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Communication and the Media

old media

Refers to traditional one-to-many forms of mediated communication such as TV, radio, newspapers, and books.

new media

Used to describe digital information and telecommunication systems, including networked computing and mobile telecommunication.

mass communication

Form of communication through which institutional sources (often referred to as "the media") address large, diverse audiences whose members are physically separated from one another.

media functions

Surveillance, correlation, cultural transmission, and entertainment.


The gathering and disseminating of information.


The analysis and evaluation of information.

cultural transmission

The education and socialization of receivers.


The presentation of escapist material that provides enjoyment and gratification.

prosocial learning

Reinforces social ideals and passes on cultural understandings from one generation to the next.

antisocial learning

Reinforcing socially destructive behavior.


When receivers are inundated with news reports, their knowledge of social problems may become superficial and their social concern may be replaced by apathy.

powerful effects model

People who accept the first perspective believe in what has been called the _________.

limited effects model

For people who hold this view, audiences are active processors who are quite capable of defending themselves against media influence.

magic bullet/ hypodermic needle

Target unsuspecting audience members or inject them with a message.

obstinate audience

Receivers were viewed as creative consumers who sought out media messages according to their own needs and interpreted messages in their own ways.

critical theorists

Argue that the media reflect and reproduce only those ideas, meanings, and values that uphold the interests of the power elite and that they silence opposing views.


Media messages keep powerless groups from making their ideas known.

cultivation theory

Developed by George Gerbner, draws our attention to ways in which individuals come to accept the televised world as an accurate reflection of the real world.

linear logic

Transmit information in an orderly sequence, word after word, idea after idea.

mosiac logic

Bombarding us with changing bits of information that we must cognitively reassemble.

selective exposure

Refers to people's tendency to avoid certain messages and to seek out others.

selective attention

We may listen only to parts of the message.

selective perception

The process of assigning meaning to messages in selective ways.

selective retention

Remembering only a small portion of any message.

uses and gratifications research

Focuses on the needs that motivate media consumers.


Rather than a given text having one hegemonic message, it may have multiple meanings.

ideal norms

The tendency to sensationalize material seems, at first glance, to contradict another important aspect of television content.


Receiver and sender do not have to be present at the same time in order to communicate.


Describes the fact that when plans can easily be changed, they will be.


Media overload.


The term used to describe this "coming together of computing, telecommunications, and media in a digital environment", as well as to describe the merging of Internet and traditional media companies.

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