4.2: Mass Media
In this subunit, we investigate theoretical perspectives on mass media focusing on how the medium and organizations can influence the message. Media literacy requires you to develop a critical disposition for analysis and evaluation. We explore video and text resources from different sources, and you will apply your skills of discernment when reviewing online online resources. As a digital citizen, you should engage in ethical an ethical learning process: the diverse global audience will not tolerate flaming, trolling, or inappropriate behavior.
Upon successful completion of this subunit, you will be able to:
- summarize the mainstream technologies for mass media since the invention of movable type and the printing press;
- distinguish the role of the media in society and list examples of different types of power exerted through various platforms;
- explain the meaning of "the medium is the message";
- identify examples illustrating the filters of editorial bias in mass media;
- explain how hidden ideology can bias representation of race, gender, ethnicity and religion in the mass media;
- describe the influence of citizen journalism on mass media;
- reflect on the effect social media, the internet and globalization have on society and popular culture;
- reflect on the implications of "fake news" for digital learning and your chosen area of work; and
- analyze the effect of the medium and publisher on media news coverage.
In this section we review the evolution of mass media. We will also compare the roles of different media and types of power exerted on society.
Modern democracies have traditionally been critical of countries with state controlled bureaucracies and censorship. It is much harder to see propaganda systems at work where state controlled censorship is absent. In this section we introduce the work of Herman and Chomsky to investigate the challenges of propaganda through mass media in democratic systems.
Watch the following video and complete the reading assignment.
In this section we consider mass media which is not necessarily controlled by corporate media interests. Community radio is an example of alternate media not usually controlled by corporate or national public broadcaster interests. (Although radio spectrum management typically places restrictions on power outputs of the FM transmitters to be able to operate legally as well as additional requirements, for example, restrictions on the air time for sponsorship messages.) With the advent of the internet and social media, we have witnessed growth in citizen journalism which has also had an impact on professional journalism.
In this section we shift our focus to how social media and the internet influences popular culture and society. Social media is used to convey news, but participation and engagement also influences the news. In addition, social media is a powerful tool for advocacy, but this is countered by the growing phenomenon of walled gardens on the internet, a new form of filtering content.
In this section we explore the phenomenon of fake news, that is, media which is custom made to fool you. In a digital world, spotting online deception requires knowledge and a critical disposition. Some hoaxes are easy to spot, whereas others are more sophisticated. In this section, we will investigate what you can do to identify and protect yourself from fake news. As digital citizens, it is also important that we do not propagate these guises by sharing stories we know to be fake.
Mini Challenge Summary
Summary: Contrast and compare coverage of a topical news item on different mediums. Time: 2 hours.
Linked to Task 2 of Edubit assessment for LiDA104.