Defining Mass Media:
Media is the channel through which a message travels from the source to the receiver. Medium is singular and Media is Plural. Mass Media are the channels used for Mass Communication.
The definition of Mass Media will include the mechanical devices that transmit and sometimes store the messages as well as the institutions that use these mechanism to transmit messages.
When we talk about the mass media of television, radio, newspaper, magazines, sound recording and film, we will be referring the people, policies, organization and technologies that grow into producing and distributing mass communication.
Characteristics of Traditional Mass Media Organization:
- 1. Produced by complex & formal organization.
- 2. It has multiple gate keepers.
- 3. It need a great deal of money to operate.
- 4. It exists to make profile.
- 5. These are highly competitive
- FORMAL ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
For operating a TV Station or publishing a newspaper requires control of money, management personnel, coordination of activities & application of authorities. Accomplishing all these tasks requires well defined organizational structure, characterized by specialization, division of labor and focused area responsibility.
Mass Communication is the product of bureaucracy. As in most bureaucracies decision making takes place at several level of management and channels of communication.
Decision are made by several individuals in ascending levels of the bureaucracy and communication follows predetermined and predictable patterns within the organization. This results in end production that seldom resembles the original idea of the creator
A gate keeper is any person who that has control over what material eventually reaches to public. Some gatekeepers are more obvious than other such as editor of the newspaper or the news director at TV Station. Others are less visible.
To Illustrate: In the newsroom, an assignment editor decides whether to send a reporter to certain event. The reporter decides whether the event is worthy reporting.An editor may shorten the story or delete it altogether.
In case of the movie Vishwaroopam team compel to edit the visuals and dialogues as per need of public or through censor or decided by the government if it would harms one sector of people.
Large Operating Expenses:
It costs a lot of money to start a mass communication organization and to keep it running. Robert Murdoch is News Cooperation bought Dow Jones & Company publishers of wall street journal for $5 million. A radio station might spend $7 million annually on operating expenses. A TV station need more than $10 million per year to keep going.
Competition for Profit:
Mass Communication organization exists to make a profit while radio & TV stations are licensed to serve the public interest and newspapers commonly assume a watchdog on behalf of their readers. If they don’t make money, they go out of business.
The Consumers is the ultimate source of profit. When you buy a CD or a movie ticket, part of the price includes profit.