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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2021

Jesper Tække

The purpose of this paper is to examine and analyse the fierce debate regarding children and young people’s use of digital social media, going on in Denmark (and in many…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine and analyse the fierce debate regarding children and young people’s use of digital social media, going on in Denmark (and in many other countries) in both mass media and social media. The overall question is what this panic is about and why the mass media and the public do not listen to the media sociologists than to self-appointed experts?

Design/methodology/approach

Using a systems-theoretical angle, this paper analyses the debate and answers the following questions: Why are researchers not taken more seriously, and why are their views neglected and criticised? What part does morality play in such debates? How and why do the mass media act as they do, for instance, listening more to debaters than to the researchers? 4) What is the role of the so-called social media? And are these debates best understood as conflicts?

Findings

The scientific code is only one among several other codes. The mass media also communicates about truth but only as a result of their own code and programs, which also counts for other functional systems such as the juridical and the political system. In the code and programmes of a given mass medium, it has information value that different actors has different truths, to which comes that conflicts between different opinions of truth is a direct selection criterium. This is the function of the mass media, and nobody would like to live in a society without (except for dictators and their henchmen). Finally, science is very programmatic and communicates only through its own code and programs why research results seldom reach the public in its own form (scientific books and articles) but through the lens of mass media organisations and the debaters. When science is observed from other systems, it happens through their codes and programs why science often does not count more than ordinary people’s meanings.

Research limitations/implications

The debate is polarised: on the one hand, there are debaters (self-appointed experts), whereas on the other hand, there are media researchers especially media sociologists. It turns out that the debaters have better communication possibilities than the researchers, as the scientific code does not trigger the news criteria as good as the often alarming statements from the debaters, who also use the moral code of communication that the researchers do not, as they are obligated to communicate solely in the scientific code.

Originality/value

There is no other systems-theoretical analysis of the moral media panic debates. The application of Luhmann’s systems theory is well suited, as it is both a communication theory and a sociological theory, whereas it is including both the relevant functional systems, such as the mass media, and the relevant communication codes, such as the news criteria of the mass media.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Aubrey Harvey Chaputula and Felix Patrick Majawa

– The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of social networking sites (SNSs) by mass media organisations in Malawi.

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2117

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of social networking sites (SNSs) by mass media organisations in Malawi.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was a survey that was carried out amongst mass media organisations in Malawi. It mainly employed quantitative methods. Data were collected through a combination of mailed and self-administered questionnaires.

Findings

The research established that SNSs were popularly used by mass media organisations in Malawi such that 20 (87 per cent) of the mass media organisations had SNS pages. Facebook was the most commonly used SNS although Twitter was also used. Mass media organisations benefited from using SNSs through increased listenership/readership, and soliciting of feedback which helped improve service offering. However, few mass media organisations registered increased business activity through the use of SNSs. Challenges associated with using SNSs were limited ICT penetration in Malawi, distraction of employees' attention at work, and there was also a concern that not many people interact on SNSs.

Research limitations/implications

Despite registering an overall high response rate of 74 per cent, the response rate amongst other media categories especially the community radio broadcasters was generally poor. In fact only one out of the four organisations responded to the questionnaires. This entails that the study may have not adequately presented a true picture of organisations within this category. So although the study findings reflect the prevailing situation amongst mass media organisations in Malawi in relation to their use of SNSs, they may not holistically apply to organisations within the community radio category.

Practical implications

A number of studies have shown that radio listenership and television viewership are dwindling. At the same time, audiences and attention are shifting to online channels. This research, therefore, recommends that mass media organisations should continue using SNSs so as to capture this audience, and also to remain relevant in the modern society.

Originality/value

Being a relatively new area of research, the study has provided unique knowledge about the use, benefits and challenges of the application of SNSs among mass media organisations in Malawi. Consequently, this has brought to light the use of SNSs as an opportunity which other private and public institutions could take advantage of, as a means of enhancing their operations.

