Not only do people in their contemporary lifestyles need mass media, the industries that have built up around the media need an audience. This interdependence reflects a symbiosis between consumers and media. To survive financially, a publishing house needs readers who will pay for a book. A Hollywood movie studio needs people at the box office. Media companies with television, radio, newspaper, and magazine products cannot survive financially unless they can deliver to an audience that advertisers want to reach. Advertisers will buy time and space from media companies only if potential customers can be delivered.
We live in an environment that interconnects with mass media. The interdependence is generally satisfying although not problem-free fact of modern life.
Writing Prompt Journal: Applying Your Media Literacy—Media Exposure
Spend one hour directing your awareness to media messages from as many sources as you are able to track (television, radio, social media). Write down what you notice, including what messages you are receiving and how they are impacting you (i.e., excited, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed). Also note how often you are using more than
one device simultaneously, and how this impacts your attention level and ability to receive these messages.
The response entered here will appear in the performance dashboard and can be viewed by your instructor.
1.1.4 Being an Empowered Media Consumer 1. Objective: Explain how to empower consumers of mass communication
Mass communication—mass information relayed through mass media to the general public—can be very overwhelming at times. There is so much media produced on such a grand scale, which people consume on a daily basis, that at times it can be difficult to know how to manage all of the information we are receiving. Many people may just relent and accept the mass production of media rather unconsciously. But it is possible to become personally empowered by developing a greater awareness of the process of mass communication—its purpose, goals, and its impact on consumers. When consumers are aware, they can become empowered, which means they can utilize mass media in a way that benefits them. They can become wise consumers rather than unaware subjects.
Finding tools to navigate through all the mass communication and put media to a use in a way that makes sense for the user is the key to gaining personal empowerment in this regard. The tools of personal empowerment include gaining an understanding of how mass communication works as a process.
Asking the following questions can help with the personal empowerment process:
What motivates people, groups, and organizations to produce mass messages?
Can information be presented in a useful way, without bias?
Can persuasion ever be honest?
Does the process of mass communication distort or otherwise affect a mass message?
Can you trust mass media?
1.2 Purposeful Mass Communication
Study Preview Mass communicators have a purpose with every message they craft. One purpose is informational, which can help people make intelligent decisions in their daily lives and in their participation in society. Persuasion can be a purpose of mass communication. Indeed, people find media essential in making most purchases and even embracing points of view. Another purpose is amusement.
Learning Objectives By the end of this module you will be able to:
1.2.1 To Inform 1. Objective: Outline the roles of media-delivered information
Media-delivered information comes in many forms. Students heading for college, especially if they plan to live in a dorm, receive a brochure about the dreaded disease meningitis. It’s a life-or-death message about reducing the contagion in cramped living quarters. The message “Inoculate Now” is from a mass medium—a printed brochure or a mass-mailed letter or an e-mail attachment from the campus health director.
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