COMM 3310 Theories of Communication
Chapter 1 Introduction to Mass Communication Theory
1. Classical vs. New definition of mass communication (Different characteristics of mass communication in old and new media age)
1. It is directed toward relatively large audiences
2. Messages are transmitted publicly, often times to reach audience members simultaneously
3. The communicator tends to operate within an organization
1. Printing and broadcasting are merging
2. Shifting media scarcity to media abundance
3. Shifting from mass audiences to content tailored to groups / individuals
4. One-way to interactive media
2. New News and a hybrid of different media
News News: the blending of information and entertainment, attempting to get the candidate directly into contact with the public without interference of the media. Concept was developed during the 1992 presidential election, referred to the appearances of presidential candidates on talk shows, public appearances. (Ex: Ross Perot announcing his candidacy for presidency on Larry King Live, Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show, and President Bush making an appearance on MTV)
In some cases, Old News seems to be losing out to the New News (speed of delivery and vividness of reporting). It may be that the Old News and the New News both have something to contribute and that they will end up co-existing.
3.Theory is the ultimate goal of science. Science looks for cause-effect
relationship; predict and control uncertainties.
Cause: College education
4. Four goals of mass communication theory:
1. To explain the effects of mass communication
2. To explain the uses to which people put mass communication
3. To explain learning from the mass media
4. To explain the role of the mass media in shaping people’s values and views.
5. Two approaches to study mass communication theory: