The Role and Functions of Mass Communication for Society

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Mass communication is when an organization spreads a message, with the help of machines, to a large audience that includes people from different genders, ethnicities, religions, etc. Understanding how mass communication works is all about analyzing how the audience uses and interacts with the media; the example used in the book (Answers from college students to the question “Why do you use Facebook?”) shows that individuals from the group “students” use Facebook, for different purposes. Mass communication has always been the base of any society, as stated in the book, even a tribal society has sentinels for defense, councils to make decisions and entertainers, and all of them have a role in mass communication, since a society is hard to handle by just a couple of individuals. That is how it becomes mass communication, which is opposed to communication between individuals, called interpersonal communication. One of the functions of mass communication is surveillance, also known as news or information. The numbers cited on the book clearly show the impact of surveillance on the American society, for instance, about 60 millions Americans are exposed to mass media during any day of the week. There are however different types of surveillance: Beware surveillance, that tends to interrupt programs (Breaking news) since it gives information about an emergency state, and the range of emergencies is wide, it can go from terrorism to natural catastrophes. As opposed to the previous type of surveillance, long term threats spreads information about a permanent issue, like global warming or unemployment for example. Another type of surveillance is instrumental surveillance; it is useful in society’s daily life (movies at the theater, fashion trends, etc.). The speed at which news travel is impressive, information can reach the majority of the population within a couple…...

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