Study aspects of the impact of modern media on the British

Consideration of the mass media as an instrument of influence on human consciousness. The study of the positive and negative aspects of the radio, television, press, magazines, Internet. Advantages and disadvantages of the media in the Great Britain.

Рубрика Журналистика, издательское дело и СМИ
Вид дипломная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 14.10.2014
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internet media influence britain

The link between media culture and its real world effect has been a hot topic for many years. Many people believe that media have an obviously bad effect on people. In today's world people cannot live without Mass Media and with the help of technological improvements sending messages to the masses is becoming easier and easier. As we are been showered with tons of advertising, information and other sort of materials by the different types of Mass Media has influence on our everyday life styles.

More than 1000 studies conducted in the past 40 years show that excessive exposure to media violence causes the violent behaviour in real life. Some other researches prove that media contain heavy messages that promote unhealthy habits or antisocial behaviours. This might be true. A few centuries ago people knew only a few kinds of communication. They could speak to each other, they could send their message from one place to another by smoke signals, and they used mail. Later on, they also had some newspapers. The newspapers are an incredible influence tool in society. They can easily turn on people emotions in favor or against an issue or something.

This is because we as readers tend to believe everything that is written in the newspaper even do it might be the wrong information. Newspapers, radio, television, the Internet and other media are very important for us. We can get the newest information from the whole world. Media give us a big amount of information.

Although the press in this or that country is legally free, the danger lies in the fact that the majority of people are not aware of the ownership. The press in fact is controlled by a comparatively small number of persons. Consequently, when the readers see different newspapers providing the same news and expressing similar opinions they are not sure that the news, and the evaluation of the news, are determined by a single group of people, perhaps even by one person. In democratic countries it has long been assumed that government ought, in general, to do what their people want them to do.

The object is the process of the media's influence on the average Briton.

The subject is the mass media as an instrument of influence on human consciousness.

The aim of my qualification work is researching aspects of the influence of modern media on the British.

This aim is achieved by solving tasks: The methods used in the qualification work are studying and analysis of scientific literature, periodicals, and also Internet resources which contain relevant information required for the research and their following use for creating the teaching materials section.

The present qualification work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. The main part of our qualification paper includes several items.


1. Mass media - A means of public communication reaching a large audience.

2. Newspapers - a publication regularly printed and distributed, usually daily or weekly, containing news, opinions, advertisements, and other items of general interest

3. Magazines - Publication issued periodically, containing miscellaneous editorial pieces, such as articles, short stories, interviews, photographic essays, or poems, of either a specifies or general nature.

4. Yellow Pages - section of a telephone directory that lists businesses, services, or products alphabetically according to field. 5. Radio - the wireless transmission through space of electromagnetic waves in the approximate frequency range from 10 kilohertz to 300,000 megahertz.

6. Television - A television system that has twice the standard number of scanning lines per frame and therefore produces pictures with greater detail. 7. Direct Mail - Advertising circulars or other printed matter sent directly through the mail to prospective customers or contributors.

8. Telemarketing - the business or practice of marketing goods or services by telephone.

9. Internet - A means of connecting a computer to any other computer anywhere in the world via dedicated routers and servers. When two computers are connected over the Internet, they can send and receive all kinds of information such as text, graphics, voice, video, and computer programs.

10. Specialty Advertising - Form of advertising that uses advertising novelties as medium for the message. Examples include buttons, bumper stickers, and balloons with writing. 11. Input - The language that the child is exposed to through listening to the teacher, to peers, to tapes, to video or TV, or through written text. This provides the raw material for the child to work on and develop his/her internal language system.

12. Interaction - communication with other people. Classroom interaction refers to the communication which takes place between teacher and pupils, and pupils and their peers.

13. Motivation - something that inspires action

14. Classroom management - it means developing, creating classroom for maximize use.

14. Violence - exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse.

1. What is mass media?

1.1 The structure of mass media

Communication is a process of transmitting information to the public. It is manipulation of symbols-words, pictures and expressions. What people think about politics arise out of their understanding of symbols. But these are just symbols, not realities. Unless we ourselves are in the White House Oval Office, we can not really know what is happening. We can only know the political world through the symbols communicated to us by media.

Murray Edelman, political scientist explains: "For most people most of the time politics is a series of pictures in the mind, placed there by television news, newspapers, magazines and discussion. The pictures create a moving panorama taking place in a world the mass public never quite touches, yet one its member come to fear and cheer, often with passion and sometimes with action. Politics for most of people is a passing parade of abstract symbols." [18]

The mass media are all the channels of communication that carry messages to the general public. There are eight principal mass media-televisions, books, newspapers, motion pictures, magazines, radio, internet and recordings. The following paragraphs will deal with the three most important media and their possible influence on public opinion.

