masive means of comunication



We explain what the mass media are and which are the most important. Functions, advantages and disadvantages.

The emergence of the mass media is closely linked to technological advances.

What are the mass media?

The mass media or mass communication media are those channels or instruments that allow the transmission of the same message so that it is received by a huge number of people. persons simultaneously.

Due to their massiveness, they speak of audiences or audiences when referring to the recipients of the messages transmitted in this way. With the emergence of this type of media, it began to speak of "mass communication" since it involves a single sender who formulates a message, which reaches a mass receiver. The mass media of communication they can be used for different purposes, which will be explained later.

Due to the aforementioned characteristics, the emergence of mass media is closely linked to technological advances. A letter, for example, does not have the necessary conditions to be read by a large number of people, as do the messages broadcast through the radios, newspapers, the movie theater, the TV andInternet, which have a higher reach.

What are the most important mass media?

Cinema is an audiovisual medium that has its origins in the late nineteenth century.

According to the platform and the format in which the message is formulated, we can talk about different types of mass media. Some of them are:

  • Printed. The message is formulated in print. This is the oldest medium and had its origins with the invention of the printing (in 1440) by the hand of the German Johannes Gutenberg. Within this category you can find newspapers, newspapers, brochures, magazines, flyers, pamphlets.
  • Radiophonic. In this group are located the radio, which uses waves to emit sound signals and can be AM or FM. This medium is characterized by being very economical, efficient and immediate and therefore, despite the years and the emergence of other options, it is still an option.
  • Movie theater. Is a audiovisual medium which has its origins in the late nineteenth century and is associated with art and to entertainment. In the first decades of the last century, however, it was a key instrument for the dissemination of propaganda and information, although these functions were displaced with the emergence of television.
  • TV. It is also an audiovisual medium that emerged in the 1920s, through which genres of all kinds are broadcast such as information, entertainment, advertising, propaganda, documentaries and others.
  • Internet. This medium became massive as of the 1990s and has not stopped growing since then. Here you can broadcast written, sound, audiovisual messages or a combination of all of them and all genres converge in it: entertainment, information, propaganda, advertising, and more. An inherent quality of this medium is that it is a horizontal, multidirectional medium that lacks borders, anonymous and decentralized.

Characteristics of the mass media

The mass media do not allow interaction orFeedback.

Some of the characteristics of the mass media are the following:

  • Heterogeneous public. The messages that are transmitted in the mass media are designed for the masses or for a heterogeneous collective audience: of different geographical origins, tastes and interestssocial classes, ages and sex.
  • Artificial channels. As these messages must reach the most diverse points, those who emit them cannot use a natural channel, such as the air. Instead, they use different tools or supports. Technological advances always represented advances in the mass media.
  • One-way messages. The mass media do not allow interaction orFeedback. This means that the sender and receiver do not constantly switch roles, as can happen in a face-to-face or telephone conversation. With the advent of the Internet, however, the recipient can almost automatically craft a message and get it through to the middle, but the impact and scope is never the same.
  • Collective issuer. The messages can be made collectively, that is, several people are involved in their formulation.
  • Without spatial or temporal borders. Messages can reach different parts of the world regardless of distances. Spatial barriers are not a trouble: the same message can be received at different times and places.

Functions of the mass media

The Internet allows access to knowledge and cultural products of all kinds.

In general, three basic functions are attributed to the media, although others can be added:

  • Entertain. The media is a channel where many content or messages related to entertainment are disseminated, such as movies, music and soap operas.
  • Report. The mass media are a key instrument for citizens access information and news that they serve for thedecision making. That is why in the democracies, the Liberty press is so important.
  • To form. This type of media allows their audiences to access knowledge and cultural products of all kinds.

Advantages and disadvantages of mass media

The mass media democratize access to information.

Some advantages and disadvantages that are usually attributed to the mass media are the following:

  • Advantages:
    • They allow remote communication easily.
    • The messages arrive immediately at their destination.
    • They allow access to knowledge that was previously restricted to physical proximity.
    • They are accessible and inexpensive for recipients. Although it is true that in the beginning they were expensive, in the long term their price fell considerably.
    • They help to reduce the cultural gap since they allow access of this type of goods to the different social classes.
    • They democratize access to information.
  • Disadvantages:
    • They tend to generate dependency between consumers.
    • They can become channels in which false or manipulated information is spread.
    • They reduce face-to-face interaction between people.
    • They can spread and install stereotypes.
    • They encourage consumerism.
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