Exploring Mass Media for a Changing World

Exploring Mass Media for a Changing World

Exploring Mass Media for a Changing World

Exploring Mass Media for a Changing World

Synopsis

A college level introduction to the mass media emphasizing clear information above flashy graphics. The volume's 15 chapters address general and theoretical matters; specific mass media, presented in the order in which they developed historically; the role of advertising and public relations in the mass media; and the latest medium, the Internet.

Excerpt

The scope of public relations today. The profession is growing rapidly, as are the members of public relations associations. Table 14.1 lists the top 25 public relations firms and shows their growth in income from 1996 to 1997. There are now far more people working in public relations than there are journalists.

Defining public relations. Many misconceptions about the field abound, but it is still primarily a media relations business. Public relations professionals advise clients on policies and actions that will win public approval, often by getting a good press. Public relations uses the news media but its purpose is to persuade, not to inform.

Public relations, democracy, and public opinion. Public opinion is the most powerful force in a democratic society, because the public can elect their lawmakers and reject those who don't seem to be serving their interests. Public relations is an industry that concerns itself with public opinion, as it is molded and revealed by mass media. Public relations is a uniquely American profession, although as democracy spreads worldwide so too is public relations.

Types of public opinion. Public opinion comes in different forms, and different types have different powers. The different forms include general public, attentive public, informed public, and elite public, each with its own kind of effect on public opinion.

Courting public opinion. Public relations professionals are new kinds of lawyers, advising their clients on what can be done in the court of public opinion and advocating their clients' positions in the court of public opinion.

Public relations in American history: a critical role. Throughout history, almost from the very beginning, using the press and mass media to . . .

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