Newspapers' Role In Society.

772 words - 3 pages

Mass media is a distinctive element of today's society. Together, the different elements are a product of societal change, forced regulations, rising living standards, and technological modernization. Mass media includes mediums such as magazines, television, internet, radio, cinema, video games, and cellular telephones. The ability to mass communicate with these devices has had such a massive impact that Denis McQuail describes that "the mass media has primary and crucial importance for the integration of the diverse secular worlds of modern men into coherence and unity" (32). There is no doubt among theorists that media is influencing society, but there are different theories that suggest that it may be society influencing media, not media influencing society. This essay shall look at newspapers' past and present, and how they will continue to affect the world we live in.In the early 1950s after WWII, American communication made deep inroads into Europe, and words like "mass", "effects", and "functions" organized research on both sides of the Atlantic (Curran 407). Almost a decade later, some of the biggest research took place in 1959, when Elihu Katz argued that people need to concentrate less on what the media do to people and more on what people do with media (McQuail 71). Dennis McQuail sides with Katz, in believing that peoples contact with media is of utmost importance, stating, "media is helping in enabling people to bring about a more satisfying relationship between themselves and the people around them" (71). The views are across the board, pointing in both directions, but research continues even today as to what extent life is changing because of emerging technologies. Not only the substance of what is being communicated is important, but just as vital is the process. Technological innovations have assisted in supplying content for our media forms, and also the circuits and motherboards of how they are made are affecting the ways which society operates. Both aspects have a hand in the creation of the world we live in today, and should be realized when reading this essay.Mass media first appeared on the scene as newspapers. The newspaper was the first medium of communication with a genuinely mass character. U.S newspaper firms had slow growth until the 1800s. It was in the 1830s that the population concentration in cities and the spread of mass literacy provided a market for mass press...

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