McQuail's Mass Communication Theory Dedicated to the future media audiences , especially: Laurence, Alexander, William, Noah, Chaia, Alice, Miranda. The Handbook of Media and Mass Communication Theory presents a comprehensive collection of original essays that focus on all aspects of. "e;Denis McQuail's Mass Communication Theory is not just a seminal text in the study of media and society - it is a benchmark for understanding and.
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The book entitled “McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory” is an apt account of media, society and culture. McQuail provides an introduction of the evolution of media and society to date. Comprising of 20 chapters, the book has been categorized into eight parts i.e. This chapter examines three distinct aspects of the agenda-setting influence of the news media on the public as well as the psychological principles that explain when this influence is strong and when it is weak. Two aspects of the influence of the media on the public sphere date. caite.info Medical McQuail's Mass. Communication. Theory. 6th edition. Denis McQuail Despite the .
What is the pattern and direction of flow? A model is a selective representation in verbal or diagrammatic form of some aspect of the dynamic process of mass communication. Relation to social order and disorder. When the influence of advertisers is concerned. The questions about media use in Box 2. They choose to define them in a composite way, linking information communication technologies ICT with their associated social contexts, bringing together three elements: Reprinted , , , Fifth edition published
The once strong correspondence between patterns of personal social interaction in shared space and time on the one hand, and systems of communication on the other, has been much weakened, and our cultural and informational choices have become much wider.
Advances in communication technology and their widespread adoption mean that this is no longer possible. The Internet, for instance, now supports communication at virtually all levels. For instance, a political website can provide access to political leaders and elites as well as to citizens at grass-roots level, allowing a wide range of patterns of flow. Despite the growing complexity of the network society, each level indicates a range of similar questions for communication theory and research.
These are posed in Box 1. What is the pattern and direction of flow? How does communication take place? What are the outcomes of communication, intended or unintended? Alternative Traditions of Analysis: In this respect, the deepest and most enduring divisions separate interpersonal from mass communication, cultural from behavioural concerns, and institutional and historical perspectives from those that are cultural or behavioural.
Putting the matter simply, there are essentially three main alternative approaches: The structural approach derives mainly from sociology but includes perspectives from history, politics, law and economics. In so far as questions of media content arise, the focus is likely to be on the effect of social structure and media systems on patterns of news and entertainment. For instance, commercial media systems tend to concentrate more on entertainment, while public service media provide relatively more information and traditional culture.
In so far as questions of media use and effect are concerned, the approach emphasizes the consequences of mass communication for other social institutions. This includes, for instance, the influence of political marketing on the conduct of elections or the role of news management and PR in government policy. The fundamental dynamics of media phenomena are located in the exercise of power, in the economy and the socially organized application of technology.
The structural approach to media analysis is more linked to the needs of management and also of media policy formation. The behavioural approach has its principal roots in psychology and social psychology but it also has a sociological variant.
In general, the primary object of interest is individual human behaviour, especially in matters to do with choosing, processing and responding to communication messages. Mass media use is generally treated as a form of rational, motivated action that has a certain function or use for the individual and also some objective consequences. Psychological approaches are more likely to use experimental methods of research based on individual subjects.
The sociological variant focuses on the behaviour of members of socially defined populations and favours the multivariate analysis of representative survey data collected in natural conditions. Individuals are classified according to relevant variables of social position, disposition and behaviour, and the variables can be statistically manipulated. In the study of organizations, participant observation is commonly adopted.
This approach is mainly found in relation to the study of persuasion, propaganda and advertising. Communication is primarily understood in the sense of transmission. The cultural approach has its roots in the humanities, in anthropology and in linguistics.
While very broad in potential, it has been mainly applied to questions of meaning and language, to the minutiae of particular social contexts and cultural experiences. The study of media is part of a wider field of cultural studies. Typically, there is no direct application for the cultural approach, although it can yield many important insights for media producers and planners. It helps in a fuller understanding of the audience and in accounting for success and failure in qualitative ways.
