Mass Communication Theories and the Social Media Era

I have theory paper with feedback from the professor. I want you to read the professor’s comments and rewrite the paper again and the title. please follow the professor’s comments. I uploaded the first draft and the feedback. Also, the chapter which the professor ask me to read. please, I need the paper more than 20 pages. please I need a real change because I changed a lot and it was his response (The abstract and the first few pages of your manuscript does not reveal that you have made any significant change to the manuscript. I have written feedback on your initial submission, which you ignored.) pleas using your own words ( zero plagiarism) The class is I have theory paper with feedback from the professor. I want you to read the professor’s comments and rewrite the paper again and the title. please follow the professor’s comments. I uploaded the first draft and the feedback. Also, the chapter which the professor ask me to read. please, I need the paper more than 20 pages. please I need a real change because I changed a lot and it was his response (The abstract and the first few pages of your manuscript does not reveal that you have made any significant change to the manuscript. I have written feedback on your initial submission, which you ignored.) pleas using your own words ( zero plagiarism) The class is Theory of Mass Communication Class. Master’sThis some the professor’s comments about the first draftI have briefly glanced over your paper. I commend you for devoting many pages to this topic. But the current versions suffers from the following:· Incoherence of thoughts. Through the paper, sentences and paragraphs are disconnected from one another so that the argument is made is curvilinear, rather than straightforward.· Lack of clarity of purpose. It is not clear what the paper aims to discuss. Are you developing a new theory? If so, why a new theory needed? Or are you making an argument that social media should be considered the most important communication in the world?· Organization. The current organization does not go justice to the argument. The paper reads like a literature review in most places, as opposed to a coherent argument espousing a point of view.These are my initial thoughts. Master’sThis some the professor’s comments about the first draftI have briefly glanced over your paper. I commend you for devoting many pages to this topic. But the current versions suffers from the following: · Incoherence of thoughts. Through the paper, sentences and paragraphs are disconnected from one another so that the argument is made is curvilinear, rather than straightforward.· Lack of clarity of purpose. It is not clear what the paper aims to discuss. Are you developing a new theory? If so, why a new theory needed? Or are you making an argument that social media should be considered the most important communication in the world?· Organization. The current organization does not go justice to the argument. The paper reads like a literature review in most places, as opposed to a coherent argument espousing a point of view.These are my initial thoughts.
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Running head: MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
1
Mass Communication Theories and the Social Media Era
Theory of Mass Communication Class
Abstract
Social media is progressively influencing all aspects of human life. The organizations are
relentless in marketing their brand on social media. However, the scholarly and professional
worlds lack compelling theory to assist organizations and advertisers harness maximum benefits
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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from the social media. The existing communication theories exhibit a bias towards the traditional
mainstream media that limit the ability to expand a relatively extensive concept of social
networks. The researcher in this study aims at establishing the underlying principles and
elements that make the social media exceptionally popular and viral in communication through
the combination of elements of theories such as diffusion theory of innovations, reinforcement
theory, transformation theory, hypodermic needle, the spiral of silence, social learning theory,
uses and gratification theory, and cultivation theory. Following a review of existing literature, the
study has managed to substantiate how social media fits into the information success model. The
new theory comprises of six major attributes that work in ensuring that the social media is one of
the effective means of mass communication. The elements include user characteristics, system
quality, knowledge quality, service quality, system use, and user satisfaction.
Table of Content
Abstract …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Study Problem …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
Social Media Concept ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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Social Media and Prominent Theories ……………………………………………………………………………… 10
Historical Perspectives of Communication Theories ………………………………………………………….. 12
Theoretical Framework ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
Classical Theories ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15
Diffusion theory of innovation …………………………………………………………………………………….. 15
Reinforcement Theory………………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Transformation Theory ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17
Empirical Research ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17
Limitation in Previous Literature …………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
The New Theory …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
New Theory Development ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23
Hypothesis ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 24
Model of the New Theory …………………………………………………………………………………………… 24
User Characteristics ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
System Quality ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
Knowledge Quality …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 25
Service Quality ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
System Quality ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 26
Characteristics of New Theory…………………………………………………………………………………….. 26
Implications of the Theory ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 28
References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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Introduction
Human communication and language emerged to meet basic needs. Individuals
developed communication to coordinate construction of shelter and distribution of foods.
Laluddin (2016) argued that complexities in human community arise due to the need to meet
secondary needs, such as alleviation of conflict and enhancement of cooperation. However, the
accomplishment of the human wants resulted in the pursuit of comfort, convenience, and luxury.
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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In this regard, social media represent a new and distinct mode and means of communication. It
aims to promote luxury and convenience to the public sphere of the society. According to
McFarland and Ployhart (2015), social media is not simply a technology but a context that differs
in many ways from traditional modes of communication. It promotes real-time interaction over
long distances. Again, geographical barriers do not influence its reliability and validity.
The study of social media as a communication or interaction platform requires guiding
principles to foster the development of firm argument supporting or discrediting its role.
