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Module 3 Presentation Readings Assignments

Go on to Module 4, Media and Culture
Go back to Part 6, Section 2 - The New Media Landscape

The Uses of Mass Media

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1) Cognition

2) Diversion

3) Social Utility

4) Withdrawal

These are closely related to the Roles of Mass Media.
Click for larger image
Click for larger image

1) Cognition

Learning about something

This could be current events or simply general knowledge.

This ties into the Surveillance and Interpretation role of Mass Media.

Emergency Broadcast System
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©Universal Press Syndicate

One negative consequence of Cognition is when the source of news is wrong or influenced.

"Dramatic reductions in advertising and subscription revenue in recent years mean news outlets are even less likely to push back against commercial intrusions in the functioning of the newsroom. Journalists trying to hold on to their jobs in a shrinking newsroom are less likely to speak up about interference from owners or other powerful interests."

Click here to read "Fear & Favor 10th Annual Report - Hidden interference in the newsroom."

2) Diversion

1) Stimulation
We can't cope with boredom
2) Relaxation
Coping with sensory overload
3) Emotional Release
People feel better after a good scream or a good cry

Diversion is an example of the Entertainment Role of Mass Media.

Calvin and Hobbs
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©Bill Watterson

Often, several uses are combined.

"Cravings for "authenticity" and "fulfillment" are a hot topic. Words like "spirituality" and "mean-ingful" get heavy use. And praise abounds for a firsthand narrative by a woman who recently rediscovered the joy of prayer.

If this sounds like a convention of New Age religious writers — held at a cabin in the woods or a commune in the desert — think again.

The setting is a trendy downtown Manhattan restaurant. The participants, perched confidently on tall stools and collectively projecting an air of understated chic, are editors at high-profile mass-market women's magazines.

Click here to read "What women want - to read."

The Uses of Mass Media

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©2011, Terry Dugas

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