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Introduction to Mass Communication

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Television broadcast has broad effects on the society all around the world. The strong verbal and
non verbal combination and the facility to highlight different subject matters created one of the most
important impressions in mass media.
There are so many angles to see as to what extent TV has brought about changes in daily life of people and
the nations as well.
Here we will see some of the key changes affected by TV transmissions in general.

Seeing is believing

The authenticity of news and other informative material has never been more acceptable to people
through other means of communication than the one available on TV. People already informed about an
event still like to see the news along with footage on TV. For instance, the winning run scored by your
favorite team in an exciting match is something people would like to see again and again although they
know the outcome of the match. So is about visuals on accidents and unusual events like hanging of Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussain etc.

Changes in timings

Most people have tuned their daily timings in accordance with their popular programs. Students
tend to finish their homework before their favorite show. Housewives would make their cooking schedule
as not to miss the soap tonight. Men would get ready for relaxing by watching programs of their interest.
Much noticeable change is in bed-timings. Early to bed... dictum seems to have lost its meaning and
watching TV till late night has become a norm at most households until children get a gaze from parents
they tend to fight sleep only to watch a play or a show and discuss it next day with class-mates.


Working on the psyche of youth, especially young ladies, TV plays and shows have concentrated
over the years in introducing new and trendy dresses, particularly in the advertisements which are integral
part of TV transmissions all across the world. The new hair styles, dresses, make up and even body gestures
very quickly gain currency and after any popular show or a drama serial its fashion effects are easily seen on
the people.

Household entity and change in habits

TV has become one essential household entity. You remove TV from the house and everybody
starts feeling as something is missing. It is this strong feeling of TV presence that is helping change habits
pertaining to talking style, eating timings, and seeing relatives etc.

Increasing general know-how

Being a strong medium TV has remarkably worked to increase general know-how on various
matters of daily life. Though you are not concentrating hard on a program on health matters, the visuals
shown are telling you how to clean you teeth or apply a medicine or take exercises. Watching a documentary
on wild-life, even casually, makes you much more informed about so many aspects of ecological system and
the habitat.

Cultural changes and influences

Perhaps most affected of all areas due to watching TV is the cultural changes that have come about
over the years. TV dramas and discussion programs have largely influenced the thought process of many on
normal living to acculturation by seeing the blaze of exotic life style. That is one reason that intellectuals
always campaign to show as much of a local culture on TV broadcast as possible so that cultural identity of
a particular region, tribe, nation or clan be kept in its traditional way.
There have been long debates on the influence of other cultures, especially the ones from the west, on the
living style of other societies through TV programs. Smelling a deliberate attempt to seduce the youth of
conservative societies to the sparkling and bold images of the west, there rages a strong debate under the
title of cultural imperialism. Of late, these debates are paying off as there is an element of awareness to resist
such manipulations and to keep one’s culture well defended against such invasions. Nonetheless, the
conflict of influencing cultures through TV showings during news, entertainment and sports is going strong.

Institutional transformation

TV has been chiefly responsible for the decline of cinema and stage. The time for gathering the
family members for the matinee show is long over. The unique exercise of going to a huge cinema house
braving extreme weather and other odds and watching action on large silver screen is no more with the
same zeal. In most cases it is an interesting TV drama, musical show or a cricket match which is not
allowing family members or friends to go out for entertainment. And how can it be if almost free of cost
high quality and at times, a real time entertainment is available at home. In many countries, and Pakistan is
no exception, theaters have seen a steep decline in their business. Many a theaters have been demolished
only to be rebuild as commercial plazas and their have been chaotic voices from different corners of the
entertainment industry for the government to undertake some steps to save the cinema life.

Case Study

The nation's established mass media—radio, films, and newspapers—reacted differently to
television's sudden presence in the American home. Radio felt the effects first, as audiences for radio
programs, particularly in the evening, dropped sharply in the first half of the 1950s. Radio's relative
portability allowed some recovery, especially with the development of the transistor. Then, too, in the
1950s, most Americans only owned one television. Those unhappy with what another family member
insisted on watching could listen to a radio elsewhere in the house. Moreover, radio could be a diversion for
those doing the dishes or cleaning a room. At the same time, radio listening while driving became much
more common as more automobiles were equipped with radios, and the percentage of Americans who
owned cars increased. In addition, some radio stations broke with an older industry tradition by targeting a
demographic subgroup of listeners, specifically, adolescents. Stations hired disc jockeys who continuously
played rock and roll music. Television stations and networks could only offer a few programs tailored to
teens. Advertisers prized their parents more. Radio, in that regard, anticipated the direction of television's
competitors after the 1960s. Radio stations continued to narrow their formats by age, race, and politics.
Television presented an enormous challenge to the film industry. Theater attendance dropped sharply in the
late 1940s and early 1950s. However, box office receipts were declining even before television arrived in
many communities. With marginal theaters closing, the studios responded by reducing the number of
movies produced per year. To compete with TV, more films had elaborate special effects and were
produced in color. (Not until 1972 did most homes have color televisions.) The collapse of film censorship
in the mid-1960s gave Hollywood another edge: violence and sexual situations could be portrayed with an
unprecedented explicitness that TV producers could only envy.
Although most large studios at first resisted cooperating with the television networks, by the mid-1950s
virtually every movie company was involved in some TV production. With some exceptions, most of
Hollywood's initial video work resembled the old "B" movie, the cheaper theatrical release of the 1930s and
1940s produced as the second feature for a twin billing or for the smaller theaters, most of which had
ceased operations in the late 1950s. In the late 1960s, motion picture firms began producing TV movies,
that is, two-hour films specifically for television. At first, they were fairly cheaply mounted and forgettable.
But a few had enormous impact. ABC's Roots, telecast in 1977, chronicled the history of an African
American family and prompted a new appreciation for family history. Although the TV films remained
popular through the 1980s, higher costs caused the networks to lose their enthusiasm for the genre, which
all but disappeared from the small screen in the 1990s.

Newspapers: the next victim

With the availability of latest news on the small box every hour, people seem to have lost interest in
going through the time consuming exercise of reading lengthy columns to find news in newspapers. With
the TV becoming popular mode of learning latest on the news front, many newspapers appear struggling
for their survival. Almost all the major newspapers have noticed a decline in their circulation or stagnation
in their expansion plans.
The print industry – newspapers, magazines, books etc – have experienced a huge cut in their revenue as
most part of the advertising budgets by the corporate sector and individual business organizations have
been diverted to TV where the outcome is more rewarding as compared to the advertising campaigns run
on print media.

Politics and TV

Aware of the strength of TV, many politicians and political parties are more interested in buying
time on television and find themselves in a far easier position to address masses in their TV lounges instead
of taking pain all the time of going out, arranging public meetings and braving hardships. TV seems to have
dramatically changed the political environment and now people can talk to their leaders who frequently
appear on different TV talk shows.

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