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Chapter 1 Mass Communication: A Critical Approach

posted Aug 29, 2011, 6:41 AM by sarah ruwe
This article started by talking about the different kinds of mass media and how it intertwines with communication and mass communication. I thought it was interesting how it talked about how the print era came about with the invention of the printing press. I couldn't believe how much the printing press changed the world, not only for literature, but for the economy and the advancement of media. Then it talks about the digital and electronic era. To me, the telegraph seems like ages ago and like such a useless piece of technology, but the telegraph really started the electronic era. Today we use digital communication for everything. It is weird to think that our iPhones and computers started from something like the telegraph. 
    The linear model of mass communication is completely true and is displayed in my daily life. In high school, the sender could be a friend sending a mass text message (mass media channel) to a group of his or her friends (receivers). The feedback would be what the friends respond to the sender. This can be good because the sender can send out mass quantities of info very quickly, but it can be bad because in a text the reader doesn't know how the sender is saying something, and the receiver could take that information the wrong way and get upset. This is also an example of how powerful media can be. Another way media is powerful is that a TV commercial can cause someone to donate money to children in Africa or help the victims of a natural disaster. I think it is great that we can communicate such powerful messages so quickly and efficiently.
    I did not like the culture as a skyscraper concept because most people do not fit into just high culture or only low culture. For example, I like reality TV shows which is low class, but I also like to read an occasional classic lit novel or look at art. I thought the culture as a map was a much better portrayal of people in general because it allows a person to be "all of the map" or like multiple things.
    I thought the values in the modern period were easy to understand, but it was hard for me to understand some of the postmodern values. I felt like it talked about the postmodern values, but I didn't understand some of them. I thought the critical process was a good way to break down something and really look at the different aspects of it. I think if I start using the critical process it will help me have better formed and more well rounded opinions because I will look at both sides of the argument.