Conclusion This chapter has been intended to provide a brief sketch of the overall field of inquiry within which the humanistic and social scientific study of mass communication is located. It should be clear that the boundaries around the various topics are not clearly fixed, but change according to shifts of technology and society.
Nevertheless there is a community of scholarship that shares a set of concerns, concepts and tools of analysis that will be explored in the chapters that follow. Further Reading Devereux, E. Key Issues and Debates. A wide-ranging set of original chapters on important topics in the field, with supplementary teaching materials and references. Grossberg, L. Thousand Oaks, CA: A comprehensive presentation of the field of study of mass media from different perspectives — sociological, cultural and media industrial.
McQuail, D. A set of key readings, classic and modern, organized in sections that correspond to the main divisions of the present book and chosen to support the same range of content as this edition. Silverstone, R. A concise and clearly argued personal statement of the significance of the media in society. Still valid, despite changes in the last decade.
Online Readings Castells, M. Sreberny, A. Downing, D. McQuail, P. Schlesinger and E. It is also to indicate major turning points and to tell briefly something of the circumstances of time and place in which different media acquired their public definitions in the sense of their perceived utility for audiences and their role in society.
These definitions have tended to form early in the history of any given medium and to have been subsequently adapted in the light of newer media and changed conditions. This is a continuing process.
The chapter concludes with some reflections on the two main dimensions of variation between media: From the Beginning to Mass Media We have distinguished already between a process of mass communication and the actual media that make it possible.
The occurrence of human communication over time and at a distance is much older than are the mass media now in use. This process was integral to the organization of early societies, which persisted for long periods and extended over large areas. Even the element of large-scale mass dissemination of ideas was present at an early point in time, in the propagation of political and religious awareness and obligations.
By the early Middle Ages, the church in Europe had elaborate and effective means in place to ensure transmission to everyone without exception. When independent media arrived in the form of printing, authorities of church and state reacted with alarm at the potential loss of control that this represented and at the opportunities opened up for disseminating new and deviant ideas.
The bitter propaganda struggles of the religious wars during the sixteenth century are evidence enough. It was the historical moment when a technology for mass communication — the printing press — irrevocably acquired a particular social and cultural definition.
In telling the history of mass media, we deal with four main elements that are of significance in the wider life of society. These are: These elements do not have a fixed relationship to each other and depend very much on the circumstances of time and place. Sometimes a technology of communication is applied to a pre- existing need or use, as when printing replaced copying by hand or the telegraph replaced the physical transport of key messages.
But sometimes a technology, such as film or broadcast radio, precedes any clear evidence of need. The combinations of the above elements that actually occur are usually dependent both on material factors and on features of the social and cultural climate that are not easy to pin down.
Even so, it seems probable that a certain degree of freedom of thought, expression and action has been the single most necessary condition for the development of print and other media, although not for the initial invention.
The techniques of printing and even the use of movable type were known and applied in China and Korea long before Gutenberg, who is credited as the European inventor in the mid-fifteenth century Gunaratne, In general, the more open the society, the more inclination there has been to develop communication technology to its fullest potential, especially in the sense of being universally available and widely used.
More closed or repressive regimes either limit development or set strict boundaries to the ways in which technology can be used. Printing was not introduced into Russia until the early seventeenth century and not in the Ottoman Empire until Even so, there is no reason why mass media need follow only one path in the future, always converging on the western model. There are diverse possibilities, and it is quite possible that cultural differences will trump technological imperatives.
The history of media already shows up certain important differences between societies, for instance the large variation in the read-ership of books and newspapers or in the rates and pace of Internet diffusion.
In the following pages, each of the main mass media is identified in respect of its technology and material form, typical formats and genres, perceived uses and institutional setting. Print Media: At an early date, laws and proclamations were also printed by royal and other authorities.
Thus, there occurred a revolution of society in which printing played an inseparable part Eisenstein, The antecedents of the book lie in classical times when there were numerous established authors and when works of many kinds, both fictional and non-fictional, were copied and circulated for reading or verbal transmission.