The most popular medium of communication is television. It became usable in the late 1930's but then the World War II has delayed its development. The commercial TV broadcasting started in the late 1940's. The years between 1950 and 1958 meant a big explosion of TV sets. While in 1950 there were about 4 millions televisions, in 1958 there were forty-one million families having a TV set.

Nowadays, most homes in Britain have a television set, and the average home set is turned on seven hours a day. According to Nielsen Media Research from the year 2006, an average British watches television four hours thirty five minutes a day. The number of homes connected to cable television systems is rapidly growing. This medium is the most common source of news for the most British and it is the most believable source of news. Between 1958 and 1960, television passed newspapers as the most believable medium and three years later as a source of most news. The graph below from the year 1987 reveals that most people trust television news than that of any other medium. Even more, in 2004 more than ninety percent of the British used TV as the primary source of new information. [13]

Television is unique in more ways. It is immediate because it can show news from different parts of the world life. It is also special for its visual content because it increases emotional appeal and brings a sense of legitimacy to the viewers. The arrival of television meant a revolution in personalizing communication.

Another highly influencing media are newspapers. They were the first medium with the purpose to communicate new information to a large public. The first published newspapers in England were published in April 1704. They were published weekly and were one page long. In the past they were also used to promote public support to different issues as for example ratifying the Constitution. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the number of newspapers and magazines grew dramatically from around 200 in 1800 to around 1200 in 1830's. In 1833 came an important change the invention of penny press, which was cheap newspaper containing sensationalized stories and was sold to the working class. [20]

Nowadays about 70 percent of the population reads newspapers. The average British spends twenty minutes a day reading them. About eighteen hundred daily newspapers are published. Though the numbers of newspapers readers still reach millions, the sale of newspaper is sinking. In the age of the rise of the Internet more and more people look for new information online and do not bother themselves with the printed papers. The average age of an British newspaper reader is fifty five and this number is still rising. Younger people do not seem to be interested in reading newspapers - only nineteen percent of British's between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four admit of reading any type of printed news journals. Independent British newspapers have lost forty two percent of their market value since 2005. As a good example can serve the Times Company, whose stock has declined by fifty four percent since the end of 2004.

The third and very important type of media is the Internet. It is the revolution in the way of communication, which has developed in the early 1980s. It was originally used to connect Pentagon with far military bases and defense contractors. The first main public use was the electronic mail communication. The growth of the Internet started with the explosion of personal computers and the development of a range of graphic programs. At the end of 1980s it was widely used by the public. Companies from all different parts of the world had recognized the economic potential of Internet and developed their own web pages.

It is important to say that nowadays there is a technology gap in Britain. Class, race, age and educational attainment may influence the people's access to personal computers and the Internet. Although most of the public libraries provide the Internet access for free, there are still people that can not use this opportunity because of lack of basic computer skills, no access to transport or just because they are illiterate. The Census Bureau, which is a company that regularly conducts surveys of the British public, has found out that people between the age of twenty five to sixty four, whites and Asians and people with higher educational attainment have more access to the Internet than others. According to this research, the tables below indicate that the possible advantages provided by Internet are likely to be achieved by more educated, younger people with at least basic computer skills. [8]

Internet has also changed the way we get news and other political information. According to Richard Davis, a political scientist who has studied the political functions of Internet, it serves as a link between government and the people. It can also bring the opportunity to communicate with other people that are interested in discussion of political issues. But there are also possible dangers hiding in the Internet. Anyone with some computer skills can create a web page or blog and present his thoughts and ideas as facts. There is unfortunately no way how to distinguish reliable and accurate knowledge from irrelevant, manipulative or biased information. The public must be aware of this fact and treat the information from Internet carefully. [2]

The first politician who has employed the Internet in his campaign was Howard Dean. He recognized that the Internet and computers are part of people's daily lives and started to use it to mobilize supporters and raise money in 2004. The campaign also used web tools, online surveys and blogs to get the feedback from his supporters. Howard Dean commented on his Internet campaign subsequently: "The Internet community is wondering what its place in world of politics is. Along comes this campaign to take back the country for ordinary human beings, and the best way you can do this is through the Net. We listen. We pay attention. If I give a speech and the blog people don't like it, next time I change the speech." [3]

1.2 The power of media

Can television news influence public opinion? Political scientists Benjamin I. Page, Robert Y. Shapiro and Glenn R. Dempsey asked this question in their extensive study of eighty policy issues over fifteen years. The purpose of the research was to find out if media content altered public opinion. They found out that reporters and commentators had the greatest impact on opinion change and their opinions were crucial in shaping mass opinion. On the other hand the independent experts interviewed by the media had some impact on opinion but not as great as newscasters themselves.

