Tag Archives: Mass Media

Communication needs of the society must be met for the existence of the society. Slowly, slowly, with the advent of technology and larger and more complex society, the jobs of taking care of these needs were taken over by the mass media. However, the question goes as follows: Is the media really meeting the needs of society? Or, is the society being played by mass media?

The Surveillance Function: The Dysfunction

The Surveillance Function: The Dysfunction

As you would remark, news or information published in newspapers or from other mass media influences the behaviors of society. For instance, after your case study, you would probably notice that at the beginning, the rumors published undoubtedly have an effect on the mind of the people. However, because most news is not verifiable by the receiver, the audience will have the tendency to take what they read as a reliable source. Referring to your case study again, after a few days and after further development of the rumor, you would notice that people’s mind keeps changing according to what they read. So, the media decide what you get to see on TV, read on the internet, and hear on the radio. This is the surveillance function of mass media. They decide what to inform you about, what stories are important and who is portrayed and how. For example, in the Euro-Western world, there is a small group of media conglomerates (e.g. Murdoch) that continually control the information disseminated through their media outlets. In countries like the US and Australia, the influence of the media on the selection of information communicated to the media consumers has been so great as to dictate the key focal points of election campaigns, and topics that were not deemed important by either politicians or the public until the media highlighted them continually.

Therefore, implications of the surveillance function of the media can be listed as follows:

  • Because news (accurate accounts as well as mistakes) travels further and faster than ever before, news of events comes to us second-hand and is usually not personally verifiable; as such, we’ve come to place our trust in media credibility.
  • Sometimes media content can inadvertently affect social mindsets like the apocalypse prophecy and the end of the world in the year 2000. Moreover, the power of media conglomerates in deciding the political agenda of the electoral campaign also emphasizes the power of media in influencing the mass. These harmful or negative consequences are called media dysfunctions.

The Interpretation Function: The Dysfunction

The Interpretation Function: The Dysfunction

The dysfunction of mass media interpretation and prescription can result in individuals not receiving a complete and accurate image of an event or topic, as well as not contributing to the development of an individual’s critical faculties. There is no assurance, however, that the interpretation of media specialists, such as analysts of economic trends and demographic figures, is correct and valid.Also, over-reliance on media makes one lose his or her critical ability.

There is also no guarantee that media interpretations are accurate or valid. Individuals could become overly dependent on media interpretation and lose the ability to analyze situations or think for themselves. Moreover, information saturation and overload of information might also shift away from the focus of media consumers from relevant issues.

The Linkage Function: The Dysfunction

The Linkage Function: The Dysfunction

Sometimes the linkage function can have harmful consequences, such as hate groups’ and terrorists’ use of the Internet. It is easier to spread rumors through the linkage function as the news will reach a variety of audiences very quickly, and hence objectives of the hate groups are achieved. For example, in the year 2011, there were riots in the UK provoked by messages spread by the BlackBerry network, and which the British Police had to take offline in order to control the youth on the streets.

Transmission of Values: The Dysfunction

Transmission of Values: The Dysfunction

This function also has limitations. Sometimes, mass media purposely try to instill specific values in the audience, for instance, constant media publicity on the consequences of drug addiction. Furthermore, some researches show that young people who watch programs with a lot of violence might be socialized into accepting violence as a legitimate method of solving problems. However, recent studies, especially from the telepresence branch of media studies, demonstrate that watching violence through media or engaging in violent behavior through media (e.g. first-person shooter games) does not result in a more aggressive predisposition. Significant research has found the opposite to be true like violence in media can have a cathartic effect on the media consumer, thereby purging him or her of the violent emotions. Moreover, the kinds of values and cultural information that are included in the mass media content sometimes influence the perceptions of the mass, for example, media portraying people with stereotypes like Muslims and terrorism, Africa and cannibalism among others.


As discussed in the previous article, new media has a profound impact on the world of journalism. And, as promised, today, we shall discuss some more essential features of the new media that brought several changes to the way journalism is today.

  • Interactivity:

Alcohol brands boost social media engagement by 327% thanks to coronavirus  donations

Old media was a more a one-way affair, with journalists providing information and audiences receiving on the receiving ends of broadcasts. However, the new media is a more of a two-way process that allows the audiences to get more involved. According to Jenkins (2008), “media interactivity has produced a “participatory culture.” In other words, journalists and consumers no longer occupy separate roles and instead, users are now considered as participants in the news industry

Moreover, this new media feature has led to the creation of interactive journalism, which refers to a new type of journalism where citizens bring a huge contribution to news stories directly. Using the web 2.0 technology, reporters have more opportunities to engage actively and have online discussions with the audience. The new media is a platform that allows journalists to reengage the audience and build “collective conscience.” For example, the Internet enables the unprecedented empowerment of individuals.

