by Christina Ebenezer
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The media is signification
in terms of culture & it
provides us with their
image of 'Social Reality'
and it also expresses our
New media such as; satellite television, WAP
mobile phones and the internet make it
possible for information to circulate around the
McLuhan (1971) - world has become a
Global Village due to all new forms of the
McCullagh (2002) - defined the media as
''simply the means through which content,
whether fact or fiction, is produced by
organisations and transmitted to and
received by an audience''
Devereux (2008) came up with key aspects that give
a better understanding of the roles of the Mass Media
- Mass Media as means of communication between 'senders' and 'receivers'
- Mass Media texts as cultural products with social, cultural and political importance
- Mass Media industries as organisations
- Mass Media texts as agents of social change and globalisation
- Mass Media as agents of socialisation and powerful sources of social meaning
Some see the media as a beneficial
institution which educates, informs
and entertains its audience.
Others see it in a negative light and say it controls its audience. Viewers
are faced with transmitted messages based on the concept of
'determinism' (human behaviour being fixed consequences of particular
events or experiences) It denies/minimises the possibility of free choice
McLuhan (1964) - "Media
Determinism", argues that new
media technologies have a
determining influence on social
Ways of regulating and controlling
the media, which involves
preventing or restricting the
audience from being reached.
Can be used by the government and regulatory
bodies; Government Censorship includes the
use of Official Secrets Act and DN Notices in
order to prevent reporting of public on the fact
that they harm the national security.
Watershed is a form of censorship whereby contents on television
are restricted from broadcasting before a certain time
Formal Censorship; regulating by official bodies like the government.
Informal Censorship; used by media professionals based on mutual
agreements and informal discussion.
- Content Analysis
Content Analysis; used to analyse
contents of media products i.e.
newspapers/magazines. Often used
to quantify parts of the media content
by counting or measuring it.
Lobban (1974) & Best (1993) used content analysis to
look at gender representations in children's reading
schemes. By counting the numbers appearing in such
categories like Heros or Heroins. (Quantitative approach)
Negatives: 1. There's a general problem with using secondary data (i.e. biased sample).
2. Meaning of ''content'' is not operationalised
Semiology; involves analysing the meaning of signs
and codes within cultural context. Some sociologists
semiotic analysis to reveal what they think is an
ideological message. Feminists also use this to
analyse messages of gender role ideology
Negatives: 1. Analysis relies on the researchers analysis of the content
2. Presents researchers analysis of the content but not in the way that the audience receive the message
3. Lacks Reliability
Experiments; the use of this is influenced by methodology of natural
sciences. Social scientists like Psychologists use laboratory
experiments whilst Sociologists prefer field experiments - which are
more likely to be found in studies of Media where variables are
manipulated in order to analyse their influence
Negatives: 1. Ethical issues based on informed consent
2. Lack of validity due to the artificial environment
3. Hawthorne Effect (participant being influence by the researcher to act in the way they desire)