Virtual Kollage: The importance of mass media

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The importance of mass media


Social Media, Media, Board, Networking
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MASS MEDIA
Definition of mass media
Mass media can be defined as the communication medium that can be used to reach a greater portion of a nation or the world in an instant. In short, any means by which the bulk of the people receive information is regarded as a mass media. Note that any form of mass media reaches thousands, millions and sometimes billions of people at one go. A few examples of a mass media include, but are not limited to, newspapers, radio, television, the internet and now SMS messaging.

Mass media is categorized into the print media, broadcast media, and digital media. The print media refers to newspapers, magazines, and journals. It may also include books and pamphlets that are widely circulated. The broadcast media refers to the radio and finally, the digital media comprises the internet and the mobile phone.

Mass media has become very important in the scheme of things in both developed and developing countries. This may probably be due to the complexity of today’s society. Some of the reasons why mass media is important are discussed below.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MASS MEDIA
Education of the audience
One of the reasons why mass media is important today is because they educate their readers, listeners, and viewers. Through deliberate content development, the media houses give a lot of informative materials to their audiences. The audiences become aware of things that they would otherwise not have had an idea about.

Holds people accountable for their actions
Another reason why mass media is important is that they hold people accountable for the things they involve themselves in. Mass media holds accountable leaders in government, business, the clergy, and individuals of all walks of life. The media houses have become the watchdogs of the society holding actors accountable for what they say and do.

As a source of entertainment
Mass media is also a source of entertainment for a lot of its audiences. This entertainment takes the form of music, dance, and films of all kinds. The internet is replete with films of different genres. Some are streamed live and others are archived and can be accessed in real time. Today, there are several shops where one can hear music being played on radio or television in the background for the enjoyment of the customers. Aside from this, media houses develop programmes or content specifically to entertain viewers and listeners.
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For peace and reconciliation
Another reason why mass media is important is that, if positively employed, it is able to bring together people of different cultural and ethnic orientations. The ability of mass media to reach a large number of people at the same time, as long as they are tuned in, makes it easy for peace overtures to be directed to the people to engender peace and reconciliation. After several years of Civil War in Liberia, Uganda and Sierra Leone, mass media was very instrumental in getting the people to talk and to heal the deep wounds of mistrust and hatred.

It drives business
Again, mass media is important because they drive business. Most of the media houses depend on advertisement for income. The business community in almost every country also depends on the advertisement to get information about their product to their customers. In this sense, therefore, the mass media in all its form helps new businesses to break into the market and the existing companies to maintain their leadership in their respective industry.

Engenders political participation
Mass media is important because it helps people to participate in the political activities of their countries. The plethora of media forms and media houses have opened the floodgates for the majority of the people to form an opinion or two about government policies and programmes and to express what they think on radio and television or any other form of media that is available.

SAMPLE QUESTION(S)
1. Highlight six advantages of mass media.
2. In which six ways is mass media important to a country?

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