Mass Media and Society

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  • You must answer at least 5 of the questions below. [20 points each].
  • There is one extra credit question at the end labeled “extra credit” which is worth 5 points. You do not have to answer that question but you are welcome to do so!

Answer each question as fully as you can. Most answers can be prepared in about 2 paragraphs. Be sure to answer each part of the question. Use examples from class when possible.

  1. What is the definition of mass media? Explain each of the three main components of the definition by offering an example of a mass communication message that “fits the description.” Provide examples of how the mass media influence society in terms of public opinion, consumer behavior, or industry trend-setting.
  2. Describe each of the six components of the Sender-Receiver model and give an example of each these roles in action. Of those six, which function in that model does the mass media (and our class focus) serve? Consider a message you may have received recently and describe each of the six parts of the model as they relate to the message.
  3. Discuss the three classifications of media by giving an example of each. Explain how each channel has moved from its origins to become part of the society we live in. How have people adapted to the channel? How have the channels adapted to the needs of the people?
  4. Explain why it is important to know that media are “profit-centered.” What is the relationship between profits and conglomerates? Provide examples of how profit motivations have affected the book industry.
  5. Explain three unique characteristics of books as a mass medium. Beginning with the early history of books, describe how this medium adapted over time? Name three catalysts for change that deeply affected the book industry.
  6. Beginning with the early history of newspapers, describe the way that newspapers have adapted over time. Have they adapted “well” to the changes brought about by technology and the competition of other, newer media? Defend your answer.
  7. What is the definition of “convergence” as it relates to mass media? Provide two examples of this convergence in today’s media environment. Is convergence a positive or negative side effect of the changes in media? Defend your answer.
  8. Beginning with the early history of film, explain how film has changed as a form of mass media. Identify specific changes that dramatically affected the film industry and how the industry adapted to those changes. Offer some insight into why film has remained a mainstay of mass media communication even 100 years since its inception.
  9. Beginning with the early history of recordings, explain the way the industry has changed over time. Describe Edison’s unique idea for marketing the product to consumers. Why was this important to the invention of the phonograph and the recording industry in general? Include in your analysis the specific components of the recording industry that have forced consumers to change their behaviors over time. Link past to the present in your answer.
  10. Beginning with the early history of radio, explain the origins of this mass communication channel. What were some early uses for the technology? How did the industry attempt to embed the radio into the consumer lifestyle? How has radio adapted itself to remain a part of the modern lifestyle? Does the modern use reflect any of the original uses of the medium? Explain.
  11. Describe the role of regulatory bodies in the mass communication industry, particularly as they relate to broadcast and advertising. Name three regulatory agencies and describe their purpose. Explain how consumers might see these regulatory agencies’ work affecting the messages they consume.
  12. Describe the types of sustainability that mass communication channels have implemented over the years as a way to keep their industry functioning and profitable. Choose three of the media channels we have studied and explain what steps they have taken over the years to build revenue streams. Offer your view of whether this has had a positive or negative effect on content, if any.



In this class we have talked often about how the media channels have changed to keep up with society. Why is adaptation so important to the mass media channels? What might happen if the media channels were not willing to change?


Last Updated on November 22, 2019 by Essay Pro