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Mass Media and the Process of Communication

The evolution of a new mass medium and how it communicates messages and meaning

Stephanie Converse

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of Mass Media and the Process of Communication

Mass Media and the Process of Communication
Mass Media
= The
cultural industries
technological tools
-- the channels of communication -- that produce and distribute content, like news, music, movies, books and magazines, to a
large, mixed audience
Everything from commercial radio...
...to shady infomercials
from PBS...
...to newspapers.
= plural for
No, not
= the intervening
through which messages are
or carried on.
When talking about communications, the
that transmits messages are media
Paper is a substance.
So are electric wires.
So are airwaves.
In fact,
we're surrounded by media.
It’s difficult to distinguish mass media technologies from culture itself.
How does a technological breakthrough become a
mass medium
It takes
fertile cultural ground
for a new communications technology to
as a
mass medium.
Communications technologies start off as cool
... but they only become mass media technologies because of social, cultural, political and economic circumstances.
Mass media evolve in 3 stages. In the
Novelty Stage,
it may start out as an invention and is used for certain applications. For example, in the early 1900s, Thomas Edison thought his phonograph would be used for dictation.
But Edison and others tried recording music. And they started mass producing phonographs and records made of fragile shellac. This is called the
Entrepreneurial Stage
In the early 1940’s shellac was needed for the war.
Polyvinyl plastic replaced shellac for making records.
That made them more durable.
Mass Medium
And that led to the next invention in 1948 of the 33 1/3 rpm LP -- long-playing albums.
But it was a
cultural shift
that really allowed the record industry to take off.
The rise of the middle class: People had more money to spend and teenagers became more independent, The recording industry finally entered the true
Mass Medium Stage
in the 1950's.
Media & Culture
What Is a Medium?
The Birth of a Mass Medium
To E!
Full transcript