Examining The Importance Of Mass Media Media Essay
The Importance of Mass Media Campaigns in Tobacco Control
Why does reliance on mass media increase during and after disaster situations? What makes people spend more time with mass media in these cases? Media system dependency (MSD) theory provides a framework to explain the relationship between individuals and media in disaster situations. According to MSD theory, the importance of mass media in an individual’s life varies according to the social environment and the intensity of individuals’ goals (Ball–Rokeach, 1985). In a disaster situation, be it a natural or social disaster, the social environment suddenly becomes uncertain. People often do not have full understanding of what is going on in their social environment. For example, after the 11 September terrorist attack in New York in 2001, the ambiguity in the social environment surged in terms of the nature of the incident, the number of victims, and the implications of the incident for people’s security (Cohen, et al., 2002). Similarly, after the 11 March earthquake in Japan, people in Tokyo who felt the earthquake were not immediately certain about the magnitude of the earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks. In an ambiguous situation, according to MSD theory, dependency on mass media increases because mass media outlets are likely to contain important and exclusive information that is not available from other sources (Ball–Rokeach, 1998). For example, the magnitude and the epicenter of an earthquake are often only available from mass media outlets.
The importance of mass media can not be described in words
In a study by a market research company on media use among young people (n=506), the age group from 12 to 20 years evaluated the importance of mass media on a scale from 1 to 5 as following: Internet 4.29; television 3.84; newspapers 3.00; radio 2.96; home-delivered free papers 2.03; otherwise-delivered free papers 1.82; pick-up free papers 1.76. (Media Use of the Youth 2007.) Noteworthy is the clear leading of the Internet among this age group.