McFarland and Ployhart (2015) noted that there is need to find out some guidance or framework
that provides principles, best practices, or separate facts from fiction. The approach ensures that
evaluation considers the current achievements and its growing demand in the society. For
instance, companies, organizations, and individuals are increasingly presenting their views,
services, products, and ideas through social media to specific segments of the consumer market.
From this argument, Harrington (2005) indicated that theories provide the best guiding principles
due to their ability to systemize goals and problems in social debates.
The majority of the entity organizations are struggling with formulation of strategies to
reap optimal benefits from social media. Apparently, there is no dedicated theory that explains
key elements that make social media work best. Additionally, the existing research fails to reveal
the underlying drivers of social media popularity due to significant variance in methodological
approaches and the theoretical approaches among the scholars. However, the application of a
social theory would resolve the challenges to its ability draw distinction from different reactions
to social life (Harrington, 2005). Rootes (1990) argued that social theories are preconditions that
believe in reason enabling individuals to withdrawal their biases during evaluation of subjects.
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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Thus, philosophies are standards that ensure their administration of effective actions that lead to
the desired results
McFarland and Ployhart (2015) indicated that the social media principles are context
based. As a result, there are eight attributes or elements that can be used to explain why social
media is powerful which include physicality, accessibility, latency, interdependence,
synchronicity, permanence, verifiability, and anonymity. On physicality, social media is
becoming popular because geographic location, weather, and distance do not influence its
reliability and validity. Again, the accessibility of social media makes it highly prevalent in the
society. A considerable proportion of the global population can access social media more than
any other communication platform. Concerning latency, the spread of social media is instant and
that is why it is taking over other means of communication. It provided users with real-time
communication whereby a message can be broadcasted around the world within few seconds. As
far as interdependence is concerned, there are more opportunities to share information across a
wider range of people.
Although critics avoid the application of theories in the analysis, it is evident that the
resultant mode of reasoning is standard (Rootes, 1990). As a result, other researchers can follow
a similar path to determine the validity of argumentation or encompassed methodology. From
this viewpoint, the assessment of facts values, and objectivity found in the social media would be
best served through the imposition of relevant theory. It will provide a concrete model of
analysis and construction of supporting arguments and analytical criticism.
Study Problem
Every medium of communication recognized as mass is economically attractive to
advertisers if the number of its followers reaches a critical level. It means that the usefulness of
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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an interactive media escalates with the increase of the number of users. At first, the idea of a
critical mass works against innovation, since its adoption makes sense only if there are other
users. For example, from the phone and e-mail, the first users were of little use because their
circle of communication was extremely narrow. It is believed that the users reach a critical level
when the innovation is taken by 10-20% of the population. Having overcome this threshold, it
spreads throughout the social system where it is adopted in the majority of the activities in the
society. Meanwhile, the spread of social media has surpassed other communication platform in
the transmission of information and influencing of individuals. This makes the existing theories
of mass communication relatively ineffective in explaining principles underlying the power of
social media.
The goal of this study is to establish the underlying principles and elements that make the
social media exceptionally popular and viral in communication. It borrows concepts from
existing theories, such as uses and gratification theory, reinforcement theory by Joseph Klapper,
and transformation theory proposed by Marshall McLuhan. Consequently, the researcher
develops a social theory that conforms to need of social media rather than relying on
extrapolation of other communication philosophies that exhibit significant inadequacies.
Social Media Concept
According to Harrington (2005), the best strategy of responding to the world is either
descriptive or prescriptive. Therefore, existing theories either present the accomplishment or
inadequacies of social media. For instance, McFarland, and Ployhart (2015) indicated that the
fact that the content posted on social media is permanent makes it a common means of
communication. In this regard, it meets certain criteria to qualify as a communication channel. In
contrast, Kuem et al. (2017) suggested that social media influences the behaviors of people
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
through three mechanisms which include dedications, constraint, and obligation-based
mechanism. From this perspective, social media possess power that requires categorization to
foster critical analysis.
However, one thing that is clear from the existing studies is that they are general
principles that guide media. Pickard and Pickard (2017) argue that a media requires only to
promote expression and communications to gain popularity. The assertion fails to consider the
preference and biases of the target audience. In this regard, the existing studies and theories do
not answer questions as to why some individuals in social media command so much audience
and why some posts are liked and followed by many followers. If a person posts a funny
message, it is likely to be liked by many people in comparison to person posts an educational
comment.
Active participation in a given social networking platform requires membersâ?? dedication
to their peers in a voluntary, nonbinding, and nonobligatory setting. Additionally, under
constraint mechanism, it is suggested that users cannot move from Facebook to Twitter if he or
she has â??investedâ? more on Facebook. Lastly, obligation-based mechanism opposes the two
mechanisms because it does not rely on cost-benefit analysis. Instead, relational reasons are
believed to dictate peopleâ??s behavior. Posts associated with controversy also get more followers
than normal posts. These observations clearly suggest that apart from the contextual factors
proposed by McFarland and Ployhart (2015) and the three mechanisms proposed by Kuem et al.