Details

Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives, vol. 65 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

John P. McHale

This chapter examines the role mass media plays in the maintenance of social control and policy formulation and implementation in the Trump political era. First, an…

Abstract

This chapter examines the role mass media plays in the maintenance of social control and policy formulation and implementation in the Trump political era. First, an historical survey of mass media theory is presented and used as an analytic lens through which to identify that mass media has long been recognized as a powerful tool of social control or disruption and in public policy formulation and implementation. Second, this chapter explores the challenges posed to society and policy when a president uses mass media to spread misinformation and disinformation. Third, this chapter identifies the divisive nature of US political attitudes in the Trump era and how social media contributes to cleavage. Fourth, this chapter explores efforts by foreign actors, particularly Russian, to spread discursive and thus social chaos through disinformation campaigns in the United States and other western democracies. This chapter concludes that mass media has been both a divisive and uniting force, although the rise of social media and its susceptibility to manipulation poses a danger to social cohesion and effective public policy formulation and implementation. These factors have contributed to civil divisiveness and lack of policy clarity.

Details

Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-049-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2002

Kofi D. Benefo and Baffuor K. Takyi

Shows, in detail, how many African countries have concentrated on prevention of HIV through changing their citizens sexual behaviours with Ghana being spotlighted. Posits…

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665

Abstract

Shows, in detail, how many African countries have concentrated on prevention of HIV through changing their citizens sexual behaviours with Ghana being spotlighted. Posits that Ghana is at the mid‐stage of the epidemic and uses data to explain this. Uses tables to show the lack of knowledge, by the citizens of Ghana, to AIDS prevention. Concludes that this study has tried to resolve two major problems in AIDS prevention: 1, specific nature of items of knowledge and behaviour influenced by mass media; and 2, neglecting control for exposure to interpersonal communication channels, thereby playing an important part in AIDS information provision omission.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 22 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Amy R. May and Victoria McDermott

Purpose: The study explores how educators use mass media to sensemake their experiences in relation to school shootings.Methodology/approach: The present chapter uses…

Abstract

Purpose: The study explores how educators use mass media to sensemake their experiences in relation to school shootings.

Methodology/approach: The present chapter uses content analysis to analyze educator tweets and results from an anonymous online survey.

Findings: Twitter is used by educators in the aftermath of school shootings to sensemake the impact these events have on teaching and learning outcomes. Moreover, educators turn to Twitter to debate larger issues related to gun control and arming teachers. Collectively, educators remain committed to their institutions and students; however, they may struggle to meet the ever-changing demands of what it means to be a teacher in the post-Columbine educational landscape.

Research limitations: While providing a starting point for understanding how educators sensemake their experiences with mass media, there are limitations. The sample size was limited to 55 tweets and 40 survey respondents. Furthermore, researcher bias is a concern. Both researchers work in higher education and have experienced the emotional “heaviness” that comes with discussions of school shootings.

Originality/value: This study provides insights into how educators use mass media to sensemake school shootings as both content producer and consumer. Findings indicate that through the identification of patterns within educators’ sensemaking processes, educational institutions can develop better systems for processing the effect of gun violence on the teaching experience and within the classroom.

Details

Theorizing Criminality and Policing in the Digital Media Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-112-4

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Carlo Russo and Mariarosaria Simeone

The purpose of this paper is to devise and then test a theoretical model to illustrate the effects of the increasing importance of social media on consumer behavior and…

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3918

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to devise and then test a theoretical model to illustrate the effects of the increasing importance of social media on consumer behavior and market equilibrium in differentiated food industries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use game theory to model the strategic use of social media by firms producing high-value food products. The authors test the predictions of the theoretical model by means of a survey of 722 randomly selected Italian food consumers using an online questionnaire.

Findings

The model predicts that, as social media become more and more influential, consumers using the new media become more informed, and their concern about food quality attributes increases. At the same time, the consumers using mass media only receive less information and they prefer cheaper products to the high value one. As a result, the emergence of social media favours market segmentation and the hypotheses tested were: Social consumers are, on average, more informed than mass consumers and more concerned about environmental issues than mass consumers. The data support the theoretical model.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the debate about the impact of information from interested sources on market equilibrium, providing an innovative analysis of the role of social media.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2018

Kass Gibson and Paul Gorczynski

This chapter outlines the paucity of media research attending to mental health and mental illness in sport. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to encourage critical…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter outlines the paucity of media research attending to mental health and mental illness in sport. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to encourage critical reflection and further research on the mass mediation of mental illness in sport.

Design/Method/Approach

In the first part of the chapter, we review the extensive literature addressing the mass mediation of mental illness and mental health in order to provide key reference points for future scholarship. We then suggest to potential avenues for sociological study of this topic: Talcott Parson’s sick role and Guy Debord’s spectacle.

