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MSA 2301 ch. 1


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Communication Media
defining characteristic of US political, social, and cultural systems
Face-to-Face Communication
no intervening technology or interpersonal communication
Good Communication
talking through things and finding where your view and my view intersect
Interpersonal Communication
face to face
Mass Communication
sharing ideas across a large audience either at a given point or through an extended time frame
Shannon-Weaver Model
- process applies to all human communication
- illustrates aspects of mediated communication process
Semantic Noise
interference created by lang. or interruption
- less likely reduced (involves underlying meaning)
ex: to some a good grade means A and others B
Channel Noise
technical or physical interference
Limited Feedback
mediated communication allows this type of little or no feedback
Sources of Communication
writer of a letter, reporter, newscaster, public speaker, author of a textbook, web page designer
idea coded into symbols
- words, drawings, gestures
ex: letter, news story, novel, textbook, web page, tv program, movie
system used to physically transfer the message
ex: postal service for a letter, telephone, tv, human voice, internet, newspapers, books, magazines, public relations
person who gets message
ex: reader of a letter, listener in conversation, reader of newspaper, web surfer, tv viewer, radio listener
disrupts or distorts the message
3 Ways a Receiver Responds to a Message
verbal, visual, tactile (ex: punching someone)
Real Feedback
face-to-face communication offers an opportunity for this type of feedback
3 Purposes of Mass Media
inform, entertain, persuade
Mass Media
carries a message to many receivers
What Size Audience constitutes a mass?
10 million Households watching E.R.
5000 readers of smalltown newspaper
200 hits on a student's web pg
- all the readers of the Bible/centuries
Example of Mass Media as Extended Time Frame
journalists tend the gates that control the flow of info.
Gatekeeper's Job
- control flow of info.
- tell you what news you need to know (not necessarily want to)
ex: often newspaper editor or program editor that approves stories to be heard/read)
Media Literacy
understanding the impact of a communicator
Importance of Media Literacy
understanding the media protects viewers from misrepresentation and ethical related issues arising
Wesley-Maclean Model
- Modified
- uses a source (witness, interview)
- interviewer wants to get truth to public
Early History
oral history, beating drums, Pi Sheng printed books in 1041 in China, Marco Polo brought the concept to Europe, transcribed manuscripts, 1430 Gutenberg invents movable type, reading becomes the norm
What did Pi Sheng do and when?
printed books in China in 1041
(used wooden blocks w/ characters)
Marco Polo
brought Pi Sheng's idea to Europe
Who usually transcribed Manuscripts?
friars, abbots in a church or abby (usually the Bible)
1430 invented movable type by carving type and multiple letters and moving/ taking apart and rearranging them
oral history (very important to understand history of the world)
North American Evolution of Mass Media
Books and Printing from England
Newspapers Thrived
Prior Restraint-Crown Lisc.Press
Postal Routes
In North America, why did books and printing come from England?
when America started there was no printing press so came from Eng
Why did Newspapers thrive?
b.c people wanted daily infor. about constant advances
What is Prior Restraint?
- Crown liscenced press
- England had to approve of everything printed in Amer.
Technology in Communication (Dates)
Telegraph - Morse 1844
Radio - Marconi 1890
TV - Filo Famsworth 1926 (England Baird)
Motion Pics - Early 1900's
(required electric light and film)
Computers and Internet
Convergent Media
telegraphy (HUGE) 1844
radio 1890
Filo Farmsworth/Baird
tv 1926 (Baird in Eng)
Motion Pics
early 1900's
In a free market system, what motivates consumer and adv. markets?
What are the 3 Communication Markets?
- Deliver info. to consumer
- Sell attention of consumers to advertisers
- Marketplace of Ideas (influence)
How are Media organized?
in market systems by evaluating demand for info and supplying content to fill that demand
Media Organizations
- publicly or privately owned
- individual or as a group
Demand (4 factors)
- individual needs (food, clothing, shelter) or even (traffic and new restaurants)
- geography (what's near you)
- economy (depends on what econ. is doing)
- technology (cell phones with cameras)
Demand Structure (3)
- consumer market (household decisions like products, car prices that ppl consume)
- advertising market (lowest cost affecting largest markt. like ppl that sell products)
- market place of ideas (society maintains itself ex: blogs)
Who supplies content?
media organizations
Steps to Supplying Content
generate content
produce content in qty
deliver to user
generate financial support
product promoted
process managed
Supply in the Markets (3)
- consumer market (charge consumers, rely on adv.)
- adv. market (sell time and space ex: broadcast) and increase ads with product placement)
- market place of ideas (all sources of info.)
Supply and Demand interaction (process)
- consumer demands info.
- media provides info. for money
- consumer gets useful info (often fails)
- media makes profit
- tech impacts cost (less cost to consumer)
Cyclical System
- magazines publish on a cycle
- tv broadcasts on cycle (yearly, new prog. in fall)
Social Effect
critics think media corrupts
- violence in TV/violence in society
Political Effect
voters are influenced by physical features (tend to elect more attractive, tall, not bald)
International Supply and Demand
- Multinational ownership (produced for domestic and foreign consumers)
- Content in various regions
- Style and Regulation of Reporting
Marshall McLuhan
Global Village
Cultural Imperialism
- western media effect
- erosion of nat'l identities
- US media control
Functions of Media
Harold Lasswell (Statement of Functions 1948)
- Surveillance of the Environment (looking around and seeing what's going on)
- Correlation of Parts of Society (helps explain cultural interaction)
- Transmission of Culture (media works as this ex: in NY transmits culture as NYers)
Harold Lasswell
political scientist who came up with the statement of functions for media in 1948
Statement of Functions of Media
1- Monitor Environment
everyday: sports scores, stock prices
extraordinary: war in Iraq, disasters
2- decision making (collecting info from various sources and exploring options)
3- solicit cultural interaction (talk to ppl and get a pulse of neighborhood feels about things)
Individual Uses of Functions of Media
- surveillance (news)
- decision making (collecting info. for it)
- social and cultural interaction (defines, identifies, and maintains membership in groups)
Other Individual Uses
- Diversion (entertainment)
- Self Understanding (insight into behavior and attitudes helping develop our worldview concerning moral issues to adhere to and important things in life ex: seeing some wonderful things happening)

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