If I were to ask you to name me a few examples of mass media and new media, what would they be? The internet? Newspaper? Radio? Or magazine? I believe 99% of you will give the same answers and yes, you are right; they are all part of the media family, but do you know what they do? As a matter of fact, their main function is to “tell”. Like what we have learned in this week’s lesson, the media serves the right to transmit messages publicly to reach out to most audiences. Hence today, we will be discussing a few functions of media, specifically the “Powerful effects theory” as well as the “Limited effect theory”.
Starting with the “Powerful effects theory” which is also known to be “Hypodermic Needle Theory”. This theory talks all about the influence of media and how it has such a powerful effect on its audience and their behavior change.
Take a look at this clip on Steve Jobs to have a better understanding.
Just from this clip alone, you can see how the internet has done its job by conveying the news about Steve Job’s death. It was mentioned, just from twitter alone, there were about 10,000 comments and replies relating to the news ever since it was published.
Just like what the “Powerful effect theory” does, (creating a universal effect on all audience) this sad news about Steve Jobs’ death had stirred a lot of emotions. Quoting from one the interviewee, he said “no matter what form they are in, everyone is feeling a tremendous lost”. This suggest the influence of media and how it has made everyone equally upset.
However, along with the “Powerful effect theory”, “the limited effect theory” applies to many media messages as well. As the name suggest, the “Limited effect theory” talks about the limited media influence some messages has over its audience’s thoughts and actions. One good website to justify this statement is “youtube”.
Take this clip for example:
After watching this clip, I believe many of you might be still laughing at her comments. Just to give a little background information; this woman is called Glozell and she likes to critic songs and make fun out of them during her free time. In the limited effects theory, she falls under the diversion aspect. If you were to have a look at her videos, she often seeks for media therapy. Hence as her audience, you will be seeking for entertainment more than anything else.
Due to her videos being only a fraction of the total amount of videos being critic-ed, the impact/influence will not be huge on her audience (other than Bruno Mars’ fans).
So as you can see, different people/associations apply different theories to convey their messages. Due to their different purposes, some message might be more powerful and hence will have more effect on its audience. Knowing these two media theories and its effect can be interesting to analyse how people evaluate information.
Based on this, are you able to point out which form of mass media or new media uses the powerful effect theory now?