The course that we are studying is AHMC 1084 MassMedia and Society while the title for the assignment is to write an essay tosuggest five functions of mass media in society included how people use thesemedia from the uses and gratification perspectives. Thereare eight types of mass media industries in our Malaysian society: books,newspapers, magazines, recordings, radio, movies, television, and internet.These media bring a lot of functions to our society which are surveillance,interpretation, linkage, transmission of values, and entertainment. Fromthe uses and gratification perspective, we study about how people use massmedia for cognition, diversion, social utility, affiliation, expression, andwithdrawal purposes. Throughoutthe assignment, we are able to explain the five functions of mass media forsociety in Malaysia and identify the reasons why people in Malaysia use massmedia. Massmedia plays an important role in educating Malaysia society. One of thefunctions of mass media in educating Malaysian society is surveillance as knownas a watchdog role that circulating news and information. The Malaysian societyalways rely on media to provide them a wide variety of news and issues thathappened around them.
Therefore, it is important the mass media to providecorrect and useful news or information to the Malaysian society. Thereare two types of surveillance which are warning or beware surveillance andinstrumental surveillance. Warning or beware surveillance may happen when massmedia try to inform us about some cases such as dangers from monsoon windseasons, landslide, unstable economic conditions, dengue fever and so on. Theseare the cases that happen frequently and they will bring a lot of unwantedeffects to the Malaysian society. For example, on 5 November 2017, The StarOnline had reported news about the Penang Flood to advise the victims to bepatient and stay safe as the state government will try its best to help thosein need.
(Shiying, 2017) Thus, Malaysian society canreceive these warning and keep themselves away from danger through mass media. Instrumentalsurveillance refers to the transmission of information that is useful and helpful ineveryday life. (Baba J. , n.d.) For example, news aboutthe petrol price in Malaysia, the highlights of Budget 2018, the new MRT line,and the promotion in AEON Shopping Mall are the instrumental surveillance.Within these information, the Malaysian society can live their lives moreefficiently and make a better decision.
Interpretation is defined as theprocess of explaining and giving an opinion with the person or ownunderstanding toward the object, topic, etc… (Bello, 2012) For example, the finance minister and theprime minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri Najib is giving opinion or the citizensgiving their opinion about the budget 2018. Those are aged around 30 to the mid40 saying that the government is takingout too much of our citizens’ money to do too many unnecessary things and thisaction will cause inflation and lower down the financial capability of thecitizens. However, some of the citizens from the age of 50 and above sayingthat the government is doing a good job taking out so much money and puttingmore effort on making the country become better. For example, the government isplanning on constructing more line for the LRT to encourage the youngergeneration to use more public transportation instead of using their own car andit also can cut down the air pollution rate.
Besides, interpretation plays rolefor everything, starts from giving a simple opinion to friends and this maychange their mind of thinking. Quoted by Ramon Navarathnam in his opinion”What is there for our economy? Saying that the government himself have toexplain more about thinking behind that budget not only the face of thebudget” (NEWS, 2016).In the aspect of education, mass media plays important role to allow peopleimprove their way of thinking and how they look about the things in dailybasis. Quoted by J.Gonzalez-Mena “the specific medium Television has oneof the greatest socialization effects in influence young child from the age of10 to 18, because by watching they have a feeling of interacting but they arenot” (Gonzalez-Mena, 2010). The definition of linkage is the mass media can jointogether different elements of society that are not directly connected.(Dominick, 2011) In other words, mass media is a method that linking peoplewith other people such as individual or organisation in other countries.
Dominick (2011) mentioned an example that mass advertising attempts to link theneeds of buyers with the products of sellers. By using some websites orsmartphone apps such as eBay, Taobao, Lazada and so on the buyers and thesellers can be connected. Thus, the public can be proceeding the businesseasily. Besides,some poor people or some organisation try to raise money for the treatment ofcertain diseases or naturaldisasters are another example of this linkage function. For example,they will try to broadcast the news of those suffered from the disease ornatural disasters, mass media help in raising fund and provide the collectedamount to the victims.
They canbroadcast the news through newspaper, radio, television, social media such asFacebook, Twitter and so on. For an example, newspaper The Sun Daily hadlaunched a news on 5 November 2017 about Penang floods relief fund to call onall Malaysian to donate bigheartedly to help the victims that affected by theunprecedented level of flooding in the region, especially Penang. (Daily, 2017) Anothertype of linkage occurs when geographically separated groups that share a commonconcentration are linked by the mass media. This function is also called’public making’ ability of the mass media.
For instance, individual thatconcerned in environment, geography and science form a group and thisphenomenon may account for the growth of some movement. Therefore, these socialgroups may bring about some main action because of the quickly mobilized. Forexample, some health programmes inspired people to become health conscious orbeauty contests telecast generated beauty mindfulness.
