The importance of mass media in modern society. There are many different ways to get knowledge about our big world. It is traveling and going sightseeing, meeting interesting people, reading books, etc. But one of the best ways of getting new information is mass media. We live today in what has been characterized as a mass-mediated culture, a culture in which the mass media play a key role in both shaping and creating cultural perceptions. The mass media do not simply mirror society. They help to create the very world they purport to cover.
The mass media have done and continue doing much to excite an interest in every aspect of the country's life. The mass media are the various ways by which information and news is given to large numbers of people, especially television, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines. The mass media now play an important role in shaping our opinions. As a result of these developments mass media eventually emerged and led to the creation of a mass audience, a large collection of people who receive messages that are directed at I hem not as individuals but rather as a group.
I think it is impossible to imagine our life without newspapers. Millions of copies of them appear every day. Many people subscribe to two or more newspapers; others buy newspapers at the newsstands.
There are national daily newspapers, such as the "Izvestiya", and the "Komsomolskaya Pravda". There are also national weekly newspapers, such as the "Argumenty i Fakty" and the "Nedelya". Most national newspapers express a political opinion, and people choose them according to their political beliefs.
Most newspapers contain news, detailed articles on home and international affairs, reviews of books, art and TV shows. Many of them also cover sports events, give personal advertisements and pieces of advice, and publish horoscopes, weather forecasts, jokes, anecdotes and crossword puzzles.
British and American newspapers. A.
Great Britain is really a newspaper reading nation. More national and regional daily newspapers are sold in Britain than in most other developed countries. In Britain there are 11 national daily newspapers and most people read one of them every day. Daily newspapers are published on every day of the week except Sunday. Sunday newspapers are larger than daily newspapers. All the Sunday newspapers are national. Most national newspapers in Britain express a political opinion, most of them right-wing, and people choose the newspaper that they read according to their own political beliefs.
In some countries newspapers are owned by government or by political parties. This is not the case in Britain. Newspapers here are mostly owned by individuals or by publishing companies, and the editors of the papers are usually allowed considerable freedom of expression.
Fleet Street in London used to be the home of most national daily and Sunday newspapers and that is why people often say "Fleet Street" to mean "the press" even now.
British newspapers can be divided into two groups: quality and popular. Quality newspapers are more serious and cover home and foreign news while popular newspapers like shocking, personal stories. These two groups of papers can be distinguished easily because the quality newspapers are twice the size of the popular newspapers.
The quality daily papers are "The Times", "The Guard¬ian", "The Daily Telegraph" and the "Financial Times". "The Times", founded in 1785, is considered to be the most author¬itative newspaper voice in the country and is said to be the paper of the Establishment. The "Guardian" appeals to well- educated readers interested in intellectual and social affairs. The "Daily Telegraph" is bought by educated upper middle and middle-class readers. The "Financial Times", printed on pink papers, is read by businessmen.
The "popular" press consists of the "Daily Mail", the "Daily Express", the "Daily Star" and the "Sun". In all newspapers there is a desperate fight to maintain or improve their circulations but it is worst among the "popular" papers whose main weapons are sex, scandal and sport.
Apart from London-based papers, there are many local newspapers. Most of these are evening papers (there is only one London evening paper) and many appear weekly, containing mostly analytical information.
Americans are surrounded by information from the time they wake up in the morning until they sleep at night. In America "liberty depends on freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost" (Thomas Jefferson). When it comes to American newspapers, people outside the USA think of that serious paper, the "International Herald Tribune", said to be on the daily reading list of many world leaders. The "Herald Tribune", however, is not a really an American paper. It is published in Paris as an international
digest of news taken from the "New York Times" and "The Washington Post". Many people in America have never heard of it.
A total of 9,144 newspapers appear in 6,516 towns in the USA rain or shine. Including the 85 foreign-language newspapers published in 34 languages, the daily newspapers in the USA sell over 63 million copies a day. The 762 Sunday papers are larger than the regular editions. The record for a Sunday paper is held by "The New York Times". One issue in 1965 contained 946 pages, weighed 18 kg, and cost 50 cents.
Reading the Sunday paper is an American tradition, for some people an alternative to going to church. The Sunday newspapers have an average circulation of 57 million copies.
There is no "national" press in the USA. Most daily newspapers are distributed locally or regionally. There has been one attempt to publish a truly national newspaper, "USA Today". But it still has a circulation over million.
