The Media As An Institution Essay Research

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The Media As An Institution Essay, Research Paper THE MEDIA AS AN INSTITUTION .. it will create forgetfulness in the learners souls because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written words and not remember of themselves. They will appear to be omniscient, and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality. Plato s Phaedrus The media has become the institution that it is today because of the associated commercial concerns. Mass media is financed due to the massive influence both the print and electronic media has on Australia s society. Whilst Socrates quote from Plato s Phaedrus, referred to the invention of writing, many hold the same opinion in relation to the mass media today. Major

Changes Several major changes have occurred in the media industry in the last two decades that have fundamentally altered the way in which the media institution operates. The most major changes of note have been: a. the growth of the media industry, b. the advancement of satellite communications, c. women s increased role as consumers of mass media, and d. the growth of the internet. The media has seen spectacular growth since the first daily newspaper for the common man was produced on 4 May 1896. The Daily Mail was a halfpenny paper of eight pages with advertisements on the front cover and was described as A Penny Newspaper for One Halfpenny and The Busy Man s Daily Journal . The Daily Mail reported on domestic and foreign news items, political gossip, society, sport and the

stock exchange. The Daily Mail was also the first newspaper to include a number of features for women. In Australia the daily newspaper continues to be a major part of the media industry. The higher circulating newspapers such as the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Telegraph Mirror and the Age are produced and financed by the revenue made by news stand sales and advertising both commercial and personal. As the Australian population continues to grow the sales of mass print media undergoes the same growth. Satellite communications have also had a profound affect on the mass media. News reporting has now become almost instantaneous. In 1991, during the Gulf War, people watched war live via satellite in their living rooms. Whilst being a strictly controlled coverage,

information and live reports were sent globally. Australian reporters sent live broadcasts from Baghdad during American missile attacks whilst Generals gave television conferences to detail the intricacies of the confrontation as it occurred. The most significant change in the mass media has been the increased role of women as consumers of mass media. Whilst magazines such as Womens Day have been in print since the early 50 s accommodating for women s role as a mother and housekeeper, the last two decades have seen women become both more career minded and willing to express their ideals and wishes in an open forum. The circulation of magazines such as Cleo, Cosmopolitan and Elle has not only brought to fore women s issues but also made them targets for the mass media. Magazines

such as Dolly and more recently B accommodate to the reading and lifestyle wishes of younger girls and also create a younger target audience for the media. The internet is a more recent phenomenon which, whilst it has not had a major effect on the media institution, shows the potential to become a large sector of the media. The mass availability of the internet is leading it to becoming an alternate source of information. Most national newspapers and all of the commercial television stations have internet sites. The users of these information sites pay by the presence of advertising. Reasons for Change A study was carried out during an American Presidential campaign in the 1970 s to find out why people voted as they do. By conducting interviews over the six month election