Lesson 5: The Mass Media

The Mass Media

These Notes deal with the mass media and communication. Mass communication involves a large audience. Millions of people are influenced without even being aware of it. Think of the millions of viewers who watch the news on television. A business promotes a product to consumers over television, on radio or in the print media.

Mass communication is a force that affects every sphere of our daily lives. Much of our knowledge is acquired through mass communication. Some forms of mass media, like television, compact discs and computer information systems, are the technological wonders of our century.

The electronic media, also known as the fourth Wave, have made the world a small place. In 1964 Marshall McLuhan predicted that by the year 2000 the mass media would convert the world into a ‘global village’. The CNN international news broadcasts have shown that world events can be seen and heard instantly. The international interest in President Mandela’s inauguration in 1994 is a good example.