Unit 5-The Media Diondre, James, Jay, Mary-Mac, Sophie


  • Everyone break into your groups
  • Each group will be assigned a notecard with a different “Era” (Tribal, Literate, Print, Electronic, or Digital)
  • You will have 10 minutes to collect as much information on the current Syrian Civil War as possible
  • You MUST only use media available to you in your assigned “Era"
  • Tribal--no resources, use your brain!
  • Literate--provided political cartoons
  • Print--provided article
  • Electronic--provided video
  • Digital--anything and everything!

Media Ecology Theory

Media Ecology Theory--Asumptions

  • Media infuse nearly every act and action in society, hard to avoid
  • Media fix our perceptions and organize our experiences, what you watch
  • Media tie our world together, global village
  • Tribal = Face-to-face/Hearing
  • Literate = Written Communication
  • Print = Information through print
  • Electronic = Electronic communication
  • Digital = Social media

Agenda Setting Theory

The power and influence of media sources to decide what is important or unimportant based on the frequency they show the story or emphasis certain features of said story.

3 Assumptions

  1. The media establish an agenda and in doing so are not simply reflecting reality, but are shaping and filtering reality for the public
  2. The media’s concentration on the issues that comprise their agenda influence the public’s agenda, and these together influence the policymakers’ agenda.
  3. The public and policymakers have the possibility to influence the media’s agenda as well.
Example: OJ Simpson Case
  • Covered in great detail on every station, magazine, and newspaper
  • Many different views from the different outlets of information did not form the public's opinion, but showed it was a very important issues

Other Applications:

  • Used in political campaigns
  • Different news station show different sides of stories to fit their audiences beliefs
  • Other examples include swine flu, ebola, etc.

Reality > Journalist Decide Whats Important > Media Reality > Publics Perception

Uses and Gratifications Theory

What do your get from consuming media?

  • The audience are active participants and control their consumption
  • People use media for specific reasons
  • Media competes for your time and attention
  • The individual has more power than the media

8 Reasons to Consume Media (Rubin’s Typology of Media Use)

  1. Passing Time
  2. Companionship
  3. Escape
  4. Enjoyment
  5. Social Interaction
  6. Relaxation
  7. Information
  8. Excitement
Media Consumption in US

Parasocial Interaction--relationship we feel we have with media through media (favorite athlete, character on a TV show, radio DJ)

Spiral of Silence Theory

The tendency of people to remain silent when they feel that their views are in opposition to the majority view on a subject.

3 Assumptions

  1. Society threatens deviant individuals with isolation; fear of isolation is pervasive.
  2. This fear of isolation causes individuals to try and assess the climate of opinion at all times.
  3. Public behavior is affected by public opinion assessment. A person will change their behavior based on what other people think.

The media influences much of the population to adjust their opinions to believe what they are talking about.

3 Characteristics of how the media influences the population’s opinion:

  1. Ubiquity: the belief that media is everywhere. Many people rely on the internet and social media when they want to seek out information
  2. Cumulativeness: the belief that media repeat themselves. ex: you may read a story in the newspaper, then hear about it on the radio on the way to work, then possibly watch it on the evening news
  3. Consonance: the belief that all media are similar in attitudes, beliefs, and values. Events or new items are often shared by multiple news agencies

Dual Climates of Opinion--difference between the population’s perception of a public issue and the way the media report on the issue

Cultivation Theory

The idea that high frequency viewers of television are more susceptible to media messages and the belief that they are real and valid.

  • Proposed by Gerbner and Gross who believed heavy viewers are exposed to violence and are affected by the Mean World Syndrome.
  • Mean World Syndrome- The idea that the world is far worse and dangerous than it actually is.
  • The theory suggests that this cultivation of attitudes is based on attitudes already present in our society and that the media take those attitudes which are already present and re-present them bundled in a different packaging to their audiences.


Created By
Jason Smith


Created with images by LoboStudioHamburg - "twitter facebook together"

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