The media may also influence public opinion and partially shape attitudes by deciding what is newsworthy. In these days television is really the most important form of mass communication. The newspaper reader can turn quickly from news to sport without being confronted by politics. The television viewer today must see the news or else turn off the set. Television also presents visual images, not merely words. The emotional impact of pictures enables television to communicate stories and feelings in an especially powerful way.

The table below describes where the British learn about candidates and their campaigns. It is visible that the television was the most common source of information and that is why it is the most influential medium. The attitudes to traditional sources of information changes quite slowly because, for example, for older people is not easy to search through the internet for information. [15]

Great media power is concentrated in the hands of relatively small number of people: the editors, producers, anchors, reporters and columnists of the leading television network and the prestigious press. These people usually do not see themselves as holders of the power. They rather present themselves as reporters who simply narrate events as they are. But whether or not the media elite acknowledge their great power, they make every day decisions that affect life of people. They must decide what story is worth covering, how much time should be given to the news, what sources are trustworthy.

Media stories determine what mass audiences will think about and talk about. The power of television does not really lie in persuading viewers to vote for one candidate or another. Instead, the power of television lies in deciding which issues will be given attention and which will be ignored. The mass media also directly influence the decision makers, which is even more important than the influence on mass audiences.

A political journalist, Theodore White, claims that the power of the press in Great Britain is a crucial one. It sets the agenda of public discussion and this power is unrestrained by any law. It determines what people will think about and talk about. It is obvious that the power of mass media is great. Critics argue that the media have become too powerful and influential and that their freedom should be curtailed. The news media are accused of bias, invasion of privacy, manipulating events, irresponsibility, and libel and of actively trying to shape public opinion by setting particular agendas. All these negative arguments may be used against the media. On the other hand media could be also helpful- this applies to media which try to give support to various charity projects, search for missing people. [5]

1.3 Media effects and influence

Another aspect of the media which affects our attitude towards journalists and editors and the way we react to media stories is the so-called `power of the press'. The press was accused of "power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages". A continuing debate rages over whether the media is the voice of public opinion; the reflector or mirror of public opinion; the organ of public opinion; the controller of public opinion; the regulator of public opinion; or the creator of public opinion.

A key criticism made of the media is that they are responsible for `agenda-setting'. That is, the media select events and issues that are discussed and considered by the community. By their selection process for stories and programs, the media set the agenda for public discussion - and other issues go ignored. In this way, critics say, the media define social reality. The media are also blamed for almost every social ill known in our society. The media have been said to cause crime, violence, teenage delinquency, promiscuity, racial strife and drug taking. But, in fact, little proof or evidence is available to substantiate these claims. Precisely what power the media really do exert in contemporary society continues to be debatable.

Joseph Klapper released a landmark study of the media in 1960, "The Effects of Mass Communication" which destroyed many of the myths concerning the power of the media and shattered assumptions. Klapper concluded from extensive research that "persuasive communication was more often associated with attitudes reinforcement than with conversion". Klapper's basic assertion, which is still held as relevant today, was that mass communication was "more likely to reinforce existing opinions than to change them, and more likely to produce modifications than conversion". Not everyone agrees with Klapper. But we can note from his research that generalisations about the media's power to change opinions or create new opinions are dangerous. [21]

Modern mass communication studies and psychology find that people draw their opinions from a range of sources and the media are but one influence. Possible links between media coverage and portrayals of violence and the level of violence in society is one area which has received considerable study and attention. There is a general belief that media coverage and portrayal of violence and lawlessness contributes to lawlessness and disorder.

In 1965, the psychiatric department of Denmark's Council for Forensic Medicine reported that "no scientific experiments" could lead one to the assumption that pornography or obscene pictures and films contributed to committing of sexual offences by normal adults and youths." [16]

In response to this report and substantial supporting sentiment in the country, the Danish Parliament repealed the legal prohibitions against written pornography in 1967. In 1969, the Danish Government ended film censorship for adults and legalised the sale of pornographic pictures and photographs to anyone over the age of sixteen.

