Mass communication - the nervous system of a holistic social organism - Psychology of journalism

Mass communication - the nervous system of a holistic social organism

So, a priori we conclude: the modern world is complex, diverse and dynamic. It is contradictory, but interdependent and in many ways integral. Its dynamics and integrity are manifested primarily in the development of social relations, deepening communication (communication) and forcing the information connections of various levels. It should be noted that representatives of both humanitarian (philosophy, sociology, political science, social psychology, linguistics, cultural studies, theory of journalism) and technical (computer science, cybernetics) and natural (psychology) have been discussing information and communication problems for more than two decades , biology) of disciplines. Even more actual was their rapid progress in the development of the technological base of communication media: first of all, such a powerful information channel as television, and in recent years also various computer network systems.

German media psychologist P. Winterhoff-Spurck rightly avenged that "the study of the media is a very broad and extremely heterogeneous field (field), in view of the phenomena to be studied, as well as the theories and methods to be developed and practically meaningful." On the whole, the foundations of the theory and psychology of communication, which is considered to be a multidisciplinary concept, have for a long time been developed on an intuitive level. However, back in 1909, C. Cooley, author of the theory of "initiation" individuals to the "big consciousness" as a collection of accumulated socially significant "states of feeling" and "maps" ( imaginations ) , singled out communication as a means of actualizing the "organically whole world of human thought". Later, G. Mead, in the vein of the same reasoning, viewed society as "the result of a set of processes of interaction of individuals with each other."

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Systematic scientific research of communicative processes began in the 1920s-1930s. in the framework of various theories of journalism, which was both due to the rapid development of mass media, and is connected with the fundamental and global nature of social processes. In the further development of information and communication ideas and concepts around the end of the fortieth years, two approaches were defined: the so-called natural-technical (N. Wiener, K. E. Shannon, W. R. Ashby, etc.) and the scientific-humanitarian (K. Levi-Strauss, A. Lamsdain, K. Hovland, F. Sheffield, and others). And since the late 1960's. the study of mass communication in Western countries, as a rule, developed within the framework of sociological and psychological traditions with a concentration on the management, ideological and cultural aspects of the impact of the media on individuals and society.

In modern science, we can distinguish the following basic meanings of the concept of & quot; information & quot; :

• communication, awareness of the situation, information about something that people transmit;

• decreasing, removable uncertainty as a result of receiving messages (in the communication technique);

• a message that is inextricably linked to management, signals in a unity of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic characteristics (social information);

• transmission, reflection of diversity in any objects and processes (inanimate and living nature).

Specificity of the highest type of organization of information systems that characterize human life activity consists in the emergence of a social system for the generation, storage and processing of information - the culture of society. LN Kogan, whose name is associated with the revival, formation and development of the sociology of culture, regarded it as a human-creative social system. He also noted that the main function of culture also contains a number of subfunctions. These include:

• transfer of social experience, social information from one generation to another;

• regulation of public relations by means of political, legal, moral, religious, ecological cultures, management culture, etc .;

• Communication, communication between people about the production and development of cultural values;

• Evaluation of the phenomena of the surrounding life from the standpoint of a particular culture.

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All these subfunctions of culture, closely related to each other, explain the multiplicity of the definitions of culture. And some scientists recognize the main information function of culture and, accordingly, define culture as social information.

Now, the problems of feedback to the mass media audience are more pressing than ever for science as a whole and the psychology of journalism. It is actualized primarily by the widespread introduction of the Internet, as well as by the permanent development of local communication links through social networks. But, speaking about feedback, mass media researchers for some reason often ignore the interactive possibilities of modern satellite television broadcasting, as well as the ever-widening interweaving of computer and television technologies. Consider, for example, all that is related to interactive television.

First, we note that today in the media world, two types of interactive television systems are developing: without additional services for the user and with additional services. Interactive television systems without additional services provide only the ability to view the ordered programs in a certain time (convenient for the viewer). The specialists in their price lists call this service "video on demand". A kind of advanced video recorder.

Interactive TV with additional services will give the technological opportunity to significantly increase the user range of the unit we are accustomed to. In particular, it makes it possible to expand practically indefinitely the range of services, sometimes not related to actual specific TV programs. These include: home banking, participation in auctions, participation in voting, education and training, provision of information materials to the user, and access to additional information resources, including Internet resources (browsing the web, working with electronic by mail). The user can make purchases in electronic stores, communicate via e-mail, participate in forums and chats, send SMS messages, store personal information in electronic address books and calendars, create family photo albums, etc.

Of course, interactive television also provides technological opportunities for organizing a dialogue between TV journalists and the audience. Thus, simultaneously with watching certain TV programs, viewers can perform actions directly related to the current broadcast. This is very convenient if the viewer has a need to request and receive additional information: information about this program or those stored in the video archive, its authors and participants, announcements of future broadcasts, there is also the possibility of obtaining additional materials, for example, those not included in the for some reason in the main TV program. During the transfer, you can even make purchases of related products and services (television commerce). As an example of an extended version of the cooperation of a journalist and a particular viewer, one can also name the exchange of clarifying information directly during the broadcast. The consumer of the information during the video clip can find out the artist's biography, the schedule of his concerts and even order tickets, and the football fan when viewing the match - get acquainted with the composition of the participants and the tournament table, buy not only tickets, but souvenirs, get real-time sports news etc. - and not being torn from the TV program or match. When answering questions, filling out questionnaires and using other suggested feedback forms, the viewer can have a direct impact on the progress of the program. He can exhibit his virtual image to participate in the show, or even become a co-author, choosing the scenery, the presenter and the options for the development of the transfer scenario or the film. You can watch news programs that are tailored to your taste & quot;

These and other examples of real and constantly improving media practice testify: the emerged new formulation of the question of feedback draws the attention not only of journalism theorists, but also media owners concerned with rating, practitioners, makes us think about what is included in the the notion of the & quot; information society & quot ;. That is, society is not just a near future, but a society in which we already live.

Therefore, mass communication must be viewed primarily as a holistic social phenomenon that represents the essential part of human relationships, which, on the one hand, reflects facts, events, phenomena in the life of society, and on the other, itself has a determining influence on their formation.

It is no accident that some researchers noted that the media is the nervous system of a holistic social organism. And philosopher-avant-garde GM McLuhan considered electronic communication channels as an extension of the human nervous system.

It is known that the mass media is informed, enlightened, entertained. Apart from modern socio-psychological and theoretical journalistic works, their manipulative-uyravlenical function is described: cultural and socio-psychological values, changing attitudes, models of behavior and perception of reality.

So, for example, when forming myths and stereotypes, the media actively use the "public perception" mechanism, becoming a means of subjective spiritual coercion of a group - after all, we are all residents of the "global village". Vivid examples of this: elections, political propaganda or advertising campaigns.

But you can manipulate public opinion (as well as resist it - because the communication process is not mechanistic), only knowing the features of perception and processing of information in human memory.

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