In the west, at least, the culture of the book largely disappeared after the end of the Roman Empire until revived by monastic activities, although some key texts were preserved for reasons of learning or religion.
In the early medieval period, the book was not regarded primarily as a means of communication. Rather, it was a store or repository of wisdom, and especially of sacred writings and religious texts that had to be kept in uncorrupted form.
Around the central core of religious and philosophical texts there accumulated also works of science and practical information. The main material form of the book at this time was of bound volumes of separate pages within strong covers known as the codex , reflecting the requirements for safe storage and reading aloud from a lectern plus the demands of travel and transportation.
Books were meant both to last and to be disseminated within limited circles. The modern book is a direct descendant of this model, and similar uses are embedded within it. The alternative form of rolls of paper or parchment was discontinued, especially when the printing press replaced writing by hand and required the pressing of flat sheets. This ensured the triumph of the medieval manuscript book format, even when miniaturized.
Another important element of continuity between writing and printing is the library, a store or collection of books. This remained similar in concept and physical arrangement, at least until the advent of digital libraries. It also reflected and confirmed the idea of a book as a record or permanent work of reference. The character of the library did not change much with printing, although printing stimulated the acquisition of private libraries. The later development of the library has given it some claim to be considered not only as a medium but even as a mass medium.
It is certainly often organized as a means of public information and was envisaged from the mid-nineteenth century onwards as an important tool of mass enlightenment.
Printing gradually became a new craft and a significant branch of commerce Febvre and Martin, Printers were later transformed from tradespeople into publishers, and the two functions gradually became distinct.
A natural further development was the role of professional author, as early as the late sixteenth century, typically supported by wealthy patrons. Each of these developments reflects the emergence of a market and the transformation of the book into a commodity. Although print runs were small by modern standards, cumulative sales over time could be large.
There was a thriving book trade, with much export and import between those countries with printing industries, especially France, England, the German states and Italy. In fact many of the basic features of modern media are already embodied in book publishing by the end of the sixteenth century, including the earliest form of reading public.
The later history of the book is one of steady expansion in volume and range of content and also of struggle for freedom of the press and the rights of authors. Nearly everywhere from the early sixteenth century onwards, government and church authorities applied advance censorship to printed matter, even if not with the effectiveness of a modern totalitarian state.
The most famous early and eloquent claim for freedom from government licensing was made by the English poet John Milton in a tract published in Areopagitica. Freedom of the press went hand in hand with democratic political freedoms and the former was only achieved where democracy had triumphed.
This close association remains. The key features of the book both as a medium and as an institution are summarized in Box 2. These typical features are interrelated in the idea of the book as it has been known since the sixteenth century. The book as a medium and institution: Its chief precursor seems, in fact, to have been the letter rather than the book — newsletters circulating via the rudimentary postal service, concerned especially with transmitting news of events relevant to international trade and commerce Raymond, It was thus an extension into the public domain of an activity that had long taken place for governmental, diplomatic or commercial as well as for private purposes.
The early newspaper was marked by its regular appearance, commercial basis openly for sale and public character. Thus, it was used for information, record, advertising, diversion and gossip.
The seventeenth-century commercial newspaper was not identified with any single source but was a compilation made by a printer-publisher. The official variety as published by Crown or government showed some of the same characteristics but was also a voice of authority and an instrument of state.
The commercial newspaper was the form which has given most shape to the newspaper institution, and its development can be seen in retrospect as a major turning point in communication history — offering first of all a service to its anonymous readers rather than an instrument to propagandists or authorities.
In a sense the newspaper was more of an innovation than the printed book — the invention of a new literary, social and cultural form — even if it might not have been so perceived at the time. Its distinctiveness, compared with other forms of cultural communication, lies in its orientation to the individual reader and to reality, its utility and disposability, and its secularity and suitability for the needs of a new class: Its novelty consisted not in its technology or manner of distribution, but in its functions for a distinct class in a changing and more liberal social-political climate.
