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Examine and Assess the Role of the Mass Media (print or Electronic) in Your Country

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Term Paper  •  1,740 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,846 Views

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The term "Mass Media" refers to the different methods used to disseminate facts, opinions, entertainment and other information. These forms include newspapers, magazines, banners and billboards, cinema, films, radio, television, the World Wide Web, books, CDs, DVDs, videocassettes and computer games. They combine different culturally diverse institutions and people with varying visions, purposes and methods and perform a multiplicity of functions, all of major significance for a healthy society. The Mass Media encompasses all forms of information being communicated to large groups of people across a broad continuum, ranging from hand-made signs to international news networks. The media can either be productive communication or counterproductive according to the channels used, in terms of its appropriateness to the intended audience or if the message that is being transmitted is perceived as too emotionally disturbing or controversial.

The Mass Media together hold a responsibility of the effective delivery of a wealth of roles/services to the citizenry of the country. In Trinidad and Tobago their responsibilities include among others- informing/educating, entertainment, persuading, shaping public relations and advocating for a particular policy or point of view. As an educational tool, not only do the media impart knowledge but it is part of a larger effort to promote activities on a more social level (e.g. carnival party promotions and other events). Many aspects of lifestyles as exemplified in our habits, desires and relationships- as individuals and as groups- are examined by the media, thus it helps to inform our social value system. As a public relations tool, the media help organizations to achieve and to maintain credibility and respect among the stakeholders and other gatekeepers (e.g. Banks and other financial institutions) and finally, as an advocacy tool, they assist leaders and politicians in setting a policy agenda, shaping debates about controversial issues and gaining support for particular viewpoints (e.g. the Parliament station), though much time is not always allotted to this on the local stations or even in the newspapers.

In Trinidad and Tobago the two basic kinds of mass media are the print media and the broadcast or electronic media. According to the census for the year 2000, the mass media included one television station with five channels, two major radio stations operating four channels and several daily and weekly newspapers. The census approximates our population to one million, one hundred and sixty nine thousand, six hundred and eighty-two people with an approximate of four hundred and twenty-five thousand television sets in households, three hundred and sixty three per every thousand, approximately fourteen radio stations, over six hundred and eighty thousand radio receivers with an approximate of five hundred and eighty one per every thousand and eighty thousand individuals with computers,

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