The Role of the Mass Media in our life

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1. What kinds of mass media do you know?
2. What was the earliest kind of mass media?
3. Why is the television so exciting?
4. What is the reason for widespread use of radios?
5. What advantages do newspapers have over the other kinds of mass media?
6. What is the difference between a newspaper and a ma¬gazine?

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Lecture 1.

The Role of the Mass Media in our life.


1. What kinds of mass media do you know?

2. What was the earliest kind of mass media?

3. Why is the television so exciting?

4. What is the reason for widespread use of radios?

5. What advantages do newspapers have over the other kinds of mass media?

6. What is the difference between a newspaper and a magazine?      

Everywhere, every day, exciting things are happening. Each day is filled with news. The mass media report about various aspects of life, they form and affect public opinion. People learn news and views during reading newspapers and magazines, talking over the telephone or they are kept informed by watching TV or listening to the radio. The press, the radio and television play a big role in the life of the society. They inform, educate and entertain people. They also influence the way people look at the world and make them change their views.

       In the 2000s, a classification called the "seven mass media" became popular. They are:

  1. Print (books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, etc.) from the late 15th century

  1. Recordings (gramophone records, magnetic tapes, cassettes, cartridges, CDs, DVDs) from the late 19th century

  1. Cinema from about 1900

  1. Radio from about 1910

  1. Television from about 1950

  1. Internet from about 1990

  1. Mobile phones from about 2000

Each mass media has its own content types, its own creative artists and technicians, and its own business models. For example, the Internet includes web sites, blogs, podcasts, and various other technologies built on top of the general distribution network. The sixth and seventh media, internet and mobile, are often called collectively as digital media; and the fourth and fifth, radio and TV, as broadcast media.

1. Print media


A book is a collection of sheets of paper, parchment or other material with a piece of text written on them, bound together along one edge within covers. A book is also a literary work or a main division of such a work. A book produced in electronic format is known as an e-book.


     A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by advertising and/or purchase by readers. Magazines appeared in 1700’s. They developed from newspapers and booksellers' catalogs.

Magazines are typically published weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly or quarterly, with a date on the cover that is in advance of the date it is actually published. They are often printed in color on coated paper, and are bound with a soft cover.

      Magazines fall into two broad categories: consumer magazines and business magazines. In practice, magazines are a subset of periodicals, distinct from those periodicals produced by scientific, artistic, academic or special interest publishers which are subscription-only, more expensive, narrowly limited in circulation, and often have little or no advertising.

Magazines can be classified as:

  • General interest magazines (e.g. Frontline, India Today, The Week, The Sunday Times etc.)

  • Special interest magazines (women's, sports, business, scuba diving, etc.)


       The earliest kind of mass media was newspaper. The first newspaper was Roman handwritten newssheet called «Acta Diurna» started in 59 B.C. A newspaper is a publication containing news and information and advertising, usually printed on low-cost paper called newsprint. It may be general or special interest, most often published daily or weekly. The first printed newspaper was published in 1605. Previously it took news months to travel from one country to another; today it takes it only several seconds. People started to get news comparatively quickly with the appearance of newspapers. Newspapers are very important for a contemporary man. The choice of the newspapers is wide. Now all newspapers are classified into two groups; quality and popular. Quality newspapers are serious national papers intended for educated readers. Popular newspapers are tabloid, they are designed for common readers.

Outdoor media

Outdoor media is a form of mass media which comprises billboards, signs, placards placed inside and outside of commercial buildings/objects like shops/buses, flying billboards (signs in tow of airplanes), blimps, and skywriting. Many commercial advertisers use this form of mass media when advertising in sports stadiums. Tobacco and alcohol manufacturers used billboards and other outdoor media extensively.

      Mass media encompasses much more than just news, although it is sometimes misunderstood in this way. It can be used for various purposes:

  •      Advocacy, both for business and social concerns. This can include advertising, marketing, propaganda, public relations, and political communication.

  • Entertainment, traditionally through performances of acting, music, sports, and TV shows along with light reading; since the late 20th century also through video and computer games.

Public service announcements and emergency alerts (that can be used as political device to communicate propaganda to the public)

3. Cinema.

'Film' encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. The name comes from the photographic film (also called filmstock), historically the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist—motion pictures (or just pictures and "picture"), the silver screen, photoplays, the cinema, picture shows, flicks—and commonly movies.

Films are produced by recording people and objects with cameras, or by creating them using animation techniques and/or special effects. They comprise a series of individual frames, but when these images are shown rapidly in succession, the illusion of motion is given to the viewer. Flickering between frames is not seen due to an effect known as persistence of vision—whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Also of relevance is what causes the perception of motion; a psychological effect identified as beta movement.

Film is considered by many to be an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten and inspire audiences. Any film can become a worldwide attraction, especially with the addition of dubbing or subtitles that translate the film message. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them.

4. Radio.

          Radio became widely used during World War I. It is good to listen to it in the car, or in the open air, or when you do something about the house.


5. Television

      TV is one of the best inventions the man ever made. We are really beginning to forget what the world was without TV. Everybody knows what a great force is TV in the world today. We become better informed by watching documentaries, science programs, discussions and political issues of the day. TV gives us opportunities to see the best actors, sport matches, to meet famous people. TV brings the world to our room. TV helps us to relax after a hard day's work. Besides there is a considerable amount of TV programs (News, current affairs viewpoint. Musical Reviews, Sports Review, Travelers Clubs, Good Night Kids. etc) and they gather big audience. They provide useful topics for conversation, wise heated discussions.

6. Internet

       The Internet is the recent innovation. It has broken the traditional frontiers and helps people to establish contacts. Due to the Internet we can find a lot friends in different countries. We can visit the greatest world museums and art galleries without leaving my apartment. The Internet is turning our planet into a global village. 
        The Internet (also known simply as "the Net" or less precisely as "the Web") is a more interactive medium of mass media, and can be briefly described as "a network of networks". Specifically, it is the worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and governmental networks, which together carry various information and services, such as email, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.


7. Mobile phones.

          Mobile phones were introduced in Japan in 1979 but became a mass media only in 1998 when the first downloadable ringing tones were introduced in Finland. Soon most forms of media content were introduced on mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices, and today the total value of media consumed on mobile vastly exceeds that of internet content, and was worth over 31 billion dollars in 2007 (source Informa). The mobile media content includes over 8 billion dollars worth of mobile music (ringing tones, ringback tones, truetones, MP3 files, karaoke, music videos, music streaming services etc.); over 5 billion dollars worth of mobile gaming; and various news, entertainment and advertising services. In Japan mobile phone books are so popular that five of the ten best-selling printed books were originally released as mobile phone books.


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