The later history of the newspaper can be told either as a series of struggles, advances and reverses in the cause of liberty or as a more continuous history of economic and technological progress. The most important phases in press history that enter into the modern definition of the newspaper are described in the following paragraphs. While separate national histories differ too much to tell a single story, the elements mentioned, often intermingling and interacting, have all played a part in the development of the press institution.
The principal features of the newspaper are summarized in Box 2. Potent images in press history refer to violence done to printers, editors and journalists. The part played by underground presses under foreign occupation or dictatorial rule has also been celebrated. Established authority has often confirmed this self-perception of the press by finding it irritating and inconvenient although also often malleable and, in the last resort, very vulnerable to power. However, early newspapers did not generally seek to offend authorities and were sometimes produced on their behalf Schroeder, Then, as now, the newspaper was likely to identify most with its intended readers.
There has been a steady progression towards more press freedom, despite major setbacks from time to time. This progress has sometimes taken the form of greater sophistication in the means of control applied to the press. Legal restraint replaced violence, then fiscal burdens were imposed and later reversed. Now institutionalization of the press within a market system serves as a form of control, and the modern newspaper, as a large business enterprise, is vulnerable to more kinds of pressure or intervention than its simpler forerunners were.
It has been customary and it is still useful to distinguish between certain types or genres of newspaper and of journalism , although there is no single typology to suit all epochs and countries. The following passages describe the main variants. Percentage of non-readers in the adult population of some European countries 2. The party newspaper published by or for the party has lost ground to commercial press forms, both as an idea and as a viable business enterprise.
The idea of a party press, even so, still has its place as a component in democratic politics. Where it does survive in Europe and there are examples elsewhere , it is typically independent from the state though possibly subsidized , professionally produced, serious and opinion-forming in purpose.
Its uniqueness lies in the attachment of its readers by way of shared party allegiance, its sectionalism and its mobilizing function for party objectives. The prestige press The late-nineteenth-century bourgeois newspaper was a high point in press history and contributed much to our modern understanding of what a newspaper is or should be. These included: It tended to show a highly developed sense of social and ethical responsibility in practice fundamentally conformist and it fostered the rise of a journalistic profession dedicated to the objective reporting of events.
Many countries still have one or more newspapers that try to maintain this tradition. The prestige press currently seems better placed than most to survive the current pressure on newspapers, by virtue of their importance to a political and economic elite, although to do so it may need to accelerate its transition to online forms.
The popular press The last main type of newspaper has been with us for a century or so without much change of essential character. It was a fundamentally commercial enterprise rather than a political or professional project and was made possible by advances in technologies of scale, concentrations of population, the spread of literacy, low cost to the reader and large amounts of advertising revenue. Although not primarily interested in politics, it has often played a political role at key moments in national societies.
This means a process of becoming more sensational, trivial and irresponsible. The local and regional press In many countries, the most important newspaper sectors have been and remain the local and regional press.
The forms are too varied to be described as a single type. They can be serious or popular, daily or weekly, urban or rural, with large as well as small circulations.
The main features they have in common are: Some local papers are free, others are paid for and they have generally been most threatened by online news and advertising.
The status as newspapers or free sheets, often largely devoted to advertising, and now a rapidly rising category, is questionable, although they are regarded as such by readers and some may define themselves as such. Other Print Media The printing press gave rise to other forms of publication than book and newspaper.
These include plays, songs, tracts, serial stories, poems, pamphlets, comics, reports, prospectuses, maps, posters, music, handbills, wall newspapers and much more.
The single most significant is probably the periodical weekly or monthly magazine that appeared in great diversity and with wide circulations from the early eighteenth century onwards. Initially aimed at the domestic and cultural interests of the gentry, it eventually developed into a mass market of high commercial value and enormous breadth of coverage. The periodical magazine still belongs largely to the domestic and personal sphere and supports a wide range of interests, activities and markets.
