Influence and Power of Mass Media

1311 WordsJun 12, 20116 Pages
The topic of influence and power of mass media has become important among researchers of communication field since the moment it appeared. It is difficult to underestimate the potential and the role which mass media plays in people’s lives, still some of the researchers are concerned with relatively limited media’s control and impact on society. They claim that the content of a message is just one factor which defines the reaction of audiences; therefore, in order to decrease the chance of unexpected response to the message these factors have to be taken into account. The review is going to examine three studies, which are written by Fearing (1954), Tichenor, Donohue & Olien (1970) and Noelle-Neemann (1974). Fearing was the first out…show more content…
Therefore Fearing says that it is extremely difficult for communicator to transmit ideas, because people decode them according to their values and believes. Tichenor et al., nevertheless, also came up with several factors which determine person’s exposure to information. In that way Fearing and Tichenor et al. agree on the following points that influence the way a person interprets a message: socioeconomic status, existing knowledge, cognitive structures and the nature of the medium. Socioeconomic status stands for education and the existing knowledge implies perceiving a message according to already stored information and experience. Cognitive structures allow a person to perceive information selectively according to his/her values and beliefs. And, finally, the nature of the medium is seen as helping to strengthen the content. Even though Fearing and Tichenor et al. have much in common, still the latter put educational background at the heart of their position, while Fearing has education as just one of the factors; he also refers to need-value-motivational system and situational factors. One of the Fearing situational factors is concerned with a climate of opinion, which is the main focus of the research for Noelle-Neemann. She found that before people express their own views they first observe opinion trends – which are the most popular, which are less; based on that people decide whether to express themselves
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