A+ A A-

Mass Media in the USA. Топик по английскому

Mass communication has revolutionized the modern world. In the United States it has given rise to what social observers sometimes call a media state, a society in which access to power is through the media. The term media, understood broadly, includes any channel of information through which information can pass. Since a democracy largely depends on public opinion, all those involved in communicating information inevitably have an important role to play. The print and broadcasting media not only convey information to the public, but also influence public opinion. Television, with access to virtually every American household, is a powerful influence.

On average, American viewers watch TV about six hours a day, usually tuned to one of the national commercial networks: ABC (the American Broadcasting Corporation), NBC (the National Broadcasting Company), CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) or Fox Broadcasting Company. These stations attract about 98 per cent of TV audiences.

Theoretically, anyone in the United States can start a newspaper or a magazine, but to become a radio or television broadcaster one must be granted a portion of the limited radio-television spectrum by the government's licensing board, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For the most part, the American broadcasting system has always been a commercial system. It is supported by money from businesses that pay to advertise goods or services to the audience. Advertising messages are usually presented as 15, 30 or 60-second commercial announcements before, during and after programs. During a sixty-minute TV program you can expect to see about twelve minutes of commercials.

Commercial broadcasting is a huge industry bringing in profits of about 1.8 billion dollars annually. The commercial networks broadcast a variety of shows: news, drama, soap operas, comedy, sports, music, movies, children's programs, game shows and talk shows. There are a lot of competitions for viewers, especially during prime time, from 7 to 11 pm.

PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), supported by government and private funding, is the only noncommercial network. It broadcasts more serious drama, performing arts, science, public- affairs documentaries and educational children's programs. Sesame Street, the most popular children's show on PBS, appears on TV stations all over the world. All five networks broadcast twenty-four hours a day.

Viewers whose tastes are not satisfied by the many offerings of network and local programs are now increasing their options by subscribing to cable television. About 35 million Americans pay a monthly fee for greater selection. There are up to 500 cable stations. Two well-known ones are HBO (Home Box Office), which shows movies, and CNN, which specializes in news.

Satellite TV was originally designed to offer a greater selection of programs to people in rural areas that could not easily be connected to the cable system. It now provides anybody who is ready to have a satellite dish installed in his or her backyard with the same programing as cable TV. Conventional television has had to struggle to retain its audience as people switch over to cable viewing, satellite TV or renting video cassettes.

Across the United States there are more than nine thousand radio stations. Almost all of them are commercial, except for

National Public Radio stations. Listeners can tune into all kinds of stations: pop or classical music, news, sport, or community radio. Talk radio shows are very popular. Listeners call in and ask the talk- show host or guests questions about anything from cooking or car repair to politics or health. Callers often get a chance to give their opinion on the air.

There's something for everyone to read with 1,700 daily and 6,300 weekly newspapers. Eight out of ten Americans read a tabloid or standard newspaper every day. Often newspapers are delivered early in the morning so people can read them before leaving home. Standard newspapers have long articles about local, national and international news, while tabloid newspapers include short news articles and a lot of photos, stories about famous people, advice columns and horoscopes. Most newspapers are regional rather than national, although some are distributed all over America. The New York Times, for example, is available in New York and in most big cities. The paper with the largest circulation is The Wall Street Journal, which specializes in business news.

Nowadays Americans consider television their most important source of news, and a majority ranks television as the most believable news source. Accordingly, newspapers have to cope with competition from radio and television.

 

загрузка...
  • Топики по английскому языку

    • A Short History of Hair. Топик по английскому

      Over thousands of years some very odd things have been done to hair. Here are some of them. It's strange to think of tough soldiers having their hair curled, but that's what the Persians did over 2000 years ago. The curls were made by twisting the hair round hot rods. Their thick beards and moustaches were curled too. In about 1150, during the Norman period, women grew hair as long as they...

    • American Climate. Топик по английскому

      Тема: Американский климат The climate of the US is temperate, with four distinct seasons. The USA is a very large country, so it has several different climate zones. The coldest regions are in the north and northeast, where a lot of snow falls in winter. The climate of Alaska is arctic. All along the western coast, the temperature changes little between winter and summer months, while in the...

    • American English. Топик по английскому

      American English is one of the ways of speaking English. In the formation of American English the English-speaking colonists were brought into contact with different peoples who spoke different languages. Many words, derived from these languages, were added to the 17th-century form of English. First in importance come the words derived from the speech of various Indian tribes. This was caused by...

    • American Food. Топик по английскому

      Тема: Американская Еда When we speak about American food, we always imagine hamburgers and hot dogs, fried chicken and giant steaks. But in fact Americans eat every kind of food imaginable, even spaghetti and pizza. The expression "as American as apple pie" means something that is typically American, but even apple pie came from somewhere else. The only true American foods are those that the...

    • American Government. Топик по английскому

      Тема: Американское правительство The United States is a representative democracy. All government power rests ultimately with the people who direct policies by voting for government representatives. The nation's Constitution defines the powers of national and state governments, the functions and framework of each branch of government, and the rights of individual citizens. The principle of...

    • American Holidays. Топик по английскому

      Тема: Американские праздники The population in the USA is made up of people of different nationalities. Centuries ago they brought with them their native celebrations. Only some holidays, which are marked in the United States, were originated in America. One of the greatest holidays is Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed. It proclaimed independence of the...

    • American People. Топик по английскому

      Тема: Американский народ America is a friendly country. People easily start talking with each other. When Americans meet people for the first time, they usually shake hands. When they meet friends or relatives they haven't seen for a long time, they usually kiss them. You can easily spot Americans abroad by their confident manners which come from their sense of individual freedom — their first...

    • American Political System. Топик по английскому

      Тема: Американская политическая система After the colonies in America had won the War for Independence, they became free and independent states, but they had a problem: they needed one strong national government. That's why in the year 1787 all the states sent their representatives to Philadelphia where they wrote the Constitution. The Constitution is the highest law in the United States which...

    • American Shopping Habits. Топик по английскому

      Shopping is the favorite pastime of many Americans. They usually go to big shopping centers called malls that have a variety of boutiques, department stores and restaurants. Chain stores like J.C. Penney or The Gap are also found in malls. Everything is indoors, so you can walk from store to store without worrying about traffic or bad weather. Malls are air- conditioned in the summer and heated in...

    • American System of Education. Топик по английскому

      Тема: Американская система образования Americans have always believed in education but in a special American way. The schools' first job was to turn millions of foreign children into Americans. Since they came from dozens of different countries, this was not easy. Schools had to teach the children to speak English, to love their new country and to learn how to live in it. American schools were...