wrote of “beer & circus” • Original reference was to college athletics but also applies to modern media

  27. Media Literacy - Elements • Awareness of impact of media • Understanding of the mass communication process • Strategies for analyzing and discussing media messages • Understanding media content as a text that provides insight into our culture

  28. Media Literacy - Elements • Enjoy, understand and appreciate media content • Understanding of ethical and moral obligations of media practitioners • Development of appropriate and effective production skills

  29. Media Literacy - Skills summarized • Knowledge of genre conventions - ability to deconstruct them • Respect power of media • Ability to think critically about media messages - regardless of source (credible or not) • Knowledge of the “internal language” (production values) and conventions of various media • Heighten expectations

  30. Assignment • Link to course home page. • Media Literacy Link

  31. Theoretical Constructs • Marketplace vs. Trusteeship (Social Responsibility) • Status Conferral and Agenda Setting • Audience Effects? Socialization cues? • View of the mass audience?