(KAMAT)The definition oftransmission of values as known as socialization is the ways an individual comes to adopt the behaviours and valuesof a group (Dominick, 2011). Our society isdescribed by the mass media in the form of seeing, watching, listening or reading.For example, we learn how people supposed to act from the media as this is theimportant values that affect our daily life (Bello, 2012). Massmedia shows the audiences how they should act and shows the expectation towardthem. Moreover, television program is alarge reflect to the society as they broadcast and promote the understanding ofa society’s cultural heritage.
For example, children’s television programs aredesigned to showcase good behaviors and moral standards which children canlearn by watching. Astro Xiao Tai Yang is a one of the popular childrenprogram in Malaysia that can let the younger generation to have a good moralconcept such as children have to learn how to respect others’ cultural,manners, love their parents, appreciate everything they have and so on. TongTong’s wonderland is a show that teach children to have a good moralthrough singing and dancing thus it will be more effective to the children.Mass media try to show younger generation value in education because moralvalue is very important in improving their behaviors in the society. Massmedia are the wonderful sources of pleasure and amusement. Television and radioarrange many different programs for pleasure and amusement of mass people. Newspapersand magazines published articles on literary and cultural events, sports, storyetc that also provide entertainment to the readers (Communication, 2013).Mass media alsoassist in reducing stress.
Newspaper, magazines, radio, television and onlinemedium offer stories, films, serials, and comics to entertain the audiences. Media outlets, and entertainment blogs keep us up to dateon the daily comings and goings of our favourite celebrities. People usetechnology to watch movies, play video games, watch YouTube videos, and listento songs from internet on a daily basis. (Anon.,n.d.
). This popular function of the mass media helps to relax people and createa means of escape from the stress of everyday life (Anon., n.d.).The audiencescan also rely on media for taking them to places that they could not afford togo or imagine and improve their understanding of other countries’ culture.
The entertainment function of mass media has bothpositive and negative effects. Low-quality content is often criticized is thenegative effect, but for the benefits are helping people experience new things,stimulating emotions and helping people spend time.People are ableto participate directly within the media by posting their own videos, art andother creative works. People can start their small businesses by taking thisopportunity. Individuals can simply and inexpensively create and postelectronic commercials and virtual billboards that have the potential to reachthousands of potential customers (Bradley, n.d.).
People expect to acquire information,understanding, creativity and critical thinking skills by using mass media. People watch news mostly to gratify this need. Newsjunkies report they watching TV is all about keeping up with the latestinformation of the day.
If they don’t get to watch TV for several days, theyreport feeling uncomfortable about the information they know they’ve missed(Griffin, 2012). People use media to accessinformation and fulfill their mental and intellectual needs. Forexample, watching the local news to find out how to dress for tomorrow’sweather (Mishra, 2017). People useanalog and digital media resources to learn about the news and current issues.For example, the elder generation may watch the news on TV to stay updated, butthe younger generation may check out Twitter to read and know about thetrending articles (Kane, 2015). In Malaysia, educational programming like thedocumentary program “Tawai” can teach us about the environment and other placesaround the world. Mass media such asdocumentaries also help people in thinking and understanding process. Otherexamples can be quiz programs, teaching programs, arts and crafts programs forchildren, how-to videos (DIYs), etc.
Students in Malaysia watch UPSR or SPMteaching programs to learn and study. Online media, Internet, also being usedin getting information to satisfy the demand. Mass media intend toassemble these learning objects into simple or complex arguments, in creativeand innovative fashion, as demanded by their specific learning aims outlined intheir school-curriculum or proposed in a contemporary educational perspective.
These argumentations, whether subtle or complicated, essentially enable anindividual learner to construct new knowledge and enhance overall cognitivelearning experiences. Diversionmeans an action that change your mood to focus on something and take yourattention away from something else. Diversion can be separated into three whichare stimulation, relaxation and emotional release. Stimulationhas same meaning as encouragement which is an action that causes someone tobecome more active. Mass media is a medium that can affect the users’ moodthrough a movie, a slogan, a fiction, a magazine and so on. For example, themovie “The Theory of Everything” shows the people how Stephen WilliamHawking fights against his disease and continue his research. This movie willbe a motivation to those who are giving up on life.
Next, relaxation is thestate of being free from tension and anxiety. Mass media can help the peoplebeing free from tension and anxiety through radio, book, TV program and so on.For example, the TV program such as the variety show “Running Man”is funny and it makes people laugh non-stop. People can get relaxation easilythrough this kind of TV program.
