MEDIA EFFECTS: documentary on women rape.

Media set the agenda of what we think about. (priming)

Think of the effects oF pornography: is not a case that many rapers have a huge collection of pornography.

In terms of politics using newspaper, they commonly set the agenda.

Determining effects, not just a slight influence.

“The questions hanging over murdoch, USA” The Guardian

Media are destroying our capacity of deep reading.

How capitalism is turning the internet against democracy, Robert McChesney. he is concerned with the commercialization of the internet and its transformation into a commodity. Internet is coming to dominate our lives, obscuring genuine journalism.

Effects of the media: limited effects model and hypodermic needle model.

1.Media have limited effects, people have stronger effects (family, friends, church…);

2. Media effects are difficult to study and there are too many speculations on them.

Psychology of media and politics, George Comstocj and Erica Scharrer. Portait of television endorsment of violence. 60% of shows contain violence (1996-1997 study). Media sent the idea that violence is acceptable, is just a part of everyday life.

Men take power on women by rape. The majority of study on pornography look at the effects just on men (and not on women as well).

Susan Cole, canadian feminist. “A view from another country”, in the Sexual Liberals and the attack on feminism.

We can distinguish:

1. Sexually violent pornography: direct effect;

2. Nonviolent but dehumanizing pornography: possible effect, desensitizing etc;

3. Nonviolent erotica: no adverse effects, may be positive.

Sound bites suits a new generation addicted to fast effects produced by MTv videos, for example.

The effects of mass communication, Joseph Klapper, 1960.

He suggests that there are a huge number of media influences and effects. Media can be isolated from all the other effective things on media.

The effects can be described in terms of:

1. Mediating factors;

2. Contributory Agent;

3. Change agent because:

a. Mediating factors inoperative;

b. mediating factors assist change

4. Residual situations in which there are direct effects;

5. Efficacy depends upon the communication situation e.g. the nature of the medium.

Media effects can mostly be recorded when people have no opinion about issues at all. Media shape the opinion dramatically.

Jerry Mander, Four Argoment for the Elimination of Television:

1. The mediation of experience;

2. The colonization of experience;

3. Effects on people e.g. neuro-psychological (everything is image).


Contents matter just because they have an effect.

“Matrix trial”: media outputs influence media consumers.

Political effects of mass media:
– Voting Behavior
– Political Elites Behavior
– Mass irrational Behavior

1960: first broadcasted political debate during the Federal Elections in the USA (Kennedy vs Nixon). Kennedy won the TV debate, Nixon the radio debate. Main argument of the debate was the war in Vietnam (decline of popular support to USA).

PRIMING and AGENDA SETTING: principal media effects.
Priming: perceptions of politics and candidates;
Agenda Setting: voting and importance of issues.

“Chicken and egg” problem (Kenneth Newton, Malcol Brynin). People read newspapers whose prejudices coincide with their own ones. Thus, newspaper only reinforce pre-existing opinions. Minimal Effect (Aeron Davies, 2007).

Newspapers influence voting behaviors: Dunleavy and Husbandt.

TELEVISION: marginal effects. Television is ‘informative’ but ‘much less persuasive’ (Miller, 1991).
Neil Gavin and Devin Sanders (2003). What matter are people’s attitudes towards politicians, parties or politics, and that we need to analyze media effects upon them.

“Cascading activation”: Robert Entman (2003). The interplay between media framing and the formation of a political view.

“CNN Effect”: Pierre Robinson (2002). He refers to the Gulf War and the effect of the CNN reporting of it on the audience. The way media cover foreign news affect public policy and government agendas (global issues). This definition entails both elites policy certainty and media framing. Not political voting, but political disposition more generally.

McLuhan: “The medium is the message” (‘Theory of Communication’).



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