Mass media has been defined as “the methods of communication used to reach large numbers of people at the same time via TV, newspapers, radio, films, books and the Internet.” Through accelerated advertisement of communications technology, models of communication are becoming more sophisticated every day making access to ideas more immediate than ever. The media has a big impact on how we think about things, and keeps us in touch with what is happening all around the world.
The news media refers to the section of the mass media that focuses on presenting current news to the public. Those include print media (newspaper, magazines), broadcast media (radio stations, television stations, television networks), and increasingly Internet-based media (World Wide Web pages, weblogs).
Most people find out about global, national and local events from TV and the radio. Television and radio programmes are distributed through radio broadcasting or cable, often both simultaneously. By coding signals and having decoding equipment in homes, the latter also enables subscription-based channels and pay-per-view services.
A newspaper is a lightweight and disposable publication (more specifically, a periodical) usually printed on low-cost paper called newsprint. It may be general or special interest, and may be published daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly.
The news is reported in different ways. Lots of people watch TV every day, even if it´s only for a very short time. Because there´s such a large audience, news stories are presented in different ways. The news are reported by newscasters in a variety of styles depending on the time of day and the intended viewing audience i.e. stories that might frighten or shock a young audience are usually shown later in the evening. The detail of reports varies, depending on the story´s importance or interest. A news item about a war of famine will have lots of detail and use images to help explain the story.
The media can be very influential when it´s reporting news item or stories of public interest. Unfortunately, reports can often be biased or invade people´s privacy to get the story. The media usually decides for itself what to publish (self-regulation), but there are organizations whose job is to monitor different elements of the media.
The media helps to educate people. Watching the news, listening to the radio, reading books, newspapers and magazines and surfing on the Internet are all ways to pick up new facts and learn about new issues. The media can make people think more carefully about issues. Open debates and discussion forums on TV and radio programmes, or newspaper articles can include in-depth political discussion all help consider different sides of complicated arguments.
The media can bring about change. Media influence is so strong that it can go beyond just affecting public opinion and can cause actual changes in real life. By focusing on certain stories and supporting certain causes, the media can change the course of events. By subtly pushing a political viewpoint, the media can have a big effect on the popularity of political parties and their policies. The role of the media in initiating change isn´t always obvious, but when thinking about it, it pays a role in loads of things that happen all the time – from who gets evicted from Big Brother to which politicians feel pressured to resign.
1. What places can outdoor media be seen at?
2. What are the basic functions of mass media?
3. What do regular people need mass media for?
4. What are the positive and negative influences of mass media on young people?
5. How does mass media shape public opinion?
6. How does the Internet shape personality, values and beliefs?
7. How could the Internet be traumatic for children?
8. Why could the ideal image of successful person presented on the Internet be harmful to teenagers?
9. Suggest why people are more attracted to one form of media over another.
10. Suggest what parents can do to protect their children from media violence.
A school magazine is investigating the question:
The mass media have an enormous influence on people´s thinking
What would you write about? Explain the main ideas given in the introduction, the main body and the conclusion. Say what you think about the topic. Use any examples based on your own experience.
Imagine that you have won a possibility to have your own programme for young people. The programme will be two hours long, once a week. Talk about what would be in your programme and give reasons.
Why do you think these ads are effective? Can you find symbolism used in them?
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3. Kálaziová I. (2019) Úspešná maturita - Anglický jazyk - úroveň B2
4. Bérešová J. (2005) Nová maturita - Anglický jazyk - Interná časť
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