overlapping purposes

Dissecting media messages by their purpose is useful; however, the pigeonholing or categorizing media by its purpose is limiting since most media messages have multiple purposes. Social humorist Bill Maher, for example, is a comedian but his intent is not mere amusement. Maher is also a source of information and might lie to persuade you to see things his way. Other examples of media with overlapping

purposes are John Oliver from Last Week Tonight and Stephen Colbert of the Late Show, both of whom deliver political news while entertaining through humor and sarcasm.

Media consumers may not be aware of the overlapping purposes of media, and particularly when persuasive messages are packaged as entertainment, yet with a well- developed sense of awareness and a high level of sophistication, media consumers can become savvy at assessing the true nature of media messages, which renders them less susceptible to media manipulation.

Writing Prompt Journal: Applying Your Media Literacy—Purposeful Mass Communication

Watch television for one hour, switching channels at least three times. Write down the purpose of the various forms of mass communication you watch, including commercials, and television shows. What did you notice that you wouldn’t have noticed before? How often did you note overlapping purposes? What is the value of becoming more aware of the various purposes of mass media?

The response entered here will appear in the performance dashboard and can be viewed by your instructor.

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1.3 Mediated Communication

Study Preview Mass literacy means making distinctions between mass communication and other forms of communication. Mass communication targets technologically amplified messages to massive audiences. Other forms of communication pale in comparison in their ability to reach great numbers of people, and yet can still be effective forms of communication.

Learning Objectives By the end of this module you will be able to:

  1. 1.3.1 Analyze the way technology has affected communication
  2. 1.3.2 Characterize mass communication
  3. 1.3.3 Differentiate industrial and social media

1.3.1 Traditional Forms of Communication 1. Objective: Analyze the way technology has affected communication

Human communication has many forms. Cave dwellers talked to each other. When Tor grunted at his neighbor Oop, it was interpersonal communication—one on one. Around the campfire, when Tor recounted tales from the hunt for the rest of the tribe, he was engaging in group communication. Traditionally, both interpersonal and group communication are face-to-face. Technology has expanded the prehistoric roots of human communication. When lovers purr sweet nothings via text on a smartphone, it’s still interpersonal communication. And even though technology-assisted, a rabble- rouser with a megaphone is engaging in group communication. The lines between

interpersonal and group communication become blurred when using social media as a vehicle. For instance, if two individuals are engaging in an online debate on Twitter, and other Twitter users can observe and chime in if they so choose, is this interpersonal communication or group communication?

Paleolithic humans left images that communicated among selves and later cave visitors.

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