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What different kinds of “effects” can the media have, and what are the theoretical and methodological problems associated with viewing media in terms of effects? Discuss in relevance to research.
‘One of the first and most important assumptions of the study of mass communication has been the presumption that media and their content have significant and substantial effects’ (Perse, E.M. 2001: 3). The topical debate and concerns of ‘media effects’ has had a long history. ‘Mass communication could become the basis for people’s view of the world’ (Lippman, 1922)4. This quote demonstrates that in the early 1900s scholars were concerned with media’s dominant ability to influence audiences. As new mediums have come into play, opinions on the matter have rarely changed. ‘Media effects’ refers to how powerful and influential the mass media is upon audiences in society and how this affects individuals patterns of thought and behaviour.
It has been considerably argued that research evidence on the topic of media effects has resulted in concern and more recently research has tended to focu…
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