These comments apply to the commercial periodical. In many countries there has been and remains a significant opinion-forming or political periodical press, often with an influence beyond its circulation size. At key moments in some societies particular magazines have played important social, cultural or political roles. Film as a Mass Medium Film began at the end of the nineteenth century as a technological novelty, but what it offered was scarcely new in content or function.
It transferred to a new means of presentation and distribution of an older tradition of entertainment, offering stories, spectacles, music, drama, humour and technical tricks for popular consumption. It was also almost instantly a true mass medium in the sense that it quite quickly reached a very large proportion of populations, even in rural areas. To judge from its phenomenal growth, the latent demand met by film was enormous.
Of the main formative elements named above, it would not be the technology or the social climate but the needs met by the film for individuals that mattered most. The most apparent are those for escape from humdrum reality into a more glamorous world, the wish for strong narratives to be caught up in, the search for role models and heroes, the need to fill leisure time in safe, affordable and sociable ways.
In these respects, not much has changed. There have been three other significant strands in film history. First, the use of film for propaganda is noteworthy, especially when applied to national or societal purposes, based on its great reach, supposed realism, emotional impact and popularity.
The two other strands in film history were the emergence of several schools of film art Huaco, and the rise of the social documentary film movement. These were different from the mainstream in having either a minority appeal or a strong element of realism or both. Both have a link, partly fortuitous, with film as propaganda in that both tended to develop at times of social crisis.
This reflects a mixture of forces: Despite the dominance of the entertainment function in film history, films have often displayed didactic, propagandistic tendencies. Film is certainly more vulnerable than other media to outside interference and may be more subject to conformist pressures because so much capital is at risk. The main turning points in film history have been: The relative decline of nascent, but flourishing, European film industries at that time hastened by the Second World War probably contributed to a homogenization of film culture and a convergence of ideas about the definition of film as a medium, with Hollywood as a dominant model.
Television took away a large part of the film-viewing public, especially the general family audience, leaving a much smaller and younger film audience. For the first two generations of filmgoers, the film experience was inseparable from having an evening out, usually with friends and usually in venues that were far grander than the home. In addition, the darkened cinema offered a mixture of privacy and sociability that gave another dimension to the experience.
These include television broadcasting, cable transmission, videotape and DVD sale or hire, satellite TV and now digital broadband Internet and mobile phone reception.
These developments have several potential consequences. They make film less typically a shared public experience and more a private one. They shift control of selection in the direction of the audience and allow new patterns of repeat viewing and collection. They make it possible to serve many specialist markets and easier to cater for the demand for violent, horrific or pornographic content.
They also prolong the life of films. Thus, film is as much as ever a mass culture creator. Even the decline of the cinema audience has been more than compensated by a new domestic film audience reached by television, digital recordings, cable and satellite channels. Key features are summarized in Box 2.
Despite their obvious differences in content and use, radio and television can be treated together in terms of their history. Radio seems to have been a technology looking for a use, rather than a response to a demand for a new kind of service or content, and much the same is true of television. According to Williams A distinctive feature of radio and television has been their high degree of regulation, control or licensing by public authority — initially out of technical necessity, later from a mixture of democratic choice, state self-interest, economic convenience and sheer institutional custom.
A second and related feature of radio and television media has been their centralized pattern of distribution, with supply radiating out from metropolitan centres, with little or no return flow. Perhaps because of their closeness to power, radio and television have hardly anywhere acquired, as of right, the same freedom that the press enjoys, to express views and act with political independence.
Broadcasting was thought too powerful as an influence to fall into the hands of any single interest without clear limitations to protect the public from potential harm or manipulation. Television has been continuously evolving, and it would be risky to try to summarize its features in terms of communicative purposes and effects. Even studio productions were live broadcasts before the days of efficient video recording.
This capacity of simultaneity has been retained for some kinds of content, including sporting events, some newscasting, and certain kinds of entertainment show. A second important feature of television is the sense of intimacy and personal involvement that it seems able to cultivate between the spectator and presenter or the actors and participants on screen.
Even so, there is now some evidence of gradual decline in total audiences, although significant inter- country differences in its dominance of free time remain, as indicated in a summary way in Box 2. Differences in time spent with television, and 2.