The newspapers that circulate the most of the country are "The Wall Street Journal" (2 mln), "USA Today" (71,1), "The New York Times" (1,03), "Los Angeles Times" (1,08) and "The Christian Science Monitor". The "Wall Street Journal", which specializes in business news, has the largest circulation among U.S. papers. "The New York Times" is ranked by most as "the world's top daily". Newspapers get much news from the two news agencies AP and UPI. There are over 11,000 magazines in the U.S. The best known are "Time", "Newsweek", and "U.S. News and World Report". "National Geographic has a circulation of 10 million".
Another popular phenomenon is the appearance of supermarket tabloids, sold mainly at grocery stores. Although they look like newspapers, they carry little important news and pay much attention to gossip about celebrities, stories about children and pets, and diet and health tips. The leading tabloid, "The National Enquirer", has circulation of more that 4 million.
British and American radio and television. A.
British Broadcasting has traditionally been based on the principle that it is a public service accountable to the people through Parliament. It also embraces the principle of competition and choice. Three public bodies are responsible for television and radio services in Britain:
a) the BBC — the British Broadcasting Corporation which broadcasts television and radio services;
b) the ITC — the Independent Television Commission which licenses and regulates the non-BB TV services, including cable and satellite services;
c) the Radio Authority which licenses and regulates all non-BBC radio services.
Television viewing is Britain's most popular leisure pastime: practically all households have TV set and most have video recorders.
The Government is not responsible for programme content. The independence of broadcasters requires them to maintain certain standards: programme must display a proper balance and wide range of subject matter.
The BBC has two national TV channels and five radio services. It also broadcasts in 37 different languages of the world and its audience is about 120 mln people.
Millions of Americans in their spare time watch TV and read newspapers. The daily paper dominates family life at breakfast; TV dominates the life of the family most of the time. The TV set is not just a piece of furniture. It is someone who is "one of the family". It is also a habit-forming drug impossible to resist. The radio is turned on most of the time, creating a permanent background noise. It does not interfere with your activities. You can listen to the radio while doing some work about the house, reading a book or driving a car.
There are 11,400 radio stations, 1,500 TV stations and 1,200 cable TV systems in the USA. Most commercial radio stations follow a distinctive "format": top-40 hits, hard rock, light music, classical music, jazz, religious music, all news and farm news. There are no state or federal government radios or TV stations. There is also no governmental censorship of programs. The most popular news are CBS's Sixty minutes and PBS's Newshour.
There is a lot of advertising on American TV and radio. Some of the TV and radio stations are owned by big corporations or individuals. The owners can advertise whatever they choose. To advertise their goods, commercial firms buy TV and radio time. So most of the radio and TV time is taken up by advertisements. The Internet. From the late 1960s to the early 1990s, the Internet was a communication and research tool used almost exclusively for academic and military purposes. This changed radically with the introduction of the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989.
The first people to coin the term "internet" were two scientists, Vinton Cerf (known as "father of the Internet") and his collaborator Bob Kahn, who in 1974 devised a means by which data could be transmitted across a global-network of computers.
An Oxford graduate, Tim Berners-Lee, set up the first "www server" (a Server receives and sends messages) to store the archive of the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Switzerland.
The first e-mail ever sent was in 1972 between computers in two American universities.
Today individuals, companies, and institutions use the Internet in many ways. Businesses use the Internet to provide access to complex databases, such as financial databases. Com¬panies carry out electronic commerce, including advertising, selling, buying, distributing products, and providing after- sales services. Businesses and institutions use the Internet for voice and video conferencing and other forms of com-munication that enable people to telecommute, or work from a distance. The use of electronic mail over the Internet has greatly speeded communication between companies, and be¬tween other individuals. Media and entertainment companies use the Internet to broadcast audio and video, including live radio and television programs. They also offer online chat groups, in which people carry on discussions using written text, and online news and weather programs. Scientists and scholars use the Internet to communicate with colleagues, to perform research, to distribute lecture notes and course ma¬terials to students, and to publish papers and articles. Indi¬viduals use the Internet for communication, entertainment, finding information, and to buy and sell goods and services.
The most frequently used search word on the net is "sex", typed in 1,550,000 times every month.
The most mentioned male on the Internet is President Bill Clinton, whose name is linked to 1,542,790 sites.
The most mentioned female on the Internet is the actress Pamela Anderson, whose name is linked to 1,542,282 sites