Unit 1.7 Media and communication.doc

Unit 1.7 Media and communication.doc

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UNIT 1: CULTURE AND SOCIETY
Media and communication
Communication is central to the lives of almost everyone. Much of it takes place on a daytoday
basis through conversation. Often we use an intermediary form of communication through a
medium (perhaps television) or, more commonly, several different intermediaries, which help to
form what is sometimes referred to as the mass media.
The Press
Newspapers and magazines play an important part in our lives. A visit to a major newsagent will
reveal a dazzling array of magazine titles, often produced for target groups with specific interests.
Newspapers can be local or national both daily and Sunday papers remain important to many
adults, but their circulation is declining by about 4% a year and 'circulation wars', using incentives
such as free gifts and temporarily reduced prices, are common. There is a lot at stake for national
newspapers, fighting for around £2 billion of advertising revenue, which provides about 50% of their
income.
A distinction is often made between 'popular' and 'quality' newspapers -- between those with daily
sales figures of over a million copies and those with lower circulation figures. Another way of
making the distinction is to refer to popular newspapers as 'tabloids' and quality newspapers as
'broadsheets'. Traditionally, tabloids were smaller in size and broadsheets were much larger.
However, over the last 10 years, most broadsheets (with the exception of the Telegraph') have
become smaller and a new name has emerged -- 'compacts'. Tabloids have also developed an
alternative description -- 'redtops'.
The tabloids/redtops are said to aim at what they deem to be 'popular' taste. The bestselling
example, the Sun, with daily sales hovering around 3 million copies, contains brief news stories
with an emphasis on bold and inventive headlines, photographs, celebrity culture, gossip,
entertainment, scandal and advertisements for mobile phones and financial loans. That may,
indeed, reflect popular taste, or it may just be the way in which the Sun seeks to interpret what it
believes to be popular taste. Ultimately, newspapers are commercial concerns and higher sales
bring in more revenue and attract more advertisers. 'Taste' may be important but profit is the key
goal

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Broadsheets/compacts are ostensibly more 'upmarket' -- perhaps aimed at people who have
remained for longer in the education system. Pictures and banner headlines are less common and
the focus is on longer, more serious, and more balanced news reporting. The danger is that
readers and markets become stereotyped. Broadsheets become the preserve of the upper classes
(a common misconception) and tabloids are for those who occupy lower places in the class
structure (an equally common misconception).…read more

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There are also many local radio stations, some run by the BBC and some by
commercial interests.
The 1TV company Thames Television was the first to introduce 24hour broadcasting, in 1987, but
Rupert Murdoch's company, Sky, has been a major innovator in recent years. In 1989 it launched a
fourchannel service using the Astra satellites, and its first paytoview programme (a boxing match
between Frank Bruno and George Tyson) was transmitted in 1996. Two years later, Sky digital was
launched.…read more

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It is digitalisation, mobile phone technology and iPods that, far from leading to its demise, have
created new opportunities for radio. Digital technology has also given opportunities to a number of
BBC and commercial stations, although GCap's The Jazz was shortlived after initial optimism.
Numbers listening to digitalonly stations rose sharply to over 6 million people in 2007, according to
the industry audience research body, RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research).…read more

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Compliance with the Press Code is the responsibility of an independent Press Complaints
Commission with 17 members. In 2006 the Commission dealt with 3,325 complaints, mostly
concerning allegations of inaccurate reporting.
Viewpoints: Do we need newspapers?
No
Tabloids are biased.
They try to persuade us to vote in a particular way.
Tabloids are obsessed with trivia.
Broadsheets are boring.
They rarely tell the truth.
They have a total disregard for the privacy of the individual.
We can use other media.
Yes
They are informative.…read more

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DOS (Disk Operating System). Microsoft Mouse was released in
1983 and in 1985 the first retail version of Microsoft Windows appeared, marking the start of the
transition from DOS. Microsoft Office was introduced in 1989 and, in 1995, Windows 95 became a
new version of the company's flagship operating system, with its new user interface and novel start
button. This was later updated.…read more

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Burmese monks in 2007 came from bloggers before the
internet was disabled by the Burmese government.
Supporters of blogging praise its openness and the fact that entry is unrestricted. It offers scope for
the personal voice that is rarely available elsewhere. Politicians are unable to manage news in the
way that they seek to do for newspapers and television because anyone can make comments on a
blog.…read more

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Martin Cooper of Motorola a decade earlier.
The Finnish firm Nokia is the main manufacturer of mobiles -- one of the top five (Motorola,
Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG) that control 75% of the market. A similar position exists in
mobile phone networks, where the five dominant groups involved are 3, 02, Orange, TMobile and
Vodafone.…read more

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They allow speedy notification of emergency situations.
Bad
Calls can be expensive.
Parents are often pressurised to keep up with the latest fashions.
Mobiles are an easy target for petty criminals.
Health fears have been raised.
There is potential for improper use, e.g. by terrorists to detonate bombs.
They are intrusive in public places.
They can lead to accidents if used by drivers (and the use of handheld phones while driving
is now illegal).…read more

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Despite accusations of phone rigging on certain television game shows, the broadcasting media
tend to be trusted more than the press. Yet broadcasters have considerable advantages. Thanks to
the modern technology that global satellites represent, broadcasters have immediate access to
stories -- hence the increasing use of the phrase 'breaking news'. We can be whisked away to
different parts of the world and 'shown the action' in colour and via our increasingly digitalised and
highdefinition receivers. We see it 'as it happens'.…read more

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