Besides, interactive journalism has encouraged the news industry to lean towards both print content and video, graphic, sound clips and social media in their reporting process.

  • Hypertextuality:

How do you advise your students to avoid social media pitfalls? First, by  listening - Poynter

Hypertexts or links are viewed as essential features of the new media. Hypertexts create a more interactive media where the audience has more freedom to navigate over the various sources of information available to them.

Rather than conforming to a fixed and linear news format, journalists communicate information through the use of hypertexts by incorporating a myriad of perspectives. This leads to active and self-reflective readers. As per Murray (1997), “hypertexts call attention to the process of narrative construction and enhance the involvement of readers.”

What about Newsgathering?

Journalists brave danger to report on coronavirus | Penn Today

Nowadays, new media has become an increasingly significant source for newsgathering. Journalists acknowledge the fact that the arrival of the new and digital media has indeed initiated a fundamental shift within journalism and therefore, computers have replaced typewriters and Facebook and Twitter posts have replaced telephone-based tips. Today, reporters can also become their own cameramen with their smartphones in their hands.

It is viewed that web articles, web journals, web magazine articles, websites, books on the web, email discussion groups, web archives and social media platforms are vital tools that are used in the process of newsgathering. For instance, did you know that at Chicago Tribune, which is a newspaper found in Chicago, the social media news editors begin their day by going through tweets and Facebook posts to get ideas about how to engage their audience? For example, Stacey Leasca, one of the social media editors, always tries to track what’s trending on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing before writing news blog posts and interacting with the newspaper’s audience.

Another great example is how the Vox has a team made up of six people who exclusively focus and depend on social media to create headlines and to get ideas for news articles.

Murthy (2013) claimed that “Twitter has proved extremely useful as a newsgathering medium in terms of communicating information about events such as the Tohuku earthquake in Japan in 2011 and social movements such as the Occupy protests in London and New York in 2011. Twitter has also been effective in the Egyptian protests that toppled President Mubarak.”

What Is Structured Journalism?

Partisan sites erode trust in local news - Lenfest Institute for Journalism

One way to adapt journalism to the growing world of the new media is to change the way news content is written. This is what structured journalism is about. For instance, usually, once a journalist gets an assignment, the latter collects the necessary information, writes and structures the article and then the story is made accessible on numerous platforms. In other words, this is the only way to connect with the finished product.

However, structured journalism is a new type of storytelling that breaks out of the normal and routine-like pattern and pieces of information are mixed and organized in ways that can enhance news story organization for subjects that evolve over long periods of time. This meets the needs of those readers who either want a recap of the story or want to explore every angle of an issue. Additionally, the characteristic of structured journalism makes it possible for readers to explore stories at their own pace. As per David Smydra, “structured journalism plays perfectly with the affordances of digital media.”

Despite the revolution brought upon the journalism world by the new and digital media, journalists are still irreplaceable and unstoppable. What are your views about this? Please share them in the comment section below!


Despite the advent of the Internet and the many advances in technology, people still consider television to be an essential broadcast medium. This precious source of information and entertainment was invented in 1927, and still holds a place in most people’s hearts. Let’s have a deep dive into what goes into making a television broadcast these days.

The Television

TV is a responsibility, not only in entertaining people but using this medium of television in positive ways to teach people and enlighten people.”

– James Van Praagh

Let’s have a look at some of the most important aspects of a television station.


A television production is a team effort. Watching from the control room, a television producer can detect potential problems. For example, he may adjust a newscast and add or change a news story. He must also produce the newscast according to a fixed time period.

Matt Ellis, a news director, claimed that:

A news producer is the architect of the program. He is responsible for choosing the news content, slotting the stories and writing much of the copy. He oversees the presentation of the news broadcast from the control room.”

On the other hand, television scriptwriters are responsible for the content that will be presented to the general public. For instance, they use word-processing programs to set up a table for their script text and follow the same 5 W’s and 1 H writing rule.

Before a meal is presented, it needs to be garnished. Similarly, editing refers to the task of taking pre-recorded materials and converting them into a finished audio-visual program. Therefore, editors use linear editing or nonlinear computer editing software to combine shots together in their selected order. They choose the best shots, add filler sequences and can even change these sequences if required.

Unlike radio presenters, television anchors do no need to look down on papers but instead look into the camera lens while reading their scripts. For instance, scripts are entered into a TelePrompTer from which anchors will read the content. However, TelePrompTer operators must match the screen’s information with what is being said on the news.

