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Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Другие методич. материалы / Реферат на тему: "Средства массовой информации в США и Великобритании"

Реферат на тему: "Средства массовой информации в США и Великобритании"

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Тема: «Mass media in Great Britain and the USA»

Выполнил: Архипова А.А.




  1. Introduction.

  2. The variety of mass media and their role in our life.

  3. Mass media in Great Britain and the USA.

    1. Newspapers

    2. Magazines

    3. Radio and television

    4. Internet

  4. Conclusion.

  5. The list of the used literature.

  1. Introduction

Mass media are one of the most characteristic features of modern civilization. People are united into one global community with the help of mass media. People can learn about what is happening in the world very fast using mass media.

The aim of this work is to examine different mass media in Great Britain and the USA.

The following tasks are set:

  1. To determine the types of mass media.

  2. To reveal their role in our life.

  3. To find out what mass media are popular in Great Britain and in the USA, what they have in common and what difference they have.

  1. The variety of mass media and their role in our life.

There is every reason to believe that mass media play a great role in modern life. Their positive aspects are obvious. They give us useful and interesting information and news and also help us to have an enjoyable free time. The most important aspect of the relations of mass media and the society is in people’s views on politics, economics and other areas. On the one hand, popular TV programmes and newspapers interview people and take their views into consideration. On the other hand, by choosing concrete people to ask questions, definite facts to describe and evaluations to make mass media specialists influence the attitudes of the society towards important events and tendencies.

The mass media include newspapers, magazines, radio and television. In the XXI century Internet has become a usual thing.

The earliest kind of mass media was newspaper. Newspaper is a publication that presents and comments on the news. Newspapers play an important role in shaping public opinion and informing people of current events.

The first newspapers were probably handwritten news-sheets posted in public places. The earliest daily news-sheet was “Acta Diurna” (“Daily Events”) which started in Rome in 59 B.C. The first printed newspaper was Chinese publication called “Dibao” (“Ti-pao”) started in A.D.700s. It was printed from carved wooden blocks. The first regularly published newspaper in Europe was “Avisa Relation” or “Zeitung” started in Germany in 1609.

For centuries newspapers have been working out their style and language, forms of presenting materials. Unlike prose the characteristic of paper language is brevity and expressiveness.

Magazine is a collection of articles and stories and a lot of illustrations. Magazines appeared in 1700s. They developed from newspapers and booksellers’ catalogs.

Magazines provide information on a wide range of topics such as business, culture, hobbies, medicine, religion, science and sports. Some magazines entertain their readers with fiction, poetry, photography or articles about TV or movie stars. Magazines are designed to be kept for a longer time in comparison to newspapers and that is why they are printed on a better paper and have covers. Magazines, unlike newspapers, do not focus on daily, rapidly changing events.

There are specialized magazines intended for special business, industrial and professional groups, and consumer magazines intended for general public. There are several kinds of consumer magazines:

  1. Children’s magazines contain stories, jokes, articles on subjects especially interesting for children and instructions for making games or useful items.

  2. Hobby magazines are intended for collectors of coins, stamps and other items, people interested in certain sports or games, photography enthusiasts.

  3. Intellectual magazines provide analysis of current cultural and political events.

  4. Men’s magazines focus on such topics as adventure, entertainment, men’s fashion and sports.

  5. Women’s magazines deal with child-raising, fashion trends, romance. They offer ideas on cooking and home decorating. Many of the monthlies with big circulations are women’s magazines.

Radio first became a possibility when the English physicist Michael Faraday demonstrated that an electrical current could produce a magnetic field. In 1864 James Clerk Maxwell, a professor of experimental physics at Cambridge, proved mathematically that these electrical disturbances could be detected at considerable distances. Maxwell predicted that this electromagnetic energy could move outward in waves travelling at the speed of light. In 1888 Heinrich Hertz demonstrated that Maxwell’s prediction was true for transmissions over short distances. In 1901 an Italian physicist named Guglielrno Marconi received wireless telegraphic messages sent from Cornwall to Newfoundland. Radio underwent rapid improvement in the period before World War II.

Radio is widespread for its portability. It means that radios can easily be carried around. People like listening to the radio on the beach or picnic, while driving a car or just walking down the street. The main kind of entertainment is music.

Television, also called TV, is one of the most important means of communication. It brings moving pictures and sounds from around the world into millions of homes.