The prophets of doom forecast that Denmark would slide into moral decay. But guess what happened? Sex crimes fell sharply in the year following the 1967 Government action and decreased further after the repeal of virtually all pornography laws affecting adults in 1969. There is also research on audience retentiveness which suggests that newspaper and magazine articles and electronic media broadcasts do not have the all-powerful influence or effect we sometimes think they do. Research has found that people retain only around 10 per cent of what they hear or read once and no more than 50 per cent of what they see. [10]

What this suggests is that you should not over-react to a media story. When one negative article appears in the media, it is not the end of the world. Despite the warning about "making or breaking your company or career in 30 seconds" at the beginning of this book, the media does not inject opinions into the public like a vaccine.

Before you over-react to a negative story in the media, consider the following formula for newspaper impact:

* On average, only 10 per cent of a newspaper's circulation will read any one particular story in the paper. Some don't read the paper at all on some days and most people skip read, selecting items of interest;

* On average, of those who read a particular story, most will remember only 10 per cent of the content.

This means that an average article in a newspaper with a circulation of 100,000 will only be read by 10,000 people and only 1,000 will remember what they read.

There is also research which shows that, even when awareness is created, attitudes do not necessarily change and, furthermore, when attitudinal change occurs, it does not necessarily lead to behavioural change. So, even if 1,000 people remember what they read in the newspaper, only a small percentage of these will change their attitude because of the information and even fewer will change their buying behaviour, voting preference or patronage. [4]

The purpose of these examples is not to contradict earlier comments about the importance of the mass media, but to provide a rational view of media effects. The media can neither be blamed for all of society's ills, nor can they be seen as a panacea for changing opinions in your organisation's favour.

A realistic view of media effects also suggests that communication with the media has to be on-going. One good interview or story is not going to achieve your objectives any more than one negative story is going to cause ruin.

2. Advantages and disadvantages of media in Britain

When trying to select a medium that is right for your advertising message, it's helpful to know some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various forms of media to assist you with your decision.

2.1 Newspapers

Newspapers appeared in many European countries in the 17th century. The first English printed news book averaging twenty-two pages was the "Weekly News". It appeared in Lon don in 1621. By the 1640s the news book had taken the form of a newspaper. The first periodical was the "London Gazette", a bi weekly court paper. It started as the "Oxford Gazette" in 1665.

The British are great newspaper readers. For many British people reading a daily newspaper is an important part of their daily routine. Great Britain is one of the countries where daily newspapers are delivered at the door before breakfast.

We can divide the daily press into two groups:

1. The quality press (broadsheet). The quality papers are thick, serious and speak about politics and current affairs (The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph)

"Financial Times" contains a comprehensive coverage of industry, commerce and public affairs. "The Times" is the most famous newspaper. It represents the views of the establishment and is well-known for its correspondence column.

"The Guardian" gives a wide coverage of news events and reports on social issues, the arts, education.

"The Daily Telegraph" contains reports on national and international news, gives a full covering of sports and other topics. [1]

2. The popular press (tabloids)

The popular papers have fewer pages, are written in a simple language and have very short articles with big headlines, many colorful photos and illustrations and lots of stories about famous people (The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror)


· Your ad has size and share, and can be as large as necessary to communicate as much of a story as you care to tell.

· The distribution of your message can be limited to your geographic area.

· Split-run tests are available to test your copy and your offer.

· Free help is usually available to create and produce your ad.

· Fast closings. The ad you decide to run today can be in your customer's hands two days from now.


· You have to compete for attention against large advertisement run by supermarkets and department stores.

· Poor photo reproduction limits creativity.

· A price-oriented medium. Most advertisement is for sales.

· Short shelf life. The day after a newspaper appears its history.

· Waste circulation. You're paying to send your message to a lot of people who will probably never be in the market to buy from you.

· A highly visible medium. Your competitors can quickly react to your prices. [25]

2.2 Magazines

Magazines usually come out weekly, fortnightly or monthly. They cover various topics and interests - from fashion, gardening, housing to computers, sports and camping. Women's magazines have articles about fashion, housing, cooking, dieting, fitness, cosmetics, love relationships. ("The Economist", "Time", "Newsweek", "Spectator")


· High reader involvement means more attention will be paid to your advertisement.

· Less waste circulation. You can place your advertisement in magazines read primarily by buyers of your product or service.

· The smaller the page (generally eight and half by eleven inches) permits even small advertisement to stand out.


· Long lead times (generally 90 days) mean you have to make plans a long time in advance.

