Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Chris Hedges: Why the Newspaper and Magazine Industry Is Dying (2009)

Lack of local or specific topical focus is a common criticism of mass media. A mass news media outlet is often forced to cover national and international news due to it having to cater for and be relevant for a wide demographic. As such, it has to skip over many interesting or important local stories because they simply do not interest the large majority of their viewers. An example given by the website WiseGeek is that "the residents of a community might view their fight against development as critical, but the story would only attract the attention of the mass media if the fight became controversial or if precedents of some form were set".[8]




The term "mass" suggests that the recipients of media products constitute a vast sea of passive, undifferentiated individuals. This is an image associated with some earlier critiques of "mass culture" and mass society which generally assumed that the development of mass communication has had a largely negative impact on modern social life, creating a kind of bland and homogeneous culture which entertains individuals without challenging them.[7] However, interactive digital media have also been seen to challenge the read-only paradigm of earlier broadcast media.[7]
Whilst some[who?] refer to the mass media as "opiate of the masses", others[who?] argue that is a vital aspect of human societies. By understanding mass media, one is then able to analyse and find a deeper understanding of one's population and culture. This valuable and powerful ability is one reason why the field of media studies is popular. As WiseGeek says, "watching, reading, and interacting with a nation's mass media can provide clues into how people think, especially if a diverse assortment of mass media sources are perused".[8]
Since the 1950s, in the countries that have reached a high level of industrialization, the mass media of cinema, radio and TV have a key role in political power.[25]
Contemporary research demonstrates an increasing level of concentration of media ownership, with many media industries already highly concentrated and dominated by a very small number of firms.

In 2002, Arnold Kling wrote that "the newspaper business is going to die within the next twenty years. Newspaper publishing will continue, but only as a philanthropic venture." Jim Pinkerton said in 2006 of the future of mass media, "Every country with ambitions on the international stage will soon have its own state-supported media."

Leo Laporte, founder of the TWiT network of podcasts, says that "there will always be a need for storytellers, people who dig up facts and explain them".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_media
DAILY NEWS ON BOOZE