The Role of Media in Society

Category: Film, Media, News, Newspaper
Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Nowadays it is customary to call the information era, because today information is one of the most important values. And its creation and distribution are the work of the media.

role of mass media

As we have already noted, the role of media in society is invaluable. Today we can receive information about what is happening both on a neighboring street and in another part of the world. And not only learn, but also get an assessment and commentary from eyewitnesses and experts. The role of the media cannot be overestimated, because today it is already difficult to imagine any sphere of life without informational relations. It should be noted that the media play a role in shaping public opinion. Television, like other media, has an impact on people's minds.

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Its effectiveness is directly related to the audience’s need for information, to increase social, spiritual and political demands. But the media by their nature are prone to manipulative actions, so obtaining information inextricably entails the creation of certain norms of behavior and the imposition of ideals. This allowed the media to wage so-called information wars.

Information warfare is understood to mean a set of actions aimed at achieving superiority by means of damage to information. Simply put, the information war contains the manipulation of information, propaganda, the collection of information, etc. Its main purpose is to change the behavior and worldview of the audience. Moreover, the impact is on both its audience and the audience of the enemy. After all, the same event can be shown in completely different ways.

Meaning of Mass Media

What is Mass Media

  • Outside the realm of interpersonal communication exists another form of communication, which involves communication with mass audiences and hence the name mass communication; and the channels through which this kind of communication takes place are referred to as mass media

  • Mass communication is the term used to describe the academic study of various means by which individuals and entities relay information to large segments of the population all at once through mass media.

Mass communication can also be defined as ’a process whereby mass-produced messages are transmitted to large, anonymous and heterogeneous masses of receivers’. By ’mass-produced’ we mean putting the content or message of mass communication in a form suitable to be distributed to large masses of people.

Heterogeneous - means that the individual members of the mass are from a wide variety of classes of the society. This means the individuals in the mass do not know each other. The source or sender of the message in mass communication does not know the individual members of the mass. Also, the receivers in mass communication are physically separated from each other and share no physical proximity.

What Is the Role of Media in Our Society

Three main sociological perspectives on the role of media exist:

  • the limited-effects theory,
  • the class-dominant theory,
  • and culturalist theory.

What Are the 3 Roles of Media

The media typically plays three roles. In no particular order, the media plays the role of a gatekeeper, scorekeeper, and a watchdog. The media as a gatekeeper simply means that the elites who control a particular news entity decide what gets on the air or in a newspaper.

Elements of Mass Communication

it is observed that the term mass communication must have at least five aspects:

  • Large audience
  • Fairly undifferentiated audience composition
  • Some form of message reproduction
  • Rapid distribution and delivery
  • Low cost to the consumers


  • Directs messages toward the relatively large, heterogeneous and anonymous audience.
  • Messages are transmitted publicly no privacy.
  • Short duration message for immediate consumption
  • Feedback is indirect, non-existent or delayed
  • Cost per exposure per individual is minimum
  • Source belongs to organization or institutions
  • Mostly one way

Types of Mass Media

Mass media can be classified according to their physical form, the technology involved and the nature of the communication process.

The general classification on this basis is as follows:

  • Traditional Media - the traditional arts and folk arts combine several art forms like dance, music, songs, and theater to attract audiences. The performances are spontaneous and most often made on the spot.
  • Print Media - Print media served as the major means of communication reaching a wide audience.

Major forms of print media are:

  1. Newspapers
  2. Magazines and periodicals
  3. Books
  • Electronic Media - The history of electronic media starts with the invention of cinematography by Lumiere Brothers who conducted the premiere show of cinema in 1895. Later the radio was invented by Guglielmo Marconi. The first radio station was set up in Pittsburg, New York, and Chicago in the 1920s.

In short, the term electronic media include Film, Radio, and Television.

Role of Mass Media in Society

Mass media is communication - whether written, broadcast, or spoken - that reaches a large audience. This includes television, radio, advertising, movies, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, and so forth.

Mass media is a significant force in modern culture. Sociologists refer to this as a mediated culture where media reflects and creates the culture. Communities and individuals are bombarded constantly with messages from a multitude of sources including TV, billboards, and magazines, to name a few. These messages promote not only products, but moods, attitudes, and a sense of what is and is not important.

Manipulation Methods in the Information War

  • Language tricks. Using lexical or phonetic techniques, you can create a certain coloring of information. For example, comparing opponents with animals or plants.

  • Abuse of statistics. Statistics often becomes a powerful weapon, especially referring to the majority opinion. This technique is especially effective during opposition when an unprepared opponent cannot operate with other numbers.

  • Change of the agenda, putting on the plan of profitable events.

  • Link to anonymous sources. It is no secret that during the information war, fake facts are often used.

  • Appeal to authorities. Often given the opinion of experts whom the audience is inclined to believe.

  • Alternative scenario. When the advantages are over, the disadvantages of the enemy need to be made even brighter! What will happen if everything is according to the plan of the opposing side? Description of all the horror in the colors provided.

Cite this Page

The Role of Media in Society. (2018, Mar 10). Retrieved from

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