· The cost for space is higher in addition to higher creative costs. [6]

2.3 Yellow pages

- British Telecom Official online directories from the largest phone company in the UK, British Telecom. Offers both Yellow Pages and White Pages for the UK.

- Thom Web Online directory site for one of the largest publishers in the UK, Thompson Directories. Provides both UK Yellow Pages and White Pages.

- UK Yellow Pages and White Pages offered by a large independent directory publisher.


· Everyone uses the yellow pages.

· Advertisement is reasonably inexpensive.

· You can easily track your responses.


· All of your competitors are listed so you run the ad as a defensive measure.

· Advertisement is not very creative since they follow certain formats. [9]

2.4 Radio

In Britain radio and television broadcasting is mainly provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). We can recognize five nationwide radio stations in Britain. The BBC has five national radio channels for listeners in the United Kingdom.

Radio (channel) 1 provides mainly a programme of rock and pop music.

Radio 2 broadcasts lights music and entertainment, comedy as well as being the principal channel for the coverage of sport.

Radio 3 provides mainly classical music as well as drama, poetry and short stories, documentaries, talks on ancient and modern plays and some education programmes.

Radio 4 is the main speech network providing the principals news and current affairs service, as well as drama, comedy, documentaries and panel games. It also carries parliamentary and major public events. BBC 5 (on medium wave only), which is devoted chiefly to sport, education and programmes for young people.


· A universal medium. Can be enjoyed at home, at work, and while driving. Most people listen to the radio at one time or another during the day.

· Permits you to target your advertising dollars to the market most likely to respond to your offer.

· Permits you to create a personality for your business using only sounds and voices.

· Free creative help is usually available.

· Rates can generally be negotiated.

· Least inflated medium. During the past ten years, radio rates have gone up less than other media.


· Because radio listeners are spread over many stations, to totally saturate your market you have to advertise simultaneously on many stations.

· Listeners cannot refer back to your advertisement to go over important points.

· Advertisement is an interruption to the entertainment. Because of this, radio advertisement must be repeated to break through the listener's "tune out" factor.

· Radio is a background medium. Most listeners are doing something else while listening, which means your ad has to work hard to be listened to and understood.

· Advertising costs are based on ratings which are approximations based on diaries kept in a relatively small fraction of a region's homes. [17]

2.5 Television

There is a good choice of television channels in Britain. The television started to broadcast in 1936. It provides five radio stations. The BBC also runs thirty seven local radio stations, providing material of local importance. There are seventy independent local radio stations in Britain. They provide news, information, music, coverage of local events, sports commentaries and the like.

External service of the BBC is a very important part of the BBC's work. The BBC World Service broadcasts in thirty five vernacular languages.

The British have four main channels to choose, from: BBC-1 and BBC-2, ITV (Independent Television) and Channel Four. It is a well established fact that the high quality of British television is upheld by the BBC.

The main TV domain, BBC, has an opponent in the ITV (Independent Television). The difference between them is that the income of the BBC is from the sale of television licenses and there is no advertising, the service of the ITV is financed by the advertisements. The most important channels are BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 & 5 and Anglia.

TV programmes: News, Cartoons, Chat shows, Reality show, Soup operas, serials, Lifestyle TV (cooking, gardening, DIY, travel and holidays), Game shows, Discussion/debate, Detective/police/drama, Children's TV and Breakfast TV.


· Permits you to reach great numbers of people on a national or regional level.

· Independent stations and cable offer new opportunities to pinpoint local audiences.

· Very much an image-building medium.


· Advertisement on network affiliates are concentrated in local news broadcasts and on station breaks.

· Creative and production costs can quickly mount up.

· Lead time can result in items being sold out before ad runs.

· Most advertisement are ten or thirty seconds long, which limits the amount of information you can communicate. [12]

2.6 Direct Mail


· Your advertising message is targeted to those most likely to buy your product or service.

· Your message can be as long as necessary to fully tell your story.

· You have total control over all elements of creation and production.

· A "silent" medium. Your message is hidden from your competitors until it's too late for them to react.


· Long lead times required for creative printing and mailing.

· Requires coordinating the services of many people: artists, photographers, printers, etc.

· Each year over 20% of the population moves, meaning you must work hard to keep your mail list up to date.

· Likewise, a certain percentage of the names on a purchased mailing list is likely to be no longer useful. [24]

2.7 Telemarketing

The clothes industry also used Television as main type of media to advertise it goods. They also use celebrities and famous athletes in their advertising campaigns. Michel Jordan, David Beckham can be said to inspired kids to play a respective sport and to even wanted to look like them.

