November 30, 2021
Mass media (francization of English: mass media) are all the means of mass dissemination of information, advertising and culture, they are capable of reaching and influencing a large audience. . The main means of mass communication are the press, posters, cinema, radio, television and more recently the Internet. The term media is often used as an abbreviation of mass media (or mass media).
Birth of the concept
Until 1930, only the written press was considered as a means of information capable of reaching a large public. From the 1930s, talking cinema, by developing, contributed to the development of the press, magazines and radio. Mass communication appears to be a social problem.
In 1969, the French Academy proposed the term mass-media to Frenchize the English expression mass media, but this term was not used.
Canadian researcher Marshall McLuhan presents the phenomenon of "mass media" under four main characteristics:
the one-sidedness of the message: the audience does not interact with the vehicle of the message;
the information is undifferentiated: everyone receives the same information at the same time;
information is mosaic and presented according to predefined sequences. Until the development of Web 2.0, due to the techniques used, mass media were characterized by a push logic, that is to say that information is pushed by a sender to recipients, on a large scale, resulting in a very low cost per contact for the advertiser. Thus television is considered to be the mass medium par excellence.
Advertising and propaganda
The power of penetration into homes by the mass media will interest:
advertisers, who through advertising strive to boost sales in a rather anemic and bumpy economic period (late 1920s, nicknamed Roaring Twenties in the English-speaking world and Roaring Twenties in France);
politicians, who see it as a convenient means of carrying out effective propaganda.
Mass consumption and mass media
From the 1930s, the development of mass consumption created a formidable springboard for mass communication. The media capable of "sending messages" on a large scale to large audiences are developing, at the initiative of producers, to:
make known, appreciate, buy their products / services available in a society of "new" abundance;
pressure distribution to list products that have been advertised (the distributor cannot not have products “seen on TV” on the shelves).
Mass Culture and Mass Media
During the 1960s and 1970s, the revival of purchasing power and the regained relative prosperity gave birth to new social categories which were concerned about recognition (for example through conspicuous consumption), and would become the major targets of men. marketing:
the middle classes;
young people born after the war (baby boom);
the “40-50-year-old housewife”, a privileged audience target for Radio-Luxembourg, today RTL;
teenagers, the preferred audience target for Europe 1.
By using mass media, advertisers can deliver their messages to a very large audience, spread over large spaces at a relatively reasonable cost. Measuring the effectiveness of these broadcasts gives rise to specific monitoring (audience measurement: audience ratings, cost per contact, etc.). The development of social networks calls into question the financing of mass media through advertising.