The significance of mass media for human life cannot be overestimated. This is true because beyond the physical requirements of food and shelter everyone needs communication, entertainment and information. And it's mainly mass media that can satisfy all these requirements at the same time.


I want to say that scholars have devised numerous ways to dissect and categorize the mass media. These include the hot-cool, entertain-inform and elitist-populist models.


Theorist Marshall McLuban developed an innovative model to help explain the mass media. To his thinking, print media such as books, magazines and newspapers are hot media because they require a high degree of thinking to use. To read a book, for example, you must immerse yourself to derive something from it. The relationship between medium and user is intimate. The same is true with magazines and newspapers. In contrast, McLuhan classifies electronic media, especially television, as cool because they can be used with less intellectual involvement and hardly need any effort. They do not overwhelm viewers and listeners. Today TV and radio are often heard merely as back-ground noise, they do not require any people's involvement at all, that's why McLuhan called them cool media.


Many people find it helpful to define media by whether the thrust of their content is entertainment or information. By this definition newspapers almost always are considered an information medium, while audio recordings and movies are considered entertainment. As a medium, books both inform and entertain. So do TV and radio, although some stations, networks and programs do more of one than the other. The same is true with magazines. So all media possess the entertainment-information dichotomy. And today it is becoming more and more difficult to divide mass media into entertainment and information categories.


An ongoing tension in the media exists between advancing social and cultural interests and giving broad segments of the population what they want. This tension takes many forms:


•    classical music versus pop music
•    high quality novels versus pulp romances
•    nudes in art books versus nudes in Playboy magazines, etc.


So the whole society can be divided into 2 groups: to the first we can refer people who can be called elitists because they feel the mass media have a responsibility to contribute to a better society and a refinement of the culture; and to the second group we can refer populists who are entirely oriented to the marketplace. Populists feel the mass media are at their best when they give people what they want, in other words, they merely entertain people and attract people's attention.


So in the end I'd like to say that in our modern society so many types of mass media exist, that everyone can choose something he or she likes; it can be either hot or cool media; entertaining or informative; elitist or populist - everybody has an opportunity to choose.

 

http://englishtopics.net - темы по английскому языку разных уровней сложности по разным направлениям: базовые и экономические.

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