Their popularity influence the society to a great extent that not only them, but also the clothing firms make large amount of cash of the influenced buyers - to look cool wearing the latest Jordan Shoes.


· You can easily answer questions about your product/service.

· It's easy to prospect and find the right person to talk to.

· Cost effective compared to direct sales.

· Highly measurable results.

· You can get a lot of information if your script is properly structured.


· Many business use telemarketing.

· Professionals should draft the script and perform the telemarketing in order for it to be effective.

· Can be extremely expensive. [8]

2.8 Internet

The Internet was created in 1983. Since that time it has grown beyond its largely academic origin into an increasingly commercial and popular medium.

The mid-1990s the Internet connected millions of computers throughout the world. Many commercial computer network and data services also provided at least indirect connection to the Internet. The World Wide Web, which enables simple and intuitive navigation of Internet sites through a graphical interface, expanded during the 1990s to become the most important component of the Internet.

Internet `also known as the World Wide Web (WWW)', this is the newest type of Mass Media there it reaches world wide, if one has a webpage made in Thailand someone in Colombia can see it. That is how amazing Internet is, distances become shorter and shorter. [17]


· Everything you really need is a PC, some knowledge and ideas for designing your site, then search for the best Internet ad package for your advertising needs and budgets, choose from a variety of advertisement ways like Banner Advertisement, text advertisement; whether you want to work with pop-ups or pop-under, etc. All from the comfort of your home!

· Unlike TV commercials, which must be periodically updated, your Internet advertisement could go for some time without change. If they need updating, the amendment of the site or your ad is usually a very simple matter that can be done quickly and easily.


· If you use the Internet, you may be facing grave danger as your personal information such as name, address, credit card number etc. can be accessed by other culprits to make your tasks worse.

· Virus is nothing but a program which disrupts the normal functioning of your computer systems. Computers attached to internet are more prone to virus attacks and they can end up into crashing your whole hard disk, causing you considerable headache.

· This is perhaps the biggest threat related to your people's healthy mental life. A very serious issue concerning the Internet. There are thousands of pornographic sites on the Internet that can be easily found and can be a detrimental factor to letting people use the Internet. [2]

2.9 Specialty Advertising

Advertisers are not allowed directly to influence programme content or editorial control. In television, food manufacturers and retailers are the largest category of advertisers.

Advertisements must be clearly distinguishable and separate from programmes. The time given to them must not be so great as to detract from the value of the programmes as a medium of information, education or entertainment.

Television advertising is limited to an average of seven minutes an hour throughout the day and seven a half minutes in the peak evening viewing period. Advertising is prohibited in religious services and in broadcasts to schools. Independent television's teletext service carries paginated advertisements.


· Can be attention grabbers if they are done well.

· Can give top-of-mind awareness.

· Gets your name in front of people.


· Difficult to target your market.

· Can be an inappropriate medium for some businesses.

· Difficult to find items that are appropriate for certain businesses. [1]

3. Negative effects of media

3.1 Experimental studies

Many of the best-known studies of the effects of violent television are experimental. This is a preferred method of many psychologists working in this field. Different conclusions have been made. Some studies prove that there are links between television viewing and antisocial behaviour. Others claim positive effects. And some show that there are no links at all.

Albert Bandura based his observational learning theory. These laboratory studies show that if people are exposed to aggression in the media, although this was set up artificially, they can become more aggressive. Previous researches have mostly relied on studies in artificial laboratory conditions, which can only provide limited kinds of evidence. In common all these studies had a principal weakness: they lack the real life experiences.

A Study on Media Culture's Negative Influence on people do apart from attacking the doll, if they were left there? Even the people know that the doll is not alive and does not suffer pain. [11]

3.2 Social Learning Theory

This observational effect is also called Social Learning Theory. Albert Bandura used it specifically to explain media effects. Adults acquire attitudes, emotional responses and new styles of conduct through "modeling" of films and television. The major premise is that we learn by observing others. Four steps combine a cognitive view and an operant view of learning:

1) Attention--the individual notices something in the environment

2) Retention--the individual remembers what was noticed

3) Reproduction--the individual produces an action that is a copy of what was noticed

4) Motivation--the individual is motivated to imitate. Motivation refers to rewards and punishments, you will not do anything unless you have some reason for doing it.

Rewards and punishments are, traditionally, considered to be the things that "cause" learning. Bandura sees them as motives. An observer anticipates a reward for certain behaviours because somebody else has been so rewarded.