Furthermore, a television director is responsible for the overall production process. For example, a television director may organise an editorial meeting to brainstorm the news producer and the reporters. His objective is to generate story ideas for newscasts day and evening. He may also use the IFB (interruptible frequency broadcast), which is a monitoring system for one-way communication between the director and on-air talent, facilitated by using earpieces. For example, during a news program, the director can talk to the news anchor about the latest breaking news.

Now let’s talk about the graphic department. Graphic artists create computer graphics, credits and other computer-generated content. At the same time, the art director works on the set design, location and those graphics that will appear on the television screen. The sound recordist has the responsibility to record the whole soundtrack of a programme while photographers have the tasks of building shot sequences. The latter is also responsible for media colour production.

The task of a technical director is different compared to that of a television director. He is in the master control room and oversees the presentation of the audio and visual aspects. However, the audio and microphone levels are more controlled by the audio staff.

Moreover, the engineering department protects, maintains and improve all technical equipment associated with the production process. Television engineers are further responsible for satellite transmission and live story coverage.

Studio, Budget and Equipment

Unlike a private radio station, a television station has a much larger budget and resources.

Let’s start with the studio. A television studio has several rooms which are all separated from the exterior. It consists of a production control room that includes a video monitor wall, a special effects generator, an audio mixing console, a character generator and camera control panels.

Sound is the main ingredient of an auditor’s capability to create a perception of realism. Thus, in a television station, lavaliere and dynamic microphones are used for tv programmes while hand-held microphones are used during live broadcasting. Moreover, ENG (electronic news gathering) equipment, including cameras, microphones, news vans and satellite trucks plays a crucial role in news gathering and outside broadcasting.

Did you know that lighting is another essential aspect of a television station? Proper lighting is needed to create a specific setting of a programme as it can provide television cameras with sufficient illumination for more high-quality pictures.

Production Process

The pre-production stage consists of writing a television script, gathering of the staff, choosing the appropriate set, graphics and costumes. The second stage which is the production phase starts with rehearsals where scenes are prepared, television presenters or actors are called on the sets and shots are recorded and reviewed. The last stage is when the final shape of the programme is obtained. It includes cutting recorded visuals into a suitable length and organising them in an appropriate sequence. It also consists of the use of captions and other effects to obtain the finished media product.

What we only hear has usually less impact than what we see and hear at the same time. A television’s strength is the screen as people like to see things with their own eyes compared to a radio. Hence, it can be noted that television, as a medium, can not only communicate sound just like the radio but can also display printed words on the screen like a newspaper and broadcast high-quality videos.

So, what do you think is better as a medium? TV or radio? Please share your comments!

Broadcast media represents an effective and integrated form of communication in our society. In today’s article, we will look at the oldest form of broadcast media – the Radio.

The Radio

First created in the 1890s, the radio works when messages are sent through electromagnetic waves. The radio signal is similar to an electronic current that can go back and forth very quickly.

Suppose you need to make a meal; you will need the proper ingredients and utensils. Similarly, two crucial components have contributed to the success of the radio: equipment and staff.


According to the UNESCO,

‘…the recruitment of the broadcasting personnel should be on talent, creative ability and an aptitude for broadcasting….’

One of the most important people of the radio is the radio producer. He or she is responsible for coordinating the content of all the radio programs, generating ideas and recording and editing programs. This person is also responsible for budget management. As a radio producer, he or she is supposed to have a good understanding of language, so as to edit news scripts and advise newsreaders on the correct pronunciation so as listeners can better understand the news being read out.

Next, we have the radio presenter, most known as a radio jockey or as an RJ. This is the person hosting shows on the radio. The RJ represents the image and reputation of a radio station, and therefore have the responsibility of communicating with and engaging their audience. They not only inform and educate but also entertain you with their charming personalities and addictive voices. In a way, their job is to attract as many listeners as possible.

Next, the technical department consists of people who operate and maintain equipment ranging from studio machines to transmitters. Engineers manage equipment that can regulate signal strength and a range of sounds to adjust volume and audio quality.

Do you know what the role of a radio programme broadcaster is? If not, let me tell you that he or she is a person who has the proper expertise to identify the propagation characteristics of a radio station and where the signal is the strongest. As a result, this can help decide upon the appropriate programme technique for listeners in difficult reception areas.

Lastly, we have an audio producer whose job is to write audio scripts, create sound effects and ensure that the best audio is considered. He is also responsible for the final edit of a programme.

Studio, Equipment and Sound

Radio is a sound-only medium, which implies that the quality of sound should be genuine and the signal should be reliable as substandard and muffled quality sound can negatively affect listeners and discourage them from listening to the radio news.”