(2017), there are other principles guiding the trend and influence of social media. As a result,
corporate users are cautious when utilizing social media to prevent propagation of negative
reputation and conflict with existing business policies and practice.
8
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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Communication media are important in our daily lives. They are responsible for
informing people of different events that happen around the world. Moreover, they educate the
society on different subjects. Consequently, the mainstream media are aiming at amassing power
to manipulate the consumersâ?? way of thinking at all costs. They no longer provide reliable
information responsible for informing and educating the masses. Instead, they want to shape the
opinion of the masses to gain political and economic mileage. Labiak (2017) reported that before
the emergence of the internet, media possessed power on the information the public consumes. In
this regard, failure to report means an issue sank into obscurity but the internet ensures all issues
gain adequate attention in the public sphere. For instance, the consumers in the United Kingdom
have an average of 293 million visits on Microsoft News (MSN) which is relatively higher than
sales of the popular newspaper in a month.
In the current information age, consumers have numerous channels for accessing accurate
and reliable information. The mainstream media today are at a disadvantage with alternative
media, such as blogs and social networks, which are responsible for offering a different point of
view. In most of the circumstances, alternative media offer a lot of perspectives more real and
outside the powerful media, which are backed by large corporations that seek to shape the
opinion of the public at their convenience. Shafer and Doherty (2017) indicated that the control
of the media by external agents is evident in the 2016 Presidential Election where they made the
public believe Donald Trump had no chance of ascending to the presidency. The propositions
were supported by polls from large corporations in the country.
Meanwhile, the majority of the stakeholders in the media industry are trying to find out
ways of designing the social media policies and maximizing its benefits. Nonetheless, there are
no clear facts and principles guiding effectiveness of social media. The existing theories are not
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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conclusive on the factors that contribute the dominance of online platforms. Although there are
many theories that can aid in understanding how social media works, none of the existing ones is
conclusive on explaining the principles and drivers of social media. Consequently, the choice of
new social media theory emanates from the fact that companies, organizations, institutions, and
individuals are turning to social media as the main communication channels.
Social Media and Prominent Theories
Everett Rogers, in 1962, approached the concept of information flow and its influence on
the individual in a new way, offering the diffusion theory of innovations, which is sometimes
called the theory of innovation or adaptation. After analyzing the data of a large number of
empirical studies, he concluded that the process of people’s acceptance of new ideas and goods
includes six stages: attention, interest, evaluation, verification, acceptance, confirmation. This
theory “corrects” the theory of information flow by expanding the number of participants in the
process and improving the quality of strategies to overcome barriers in the way of something
new. According to the prescribed concept, the role of the media is minimized to only informing
audiences about innovations. The diffusion of innovation theory focuses on the power of
creativity. Researchers have established that its adoption is a general social process (Barsade &
Gibson 2002). For example, in all situations when people had to make decisions, they turned to
those whose opinions they trust, for the advice that ultimately determined their decisions. This
means that diffusion of innovation theory misses the aspect of the social process. However, the
social media does not provide individuals with information only but allow an individual to be the
source through creation and dissemination of private content. From this perspective, diffusion
theory fails to cover activities and procedures of disseminating information in social media.
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
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The reinforcement theory is a potential philosophy that can explain principles of social
media. It was proposed by Joseph Klapper who was worried that the average person exaggerates
the power of the media. Despite the fact that many scientists (mostly empiricists) rejected the
theory of mass society, too many people still believed that the media had enormous power. He
aimed at providing reassurance that the media has limited ability on influencing people (Wicks,
1996). Klapper wrote that the media does not act directly and is relatively powerless in
comparison with other social and psychological factors, such as social status, group affiliation,
strong attitudes, and education. Mass communication is not usually an adequate tool for
influencing the audience but acts through other things, which provide a chain of mediating
factors and influences. The mediating factors are strong enough to make mass communication
one of the composite agents in the process of strengthening the existing conditions (Wicks,
1996). It does not undermine social norms but acts as an agent of the status quo; giving people
more reason to continue to believe and acting in an ordinary way. Klapper argued that within the
media there are many barriers, which deter influence causing fundamental changes, except under
very extreme conditions (Wicks, 1996). The reinforcement theory offers a hint that there are
mediators. However, it does not state the mediators categorically. In this regard, it cannot
adequately describe how the social media influence the society.
The transformation theory by McLuhan attempts to explain how media works but it
misses some important elements, which form the basis for this study. During the break-up of the
existing paradigm, a new medium of mass communication usually goes through four stages: (1)
Acceleration of the process of creating a message (acceleration); (2) supplanting of the former
ways (obsolescence); (3) Combining with traditional methods (synthesis); (4) Returning to the
old methods of creating the message, but at a higher level (extraction) (Gow, 2010). McLuhan
MASS COMMUNICATION THEORIES
12
proposal considered a personal computer with a text editor. First, it accelerated the process of
preparing …
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