Of course, the negative motivations, punishments, are there as well, giving you reasons not to imitate someone. While, like most traditional behaviorists, Bandura says that punishment in whatever form does not work as well as reinforcement and, in fact, has a tendency to "backfire" on us. [23]

For instance, many media contain messages about cigarettes. When people see actors and actresses smoking on screen and see signs for tobacco products at concerts and sports events, some of them might make a conclusion from these massages that smoking makes a person fascinating and attractive. Most Britons cannot realize the health risks they are facing when they use these products. "People who see a lot of advertisements for cigarettes admit that it influences them to want to smoke. It is not by chance that the three most advertised cigarette brands are also the most popular ones smoked". There may be a link between cigarette advertising and peoples smoking. [14]

3.3 Arousal Hypothesis

Arousal Hypothesis is one of the theories of media violence set up by Tannenbaum. He believes that exposure to media violence increases aggression because violence increases excitation or "arouses" viewers.

Playing violent video games may have even a greater relationship to aggressive behaviour than viewing violent television programs and movies because people are actively engaged in the violent video game, not just being passive viewers. In this way they are more aroused and excited. "Playing a violent video game for as little as 20 minutes causes an increase in aggressive thinking, an increase in aggressive feelings like anger, an increase in physiological arousal, for example heart rate, an increase in aggressive behaviour, helping behaviours".

Media violence has a particularly strong impact on young people, who blur fantasy and reality. Most of the older people may regard the fantastic portrayal of violence as ridiculous and unrealistic, while the younger people strongly believe that they are true stories. Even from the daily life we can see that young people are willing to imitate violent cartoon characters, such as Batman, and superheroes with magical powers.

A Study on Media Culture's Negative Influence on People 67 "Cartoon violence is one of the most likely forms to promote imitation", said Joanne Cantor, a communications professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "It normalizes violence and also trivializes violence in a way by focusing not on negative consequences of violence but making it funny".

Parents should not assume that a cartoon or any other type of program is okay for their people simply because it is made for kids. The most vulnerable viewers are people, who happen to be targeted by some of the most harmful portrayals of violence on television. [20]

3.4 Disinhibition Hypothesis

Another theory investigated by L. Berkowitz called "Disinheriting Hypothesis" explains that interpersonal aggression will be increased by some certain circumstances: where violence is rewarded; where similar situations are in the current environment; where the environment has a target. This is because the inhibitions against such behaviour have been weakened.

Gradually they come to accept violence as a way to solve tasks. For instance, they are more likely to hit their playmates, argue, disobey class rules and are less willing to be patient for what they want. Some theorists argue that the constant media diet of violence desensitizes audiences, that is to say, makes them less sensitive to real human suffering.

"Young people becoming desensitized to violence mean that they gradually come to not be aroused by violent scenes and to not be bothered by violence in general". They believe that people regard screen violence as play or show and with some unknown reasons become "immune" to the horror of violence. Finally this makes them less sensitive to the pain and suffering of other people. Furthermore, violence can be accepted as the only way to resolve tasks and conflicts. [7]

3.5 Antisocial behaviour

Media violence encourages antisocial behaviour. High levels of Internet users have been found to spend below average time with other people, to communicate less than normal and to feel more depressed and lonely. A great deal of research suggests that spending large amounts of time with electronic media may lead to negative cognitive, emotional, and physical consequences for people. Under some circumstances, they affect people indirectly by infringing on other activities. Adult Internet users say that they take part in fewer activities, spend less time with family and friends, and read less newspaper because of the Internet. Compared with light viewers, people who are heavy TV viewers also have fewer hobbies and engage in fewer physical activities. It may be good for people to participate in some non electronic media events.

3.6 Lasting impact

Media violence has a lasting impact on people. Media violence does not need to affect adults directly in order to make adults more aggressive. More aggressive adults may have been affected years earlier when they were people. A study conducted by psychologists Dr. Leonard Eron and Dr. Rowell Hussmann continued for decades. It began in 1960. They took 800 eight-year-olds and found that people who watched many hours of violent television tended to be more aggressive in the playground and the classroom. They checked back with these kids 11 and 22 years later. They found the aggressive eight-year-olds grew up to become even more aggressive. [17]

4. Positive effects of media

Some researches describe people as helpless victims under the media's influence, while some other studies have shown that people are capable of talking critically and intelligently about the media and 68 people are able to make "media literate" productions themselves. Media violence may have some positive effects as well.