A radio studio is constructed based on some acoustic principles that can help create quiet places where news-reading programmes can be held undisturbed. For instance, the materials used to build the internal walls have unique acoustic properties that can absorb and reflect sounds at different frequencies, preventing outside sounds, like footsteps and traffic noise.

Found in the radio studio, the control room is a soundproof room which consists of high-quality monitoring loudspeakers, studio signalling systems, echo equipment, consoles and the VU (Volume Unit) meter which shows the level of sound output. A high-quality computer system can also be found, which is essential as it is used to store all the radio shows, news recordings, voice-overs and so on.

Now, let’s talk about a bit about the most important radio station equipment: microphones! Nowadays, dynamic condenser microphones are popular in radio stations as they are resistant to ambient noise. For example, the Shure SM7B is a type of microphone favoured for radio news broadcasting as it does not need to be handled. Besides, some microphones also consist of windscreens that can keep irrelevant noise such as the sound of breath to the minimum.

As per the details mentioned above, have you been able to glimpse some aspects of a radio station? Please share your comments!

Can housewives live without their daily TV soaps? Can teenagers spend a day without logging to Facebook? Can football fans live without goal.com? We now take for granted that media has become an integral part of our lives and that we will never be able to live without it. So, let’s take a tour to see the role that the mass media is playing worldwide.

Functions of the Mass Media:

Surveillance Function

There is the instrumental surveillance, where mass media serves as the eyes and ears of the general public and provide the information necessary for daily life, such as stock market prices, weather forecasts, upcoming movie releases, new fashion and current affairs. For instance, how do you think the whole world heard about the first coronavirus outbreak? Through the media, of course!

Did you know that the news of the end of the War of 1812 took months to reach people across the Atlantic? However, within 2 hours of the events, more than 90% of the American population knew about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Another type of mass media surveillance is warning or beware surveillance, where the media creates awareness on threats such as wars, natural disasters, economic declines, military threats and epidemics. It is the media’s task to act as a ‘watchdog’ and warn the public about dangers to assure the welfare of the nation. We might not directly experience what is happening worldwide, but we can rely on the media to keep us informed.

Interpretation Function

Mass media helps to shape a person’s view of the world. The audience is exposed to various perspectives and school of thoughts provided by the media to help people better understand and make judgements. Media gatekeepers decide on the content that will be presented to the audience. Mass communicators do not transmit only the information but also the significance of the information. An example is the national response to the killing of a British black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, in 1993, which led to a repeal of the double jeopardy rule in murder cases in the UK.

Linkage Function

Online outlets such as eBay, allow both sellers and buyers to link up. This is known as the Linkage function, where the media plays a vital role in connecting several elements of the society that are not directly related. Other examples include how voters will follow their elected officials’ accomplishments through newspapers, how advertising connects both sellers and buyers, online dating services, such as match.com and dating.com, writing letters to editors and phone-ins on the radio.

The linkage function can be witnessed when geographically separated groups share information, which may be through social media and other media channels. The media can also lead to ‘audience building’, where social groups with similar interests are assembled together. For instance, in November 2017, The Sun daily newspaper was instrumental in asking all Malaysians to make donations to help the Penang Flood victims.

Transmission of Values Function

This function is also called the socialisation function. Here, mass media is seen as a socialisation agency, which reflects an increasing influence on shaping our norms and values. It plays a central role in shaping the personality of individuals. People’s view of the world, political and social attitudes, and political leaders’ beliefs are formed through their impressions from the media rather than personal experience. For example, did you know that shows like Full House and Step by Step promoted family values?

The mass media normally encourages conformist behaviours. It communicates acceptable and unacceptable forms of behaviour to reinforce perceptions of expected behaviours. For instance, news reports on the serious consequences for those who break the society’s norms. Another example is how BBC News published an online article in 2018 to raise awareness about the importance of wearing seat belts.

Entertainment Function

A popular function is how people use the media to escape from routines and to ease worries. People may immerse themselves in specific media types to compensate for the lack of satisfaction in their daily lives, or to gratify their needs and to relax their tired minds. Examples are how women read Mills and Boon novels to make up for the lack romance in their marriage, or newspapers including games like crosswords and Sudoku on their pages. Television offers people possibilities to view events that they would not have attended to such as the Oscars and the Olympics. Many sociologists believed that teenagers use horror films to gratify their need for excitement.

Today, the emergence of digital media has increased the entertainment function of the press. For instance, blogs such as Perez Hilton’s provide recent gossip news about celebrities, and YouTube is used to watch different types of videos while some people live alternative lives as avatars on websites such as Second Life.

Have you been able to identify and recognise the function that the media plays in our lives? Please share your comments!

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