Forthe emotional release, people who are suffering from stress can use mass mediato release stress. Online social media like Facebook and Twitter allow users toshare their opinion and feeling. For example, people can share their filmreview on their blogs after watching movies, express their opinions about theadvantages and disadvantages of the Budget 2018 and some more. Social utility is something theviewer needs so that they are able to satisfy them in many ways through medium suchas watching a movie in the cinema or maybe listening to the radio and more.
Social utility can be divided into two types, parasocial relationship andconversational currency. Parasocial relationship is the feeling of the sense offriendship or an emotional feeling that is attach that occurs between TVviewers and the media. This parasocial relationship happens when there is aninvolvement when popular peoples for example like Song Jong Ki, actor in thedrama “Decedents of The Sun”. Those feelings are experience withdifferent kind of ways with various people in the world including seeingpersonalities as friends, seeking guidance from a media person, desiring tomeet the media performers (EmGriffin, 2012). Next, conversational currency is a using media ascommon ground for connecting with the others and able to connect with thosethat also have the same interest. Affiliation is a person’s desire tofeel the sense of belonging of involvement within the social group (Bello, 2012). The primary ofthe medium that able to fulfill the function for individuals is the socialmedia like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more.
For example, the articleabout a Korean famous artist and comedian Kang Gary was getting married in fewweek time and even having a baby with his wife and did not even tell the fansabout it. So, people from the insiders who knew about the news and post it intothe fan page so that the fans are able to read the article find connection andgiving opinion with each other individual by interacting with the topic. Italso helps to start a conversation with other people about the specific topicthat the group is talking about.
In the aspect of education, for example theteacher can talk about some trending method to make students to study moreefficiently, during their discussion both teacher and student is makingconnections and they can understand more about each other. Expression is a self-expression refers to individuals that evincetheir inner thoughts, feelings and opinions which is also called asmicroanalysis. The early human beings do cave drawing as a need ofself-expression and this is the first example that show expression is animportant function for the individual (Bello, 2012). Besides, the self-expressionalso has been full-filled primarily by creative and artistic activities such asmusic, dance, painting, writing and sculpture since the early time (Bello,2012). Nowadays, the technology has become advance day by day, the internet hasopened the new prospect for self-expression.
People can express their thoughtsand feelings through many ways such as blog, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Forinstance, people can comment their opinions on an article in the socialapplication after they watched a movie or their feeling about the thingshappened today such as anger, sadness or happiness. Due to the Penang flood, the people willshare their sadness about the it and post it on Facebook. Withdrawal describes individual usingthe mass media to create a barrier between themselves and other people oractivities (Baba, 2015). In other words, when people did not want to be disturbby others or by the noises that made by the environment, they will use the massmedia to create a space between themselves and those unwanted stuffs. Forexample, the mass media help people avoid certain chores that should be done bythem.
People will use like they want to watch the programme first as an excuseto postpone or escape from doing housework or stuffs that they did not want todo. This defined that attending to the mass media is a socially appropriateaction that should not be interrupted and intermittent. In this manner otherwork might be postpone or evaded completely (Dominick, 2011).Mass media also used by people as amethod to create a buffer zone between themselves and other people.
Forinstance, when you do not want to be disturbed by others while you are riding abus or sitting in a public place, you can just bury your head in a book,magazine or newspaper and you can just surfing the internet by using yoursmartphone (Dominick, 2011). If you are on an aeroplane or an intercity bus,you may just pop in your iPod or MP3 earphones and tune everybody out from yourworld (Baba, 2015) or you may enjoy watching a drama or movie by using laptop,iPad or smartphone. As aconclusion, there are five functions of mass media in our society. Forsurveillance, people in Malaysia society use mass media to follow up news andinformation, keep themselves away from danger and live their lives better. Forinterpretation, people use mass media to give opinions and it improves theirways of thinking. For linkage, mass media joins different elements of societytogether so that they can share a common concentration. For transmission ofvalues, some important values and behaviour can be shaped through mass media.For entertainment, mass media provides plenty of pleasure and amusement for thepeople.
Theuses and gratification included cognition, diversion, social utility,affiliation, expression and withdrawal. For cognition, people get data,information and knowledge by mass media. For diversion, people use mass mediato stimulate, relax and release stress. For social utility, mass media canconnect the people with same interest together. For affiliation, people canfeel the sense of belonging of involvement within the social group. Forexpression, people can share their thoughts, feelings and opinions to eachother. For withdrawal, mass media create a barrier between people themselveswith others.
Thesimilarities between functions of mass media in society and uses andgratification is people can gain information and knowledge just like thesurveillance function and cognition. People are able to get news from newspaperand extra knowledge from documentary program. Besides, people from differentplaces are connected together just like the linkage function and social utilitybecause they share the same interest and thoughts. Moreover, people can relax,release stress, enjoy themselves through mass media just like the entertainmentfunction and diversion.