What is Mass Media? Is it contagious? How much media should you consume on a daily basis? Should you care?
I’m glad you asked!
Mass media can be defined as “technology that is intended to reach a mass audience. It is the primary means of communication used to reach the vast majority of the general public.” (Coleman, 2016) Mass media is the source(s) that commonly provide news and information, heavily relied on by the public at large.
Mass media quickly adapted to the use of technological innovations to communicate information and to provide instant access to information, allow commentary, and to provide live news broadcasting. These uses have created convenience but have also negatively affected society. The immediate aspect of receiving information has created an impatient society. The live broadcasting of the news, via video, has taken away censorship which has affected human empathy among viewers.
Common forms of media include print, electronic, and digital. There has been a complete transition from the way news has been communicated and shared in the past and how it is shared now. The most common/traditional type of media is in the form of print; including newspapers, magazines, books. Now there are electronic media via television, and digital media via technological devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Compared to the past, our society does not have to create our imagery or rely heavily on a professional to deliver information; this has negatively affected trust. We are in a society of go-getters for information. I think the older generation is most comfortable with traditional forms of media and probably have a harder time transitioning from print to technology primarily, to access their news. This is a comparison to the younger generation who usually is hard to tear away from their cell phones.
New developments, including the Internet and technological devices, have created competition for print industries. People migrate toward what is modern and technology appeals to today’s society. Newspapers and magazines are most affected by online sources of information. As a result, many media companies are losing money and seeing a decline in sales and production. With everything almost at the click at a mouse or readily available through applications via smartphone use, print materials are slowly phasing out. Some print industries, specifically magazine companies, are incorporating new technology and gone beyond tradition. Most magazines have created social media platforms and launched websites to provide corresponding information found in their print materials. For example, Essence magazine has a website which users can access to follow up on stories, further research, subscribe to future articles, and receive incentives. There are also applications (apps) available for download.
The Internet, smartphones, computers, and instant gratification are some of the biggest advancements in technology. The advancements in technology have allowed people to access information easily, news, and socialize in a variety of forms. The biggest advancement is the Internet by way of smartphones, computers, tablets, applications and other technological devices. The idea of instant messaging and providing information with the click of a button also stemmed from the various advancements in technology. The Internet has been the biggest breakthrough in media as information is made available to everyone most conveniently. Computers and the Internet are presently the common means for accessing media in today’s society. Society has seen advancements in other sources of media compared to their first introduction including televisions radios.
Electronic and digital media is made available to the masses for the masses via technology. Digital technology has been an advancing format. It began as a primary storage system to having the capacity of spreading information to the masses via the Internet.
Some media is negatively influencing society as Unethical Behavior in entertainment remains popular. Common media displays, desensitizing the public, has caused an increased intolerance for unethical behavior. There is history with unethical behavior in entertainment inclusive of video games, movies, and sports. Constant viewing of these acts has the potential of desensitizing individuals, creating a tolerance for similar real-life incidents in media.
Modern video games encourage violence which strengthens the relationship between media influence and unethical behavior. Grand Theft Auto 5 (Brutal Kill) is a modern video game for PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The game advertisement depicts a series of violence. The intensity ranges from robbing stores to stealing cars, and the brutal assault on women. There are graphic sexualized displays of violence toward women including arrest, capture, and excessive force. It was disturbing to see how this game would be played across the nation as entertainment. These images are familiar in today’s media. As people have been accustomed to violent and unethical behavior in entertainment, there is a tolerance for publicly displaying uncensored, violent content via social media. As people have been accustomed to violent and unethical behavior in entertainment, there is a tolerance for publicly displaying uncensored, violent content via social media.
Although the unethical behavior is not new, it is being thrown into the spotlight. As unethical behavior is becoming noticeable different laws and restriction have been set in place to limit the propaganda; preventing social media view. For example, North Carolina’s governor banned police body camera footage from the public view. The idea of restricting the exposure to the public does not fix the controversial issue but suppresses it.
Technology has the potential to exploiting controversy through viral media. Unethical behavior, in a variety of forms, is occurring at a rapid speed throughout the nation. With the help of technology and social media, the public can view many of these occurrences in the news. Viral media is popular and has become a standard resource for news. Technological savvy people are exposed to this media as it is a quick way of spreading information. The advancements in technology, combined with social media, is proving unethical behavior exists and with the click of a button it is shared as entertainment. The nature of this controversy is explicit, uncensored, and on public display through media.
A lot of media coverage involves police related controversies due to claims of violent and excessive force and injustice. Injustice is evident through shared content of the physical encounters with suspects, sometimes leading to the deaths. It has become common to view uncensored, violent and the unethical content and spread it through social media causing controversy.
Although unethical behavior is not new, it is being thrown into the spotlight. As unethical behavior is becoming noticeable different laws and restriction have been set in place to limit the propaganda; preventing social media view. For example, North Carolina’s governor banned police body camera footage from the public view. The idea of limiting the exposure to the public does not fix the controversial issue but suppresses it. The Rodney King murder which occurred in 1991 showed the violent, unethical behavior and excessive force used by law enforcement. This was a time when social media, the Internet, etc. was not familiar or accessible, however, unethical behavior was recorded and released to the public.
The issue isn’t technologies, social media or the ability to share content. It is in the actual unethical acts and the fact that some people find no foul in it. The immediate removal of unethical behavior in entertainment and social media would be a positive effect in the way it is perceived. The issue is not with social media it is with the content created and viewed and an increase in conversation due to the exposure via social media. Eliminating social media, restricting the sharing of unethical behavior (videos), enforcing laws to limit the distribution of police content will not fix the problem. For example, Twitter users can report material that is offensive or should be censored. However, it is based on content laws, privacy act, basically up to Twitter personnel to make the judgment of whether the content should be removed; this is also biased. There are already restrictions set in place, but there are still issues with people exhibiting unethical behavior and finding it in entertainment or used as entertainment. Entertainment has made unethical behavior in ways acceptable.
Coleman, . (2013-2016). What Is Mass Media?. Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-mass-media-definition-types-influence-examples.html
Coyne, S. M. (2007). Does media violence cause violent crime? European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 13(3-4), 205-211. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10610-007-9044-5