Findings

The authors find that the notion of the sick role provides insight into the assumptions underpinning athlete disclosure of mental illness as well as encouragement of help seeking behavior in relation to mental illness specifically. From a broader perspective on mental health, the authors identify a central challenge of the spectacular presentation of mental health and well-being and the lived experience.

Research Limitations/Implications

The central limitation of the field currently is the dearth of research. Similarly, in providing a broad overview of key considerations, this chapter does not undertake primary media analysis of mental illness in sport. Nonetheless, the authors outline key considerations and lines of inquiry for the field.

Details

Sport, Mental Illness, and Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-469-1

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2021

Pham Tien Thanh and Le Thanh Tung

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mass media play a vital role in containing the outbreak of the virus by quickly and effectively delivering risk communication messages to the…

Abstract

Purpose

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mass media play a vital role in containing the outbreak of the virus by quickly and effectively delivering risk communication messages to the public. This research examines the effects of risk communication exposure on public understanding and risk perception of COVID-19 and public compliance with health preventive measures.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from Vietnam during COVID-19 social distancing and path analysis model are used for empirical analysis.

Findings

This analysis finds that exposure to risk communication in mass media encourages public compliance directly and indirectly through the mediating roles of public understanding and risk perception. Further investigations also find that exposure to risk communication in both online media and traditional media facilitates public compliance. In addition, exposure to risk communication in online media only raises public risk perception, whereas exposure to risk communication in traditional media only raises public understanding.

Research limitations/implications

This research implies that traditional and online media should be combined to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of government risk communication work.

Originality/value

This research is among the first attempts that examine the role of mass media (both traditional and online) in enhancing public compliance with preventive measures directly and indirectly through the mediating roles of public risk perception and understanding.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

E.L. Quarantelli

Summarizes, under 12 general propositions, the findings from a series of field studies by the Disaster Research Center about the operations of the local mass media in…

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2119

Abstract

Summarizes, under 12 general propositions, the findings from a series of field studies by the Disaster Research Center about the operations of the local mass media in disasters in the USA. The topics covered range from the disaster planning undertaken by mass media organizations, to the content of the news reported, and about differences among the electronic and print media involved, to the input of citizens into stories about disasters. Additionally, raises questions about the extent to which the findings can be extrapolated to other than US society.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Book part
Publication date: 29 October 2013

Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere

Walter Lippmann in his 1922 classic “Public Opinion” noted that “the news media are a primary source of those pictures in our heads about the larger world of public…

Abstract

Walter Lippmann in his 1922 classic “Public Opinion” noted that “the news media are a primary source of those pictures in our heads about the larger world of public affairs, a world that for most citizens is “out of reach, out of sight, out of mind.” Indeed, among the different roles that the mass media performs is one of an information provider and interpreter of world events and policy decisions. The power of the mass media to mould public opinion on issues of national and international significance is well documented. Our knowledge and priorities about public affairs are based on what the media decides to feed us with. In this context, the present chapter seeks to analyze the crucial role essayed by the mass media in ensuring human security by promoting favorable public opinion toward the cause of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. S. Rashid Naim enunciates in “Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia” that a nuclear attack between India and Pakistan even limiting itself to military targets would cause approximately 577,000 deaths in Pakistan and 604,000 deaths in India apart from substantial number of injuries and destruction of property. The knowledge about this impending havoc should reach the grassroots level and this can be accomplished only by the mass media. With global efforts being channelized toward nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, the media and its trend-setting abilities can be harnessed to enlighten the average public about the disasters of a nuclear war. As the role of the mass media becomes more prominent in managing conflicts all over the world, the time is ripe to utilize its immense powers to dilute the level of possible nuclear clashes. A more proactive role of the media is envisioned through the establishment of a “global communication center” dedicated to the publication and broadcast of information advocating the cause of total nuclear disarmament. This center will be the locus of information dissemination and advocacy directed toward nations that possess nuclear weapons and those that are likely to get their hands on them in the near future. While the mass media is certainly not the only actor in the process of nuclear disarmament, it can be a decisive force for nations to choose between “atom for peace” or “atom for war.”

Details

Nuclear Disarmament: Regional Perspectives on Progress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-722-1

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