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Sociology | Class 12 | Mass Media and Communications


The term "mass media" refers to a broad range of media, including TV, newspapers, movies, magazines, radio, commercials, video games, and CDs. They are referred to as "mass" media because they have a broad appeal to large populations of people. The term "mass communications" is also used to describe them.

Mass media organisations, which reach thousands of people living in various parts of the nation, are currently one of the most important aspects of our lives.

Newspapers, TV, radio, and other media have all become very important parts of our lives, especially in the wake of globalisation. It keeps up with current events and what is happening in the real world.

Mobile phones and advertisements provide telecommunications interconnectivity as part of the mass media.

Mass Media and Sociology

We learn from studying mass media that it adjusts to the political, cultural, social, and economic facets of life.

Mass media and society are linked in a number of ways. This relationship is dialectical (mutually dependent relationship). Without mass media, our society could not function because life would be monotonous and uninteresting.

Similar to this, mass media can only be useful if it respects society's cultural facets.

Different societal groups are targeted by mass media, such as young people, housewives, and members of the business class. Ads for children, young people, and housewives differ in urban areas from those in rural ones.

Beginning of Mass Media

The invention of the printing press by Johann Guterberg in the middle of the 15th century (1440) marked the beginning of mass media.

The demand for printing presses only rose with the advent of the industrial revolution in the 18th century.

Newspapers only began to reach a much larger population in the 19th century as a result of increases in population, literacy rates, and new developments.

The popularity of the newspaper is due in part to the fact that readers can simultaneously hear the same news in different parts of the world. At first, the newspaper's content was limited to religious discussions rather than actual news.

During Colonial Rule

  • Vernacular newspapers of Matrabhumi, Amrita Bazaar, and Kesari appeared in various languages.

  • The freedom struggle and national movements were attempted to be promoted through these newspapers in an effort to inspire people to rebel against the British, but the British despised this censorship.

  • Therefore, even though newspapers were outside the purview of the British government, censorship was used to keep an eye on them.

  • Literate people were few and far between. Thus, many people didn't read the newspapers.

  • Monocular languages allowed them to have a large impact on the populace.

  • Fighting for the people's freedom was the main message of the news.

Post-colonial India

  • Nehru referred to the media as the "watchdog of democracy" because it upholds the standards of democracy in society.

  • He wanted the media to inform the populace about the government's development initiatives.

  • He wished for the media to inform the populace and promote employment in order for everyone to be self-sufficient.

  • He wished for everyone to be aware of the many social ills that exist.

Globalization and Mass Media

Before globalisation in the 1990s, every industry in the media was distinct.

After globalisation, the radio, television, and newspaper industries, as well as the music and film industries, all converged.


  • In India, experimental television programming was first introduced in 1959 to support rural development.

  • Later, between August 1975 and July 1976, the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) broadcasted directly to community viewers in the rural areas of six states.

  • In India, there were more television transmitters in 1984–1985 than ever before, reaching a sizable portion of the population.

  • Similar to how the epics Ramayana (1987–88) and Mahabharat were broadcast, they received enormous critical acclaim and generated significant advertising revenue for Doordarshan.

  • The Gulf War of 1991, which helped CNN gain popularity, and the launch of Star-TV by the Whampoa Hutchinson Group of Hong Kong in the same year marked the beginning of private satellite channels in India.

  • In the 1980s, the cable television industry exploded in major Indian cities as Doordarshan expanded quickly. The VCR significantly increased the number of entertainment options available to Indian audiences, giving them programming options besides Doordarshan's single channel.

  • STAR TV implemented localization in the most dramatic way. In October 1996, the Hong Kong-based general entertainment channel STAR Plus, which had previously only broadcast in English, started producing a Hindi-language block of programming from 7 to 9 PM.

  • All English serials were moved to STAR World, the network's English-language international channel, by February 1999, when the channel was changed to a solely Hindi channel.


  • Two-thirds of all Indian households could hear AIR programming in 24 languages and 146 dialects on about 120 million radio sets in 2000.

  • Since privately owned FM channels are prohibited from airing any political news, many of these channels focus on "certain kinds" of popular music to draw in and keep viewers.

  • The use of FM channels has a lot of potential. The expansion of radio stations would be facilitated by further radio station privatisation and the emergence of community-owned radio stations.

  • There is an increasing need for regional news. The number of homes in India that listen to FM has furthered the global trend of local radio replacing networks.


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