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Defining The Mass Media

This Visual Sociology  file covers: Traditional definitions of "mass media"; Old mass media / old media; New mass media / new media; Characteristics of the new mass media.

Mass Media | Complete Chapter

A complete Mass Media chapter that covers the five individual areas listed below:

Defining and Researching the Mass Media

The Ownership and Control Debate

The Selection and Presentation of News

Representations of Social Groups

Media Effects

If you'd prefer to view these as online flipbooks rather than pdfs you can see them individually or as the complete chapter.

Defining and Researching the Mass Media

The first part of these notes (“Defining the Media”) covers broadly conventional forms of mass media definitions plus an outline of how newer forms of mass media have somewhat blurred these traditional notions, particularly in relation to the development of media networks. It also looks at some basic features of “new media”.

The second part (“Researching the media”) covers two related methods: content analysis and semiology. The former discusses quantitative and qualitative types and how they relate to media studies while the latter outlines the basic features of this method and how they can be applied to understanding media codes and conventions.

The Ownership and Control Debate

A more up-to-date set of Notes in the Mass Media series (following and complementing Defining and Researching the Media) these divide the ownership and control debate into three main sections:

1. Defining ownership and control: an overview of  these concepts.

2. Trends and patterns looks at media concentration and conglomeration.

3. Theoretical explanations examines Marxist and Pluralist explanations of the singificance of ownership and control.

The Selection and Presentation of News

A further set of updated media notes, these examine concepts of newsworthiness / news values plus various perspectives (Marxist, Pluralist, Postmodern) on the process of selection and presentation in old and new media.

Representations of Social Groups

This set of recently-updated Notes covers representation of social class, age, gender and ethnicity, plus a range of explanations - Marxist, Pluralist, Feminist and Postmodernist.

Media Effects

Final set of updated Media notes looks at a range of models of media effects - direct, indirect and postmodern...

Sociology ShortCuts: Mass Media

Issue 2 (June 2022) of Sociology ShortCuts Magazine sees the focus change to all things media, old and new: from the features of each types to researching the mass media using semiology, experiments and content analysis. There's also stuff on digital optimism, pessimism and augmented reality. This link takes you to the pdf version while there's also an Online Flipbook version for you to peruse at your leisure or place on your virtual coffee table.

Ownership and Control


This Visual Sociology file covers: Key Concepts in the Ownership and Control debate; Media Ownership: State and Private; Owners and Controllers; Concentration: Product and Information Diversity; Conglomeration and Diagonal Integration.

Ownership and Control


This Visual Sociology  file covers:  Theories of Ownership and Control: Instrumental Marxism; Neo (Hegemonic) Marxism; Pluralism.

The Selection of News

Marxist models of news production (Manipulative and Hegemonic);
Pluralist models of news production.

News Values

Written by Janis Griffiths, this teaching and learning support pack examines the selection and presentation of news in terms of the concept of news values.  It's a wide-ranging document that looks at Marxist and Pluralist perspectives, Ideology and Moral Panics.

Media Chapter

This complete chapter taken from the 1st edition of AS Sociology for AQA covers:
1. Defining mass media.

2. he ownership and control debate.

3. The selection and presentation of news.

4. Media representations.

5. Media effects.

Media Technology

An overview of print and electronic media development; Ideology and technological development;  the manifest and latent functions of technological development.

Ownership and Control


The Ownership and Control debate;  Concentration and conglomeration;  Media, culture and ideology.

Ownership and Control


Functionalist, Marxist and Pluralist interpretations of the role of the mass media; The significance of media ownership and control.


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Mass Media


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