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Mass Communication - Chapter 1 Review/Thoughts.

posted Aug 29, 2011, 6:41 AM by Janna Potts
This article was pretty successful in describing all the different eras of media, as well as the products and styles of media.  Obviously the media plays very important roles in culture because it helps define it and make it unique.  The article also helped break down the three major parts having to do with communication and media - culture, mass media, and mass communication.  Culture expresses itself through mass communication, which are the messages and stories that are presented to us, which is transmitted through mass media, which act as channels of communication such as TV, movies, books, etc.  The article did a very good job of simplifying this while also showing how messages get from one place to another in order to define the interests of cultures.  It's especially easy to see today where we have a wide array of devices and tools that can give us information and present these messages almost instantaneously.  Smart phones, tablets, and computers in general let us access movies, news, stories, and much more right on demand.  Our generation is particularly interesting because while earlier generations had television and newspapers to transmit information, the internet is so vast and accessible that I personally think we have  easier access to unedited information and multiple versions which can give us a broader view on everything.  The article also seems to point out that media is only getting bigger with each era, which is also interesting.  The earliest is oral and written, where communication was very slow to circulate, and manuscripts or other written forms were limited to upper or ruling classes.  The print revolution obviously helped distribute written communication in a wider spectrum to other classes since the mass production of books became possible. This allowed for different ideas and views to spread more easily and eventually led to revolutions, which helped define or separate cultures on a bigger level.  Then there are of course, the electronic and digital eras. Maybe it's because I've personally experience these, but I find these the most interesting.  I think it's just pretty interesting how fast certain things have taken off in the last few decades, especially internet.  Internet is probably the biggest role in modern media.  You can access it from almost anywhere, and it only takes a matter of seconds to transmit one message from one place to another.  It's used not only for social networking, but for research, business, profit, news, and entertainment.  It basically takes all forms of media that have emerged in history and combines them all into one.  This is common knowledge to us, and we're so used to it that's it's almost boring to talk about, but if you compare it to other forms of media in other eras, it's actually pretty impressive.  The article expresses this pretty successfully as well as the complications that occur with it.  Although the linear model of communication is pretty straightforward (senders transmit messages through mass media channels to receivers who create feedback), the path sometimes doesn't make it all the way through, or the messages are intercepted or interpreted wrong.  Overall, though, the descriptions and examples of media today compared to earlier eras in the article is pretty interesting, and it does a good job in emphasizing the role of media then and now. 

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