Mass media and its functions

Traditionally, television, press, and radio are referred to as mass media. What they have in common is that, predominantly with up-to-date content, they address an unlimited, anonymous audience indirectly via a technical means, which can consist of a few thousand or even millions of individuals such as those working in CarCover Company. Mass media create mass communication.

Mass communication

The broadcasters forward the information directly to the recipients with the help of technical means. The recipients form an unlimited, diverse, and spatially dispersed audience. Anyone can participate in the communication process, provided they have the appropriate technical capabilities. This process is anonymous, the sender does not know the recipient and they have no contact with one another. The information must be presented in an interesting and important way by the broadcasters for a wide audience.

The function of the mass media

In a democratic country, the mass media press, radio, and television are assigned three functions, some of which overlap strongly:

  •  Information
  •  Participation in opinion-forming
  •  Control and criticism

Other tasks also include entertainment and education.

Creating the public

Political functions, i.e. the performance of the mass media with regard to the social environment as a political system, relate to democratically organized states. The most important function of the mass media in a democracy is to create publicity. The public arises and consists today in the fact that information is made publicly accessible via mass media. Political decisions in a democracy require constant mutual communication between the government and the population. The formation of will requires the discussion of opinions. By creating a public sphere with regard to political programs, intentions, demands, and goals, those involved in the political process enter into communication with one another.

As the mass media address the expectations of the citizens as well as the decisions of the political system, there is an exchange between organizations, institutions, parties, and citizens. In this way, the media convey the knowledge needed to form an opinion and in this way enable citizens to participate in the political process. They contribute to political education.

The mass media convey the mood in the population and are therefore the mouthpiece for all democratically acceptable parties. Only in this way can the will-formation in the true sense come about. The journalist is assigned the function of an intermediary.