4.1 Catharsis Theory

Although violent media definitely has negative effects upon people, some scholars have asserted positive effects as well. One common theory, called the Catharsis Theory cites violent media as a potential outlet for aggression and decreased real-world violence as a result.

Cathartic effect originated with the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who believed that the experience of watching tragedy is cathartic. That is to say, it purges the audience of certain strong emotions. As a result of experiments by Feshbach & Singer, this idea has been developed in media effects research. Watching aggressive media output is not proposed to make viewers more aggressive.

On the contrary, since the aggression experienced through the media gives the viewer a catharsis of aggression, watching violence leads to less aggression. Therefore, the catharsis theory suggests that violent video games channel a adult's aggression and stop them from being aggressive in real life.

So violent content might be good! If the catharsis theory is correct then violent media can relieve aggressive feelings and prevent aggression in real life. Media have both pro-social effects and anti-social ones. Therefore, media cannot be completely blamed for aggression; there are other factors to be considered that could influence the person. The media alone cannot be blamed for all aggression; other factors have to be taken into account. [19]

4.2 The caution function of media

Although people commonly believe in the negative influence of media violence, some effects of media violence can be positive, especially from the caution function perspective. If people are totally protected from media violence, they may imagine that the world is peaceful and perfect and people are always nice to each other. Such people may grow up to be naive and ignorant. They can not be fully aware of and cautious to the harsh reality of life.

On the contrary, people, who are exposed to media violence, learn from media how to deal with dangerous situations and are less vulnerable. In order to measure the media's caution function, a research was carried out to test people's reaction to strangers' visiting. After a casual chat they asked the people to lend them some money. Different people reacted very differently. Some lent the money immediately, some hesitated, and some refused to talk to the stranger from the beginning.

Therefore, people tend to be more cautious about their actions or what they say to strangers after accessing, to some extent, violent media. In this way media violence can be useful. It helps people to better understand this imperfect world and accept violence as a reality of our society. In turn, this may help them to act appropriately in dangerous situations. [9]

4.3 The case of St Helena Island

The Media Quotient research shows the different ways in which family media habits affect people. A child follows some models in their life such as parents, guardians and relatives to set up their own ideas, opinions and believes. If these people get involved in people's lives and pay attention to what kind of media people are exposed to, they can prevent the negative effects and promote some positive understanding of the media content.

Knowledgeable parents are more capable to maximize the benefits and minimize the harm of these media. They know how to discuss the media content with people, share the feeling and ideas conveyed by media in order to help people understand media properly. In this case, before people are affected by the bad side of media or have a psychological problem, we can help them and stop the situation from becoming more serious.

Professor Tony Charlton and his colleagues seized the opportunity to gather data using a whole population of people to compare their pre- and post-TV-watching behaviour. St Helena, one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, had no access to TV. The researchers of this project started to collect data two years before television was introduced to this island. [22]

After television came to St Helena Island, they repeated the same measures in each of the next five years. They sampled people's viewing, analyzed the programs content watched by people and indicated the amount of violence seen. They compared `viewers' and `non-viewers' behaviour, investigated the connection between people's behaviour and the levels of violence they saw.

After five years of viewing, they find that television does not inevitably influence people's social behaviour in adverse ways as people have predicted. This result is contrary to most other researches. Why? The students explained that they had difficulties taking part in the antisocial behaviour on this island. Because people there know each other very well, the others can see everything you do. That is to say, people's behaviour is more shaped by family, school, neighborhood and social community rather than media exposure. From the St Helena studies we can see that healthy family, neighborhood and community forces can all shape people's behaviour at the same time. If the young people have fewer chances to practice what they learn from violent media, they can grow up healthily. Studies of parenting and interventions have shown that parents of anti-social people are deficient in their methods of child-rearing. The parents do not tell the people how they expect them to behave, fail to monitor the behaviour to ensure it is desirable, and fail to enforce rules promptly and clearly with appropriate positive and negative reinforcement.

The reinforcement for aggression in these anti-social people is provided directly in the parenting process force. Without the watchful eyes of their parents, relatives and neighbors, people can watch TV, play video games and access Internet as much as they want, which give them unlimited scope to learn and imitate anti-social behaviour. [6]

Methodical instruction of studying the mass media in school lessons

The aim of this practical part is to describe my own lessons, so that they worked as efficient as possible. This will make work for the teacher easier and the study for the students will become more interesting.

Lesson 1

Form: 8

Topic: " What's the News? "

Lesson topic: " Mass Media "


· development of communication skills through the activation of concepts related to TV, press and radio

· formation of creative and critical thinking of students through discussion and presentation of opinion

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