It seems awfully recent that I did a summary of my mass media class. Checking my posts, see here, it wasn’t that long ago, which may explain why I am struggling to remember what happened. But thank you notes…and posts I know.
Here are the posts related to the last couple of weeks; I know some of you are thinking, its part of his class summary post I’m not interested. Trust me some of these are well worth a read or two, especially Crotch Texting.
The gist of the past two weeks has been regulation and how mass media communication works, in theory and that depends upon your theory. Before we get to a specific theory, we start with theory building. Building theory starts with the basics of Qualitative, Quantitative, and Content Analysis.
Qualitative consists of the following:
- Rhetorical Analysis
- Interviews and Focus Groups
- Participant Observation/Participation
- Ethnography (from my Anthropology class)
Quantitative consists of the following:
- Statistical Data
- Participant Observation
Content Analysis combines bits from Qualitative and Quantitative.
All three are valid depending on the situation.
Specific theories, The Magic Bullet Theory which is when I watch a commercial and the information burrows its way into my brain and I HAVE to go out and buy that thing. The Magic Bullet Theory is concerned with perceived media control over consumers.
Two-Step Method, involves Mass Media passing to Opinion Leaders who then shape the message for the Opinion Followers. Followers are not directly influenced by Mass Media, but by the Opinion Leaders.
Agenda Theory is the relationship between Reality, Media Reality, and Public Perception. The theory says that Reality influences what stories and how the media speak about reality. However, Media Reality has their own agenda and they pick and choose which bits of reality that they want to report on. Meanwhile Public Perception is shaped by Reality and Media Reality, yet Public Perception influences Reality and Media Reality.
Look at it this way, Reality happens. Media Reality does something with that Reality. Public Opinion is informed by their interactions with Reality and Media Reality. Public Opinion influences the agenda of the Media Reality. One big circle of Mass Media communication.
Until you add framing in. Framing is how information is relayed, not the media (television, paper, etc), but the angle, bias, or spin that the media places upon the Reality. When framing is taken into account Media Reality becomes not only how Public Opinion is formed, but how Public Opinion is shaped. Think about it, who tells you what is going on is also influencing how you think about what they just told.
Between regulation, First Amendment, and Mass Media Theories the last two weeks have been filled with foundational information that will put the next few weeks worth of material in context. While we have yet to get to the Social Media material, it is coming up and I am looking forward to that.