Focuses on all aspects of current and classic theories and practices relating to media and mass communication Includes essays from a variety of global contexts, from Asia and the Middle East to the Americas Gives niche theories new life in several essays that use them to illuminate their application in specific contexts Features coverage of a wide variety of theoretical perspectives Pays close attention to the use of theory in understanding new communication contexts, such as social media 2 Volumes Volumes are aslo available for individual purchase.
Author Bios Robert S. Free Access. Summary PDF Request permissions. Part I: Part II: Part III: Part IV: Part V: Part VI: Tools Get online access For authors.
Email or Customer ID. Chapter 3: Concepts and models for mass communication What early perspectives on the relation between media and society can be distinguished.
What are the main characteristics of mass communication? Why and how is mass culture explained in terms of what it is not? What is the relation between taste mass culture and class according to Bourdieu?
How do we see mass communication and what consequences does this viewpoint have for the way we study mass communication paradigms? What models can we use to study mass communication? Explain why mass can have positive and negative connotations. A classroom companion Part 2: Theories These five chapters have Theories as a common theme: Why are there four models and not just one?
What is the relation between the models and the paradigms? Chapter 4: Theory of media and society Theories on the relation between media and society. Two models of thinking about media power are distinguished — explain those models.
Why is a political standpoint or worldview so important in these paradigms? Explain the main characteristics of the four models in terms of senders and receivers. Try to group these theories in one of the two paradigms of Chapter 3 and also in Figure 4. Rosengren developed a model Figure. Give an example of a research question that could be answered with this approach. What is meant by culture and what are the most important theoretical approaches?
Why are concepts like technology. Culture is hard to define but what elements are probably important? What are the most important themes in media-cultural theory? When and how does cultural theory begin? Do you think this critique is to the point? What is meant by tabloidization?
A classroom companion Chapter 5: Mass communication and culture The focus here is on texts and meanings: What is post-modern culture? Why is there a focus on the Internet and not on other new technologies?
Explain the 5 points mentioned in Box 6. A classroom companion Chapter 6: If not. How can interactivity be interpreted and measured? What patterns of information traffic can be distinguished?
What is the main trend in the development of these patterns of information traffic when media are concerned? Dahlberg describes three basic models in this respect. What sorts of new media can be distinguished? Give an example of each of these sorts. How plausible are these models according to you?
Apply the key characteristics of the new media to the sorts mentioned above and your examples. Are all the principles realized in your country? Professionalism What principles can be found in almost every European journalism code? Four Theories of the Press The four press theories have received considerable criticism.
Explain the critique and the additions. McQuail mentions at the end of the chapter four alternative models. The social responsibility theory has. A classroom companion Chapter 7: How do these models safeguard the public sphere? Explain this model and try to come up with practical examples for each element. Objectivity also has its limits. How can equality be realized in structure and in performance?
Westertahl developed a model whereby objectivity could be measured. Chapter 8: A classroom companion Part 3: Structures These three chapters have Structures as a common theme. What six basic values for media content can be distinguished? What is meant by the distinction between structure. Consequences of this hybrid character are discussed in this chapter. Explain why concentration.
Explain the distinction between accountability and responsibility in practical terms. Why is that? What kinds of cultural quality can be distinguished? Chapter 9: Media economics and governance Media are institutions with a responsibility to society as well as businesses that want to make profits.
Give practical examples of the three main forces Figure. What are the two models of accountability? Give an example of each of these models.
What are the possible relations between the importance of the consumer market for media and diversity? McQuail mentions media sectors and media firms. Are there also exceptions to that rule? Give examples of these forms. The meaning of globalization and the consequences of this development are discussed in this chapter. Explain the economic drives behind globalisation. Chapter Global mass communication Globalization is one of the most important trends in mass communication.
A classroom companion synergy with examples from your own country. What does he mean by that? And what are the alternative views on cultural imperialism? Explain why MTV Europe is mentioned as an example of the limitations of globalization.