The Study of the media Theoretical approaches

The Power of the media : Theory and Empiricism

To a remarkable extent , there  was a broad consensus during the inter-war period — to which many researchers, writing from a ‘right’ as well as ‘left’ prespective subcribed – that the mass media exercised a powerfull and persuasive influence. Underlying this concensus  was (1) the creation of mass audiences on a scale that was unprecedented through the application of new technology – the rotary press, film and radio to the mass production of communication ; (2) a fasionable though not unchallenged view that urbanization and industralization had created a society that was volatile, unstable, rootless, alianated and inherently  susceptible to manipulation; (3) linked to a view of urbanized man as being relatively defenceless, an easy prey to mass communication since he was no longer anchored in the network of social relations and stable, inherited values that chareterized settled, rural communities; (4) anecdotal but seemingly persuasive evidence that mass media had brainwashed people during world war 1, and engineered the rise of fascism in europe between the wars.

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