The name “television” comes from a Greek word meaning “far”, and a Latin word meaning “to see”, so the word “television” means “to see far”. TV experiments to create a workable television system began in the late 19th century by Paul Nipkow, a German scientist. Today almost every family in the civilized world has a TV set. Television plays an important role in our society, not only as an entertainer and informant, but also because of the grip it has on many people. Television channels easily go into people’s home taking in their time and life.

TV is more popular than radio and newspapers. There are many programs that keep people informed of current events in politics and sports, economics and so on. Besides informational programs you can watch a lot of entertainments. They let people relax, make them forget about their problems and help them to focus on pleasant things. There is no doubt that different people choose different programs. Some enjoy detective movies, other are fond of horror films. Some people are interested in music concerts. Yet others like “soap operas” and TV games.

Unfortunately, nowadays there are many programs that show too much violence and blood. It is bad for all the people who watch horror movies especially for children, because it can damage their ideas of normal life. Focusing on violence in general is one of the bad influences of mass media on the society.

The Internet created in 1983. Since that time it has grown beyond its largely academic origin into an increasingly commercial and popular medium. The Internet connects many computer networks. All the existing means of communication were merged together to create one. Using the Internet you can send information like you would via a telegraph, you can speak to people like you would on the phone and see the world like it is on TV. You can create your song, music and films. You can shop, travel and talk to your friends.

The main purpose of the Internet is to extend the communication network. You can write and talk to people who live on other continents miles away from us. Another important purpose of the Internet is to collect, systematize, keep and share information – verbal, sound and visual.

But remember, that while the Internet offers you all this information you have to be selective and careful with your search. And unfortunately, scientists believe that every day more and more people are becoming addicted to the computer.

  1. Mass media in Great Britain and the USA.

In Great Britain there is no state control or censorship of the press, but it is subject to the general laws on publication.

The public’s right to know is one of the central principles of American society. The men who wrote the Constitution of the US resented the strict control that the American colonies’ British rulers had imposed over ideas and information they did not like. Instead, these men determined that the power of knowledge should be placed in the hands of the people. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance”, asserted James Madison, the fourth president and an early proponent of press freedom.

Americans and British are surrounded by information from the time they wake in the morning until the time they sleep at night. A typical office worker, for instance, is awakened by music from an alarm-clock radio. During breakfast he reads the local newspaper and watches an early morning news show on TV. If he drives to work, he listens to news, music and traffic reports on his car’s radio. At his office he reads business papers and magazines to check on industry developments. At home, after dinner, he watches the evening news on TV. Then he flips through the over 20 channels offered by cable TV to find his favourite show or a ballgame or a recent film. In bed he reads to sleep with a magazine or a book.

    1. Newspapers

Newspapers appeared in many European countries in the 17th century. The first English printed news book averaging twenty-two pages was the “Weekly News”. It appeared in London in 1621. By the 1640s the news book had taken the form of a newspaper. The first periodical was the “London Gazette”. It started as the “Oxford Gazette” in 1665 when the King and the court moved to Oxford because of London plague. The first English daily was “The Daily Courant” (1702-35). It was in 1771 that Parliament allowed journalists the right to report its proceedings.

Nowadays there are two kinds of newspapers in Britain. One is large and has many detailed articles about national and international events. These newspapers are called serious papers or quality papers. These are “Financial Times”, “The Times”, “The Guardian”, “The Daily Telegraph”. “Financial Times” contains a comprehensive coverage of industry, commerce and public affairs. “The Times” is the most famous newspaper. It represents the views of the establishment and is well-known for its correspondence column. “The Guardian” gives a wide coverage of news events and reports on social issues, the arts, education. “The Daily Telegraph” contains reports on national and international news, gives a full covering of sports and other topics.

The other kind, called the tabloids, is smaller in size, has more pictures and shorter articles, often about less important events or about the private lives of well-known people. Though some people disapprove of tabloids, they are quite popular. Many people buy tabloids like The Sun which is the biggest-selling newspaper in Britain. Other tabloids are “The Daily Express”, “The Daily Mirror”, “The Daily Mail”, “The Daily Star”. They have a national daily circulation and appeal mainly to the working and middle classes.

In all parts of the country there are also papers giving information about films, concerts and other things that are happening in the local area. Some local newspapers are free. They contain a lot of advertisements and also some news. National serious newspapers like The Times or The Daily Telegraph generally give information about events happening in London. Most national newspapers express a political opinion.

Daily newspapers are published every day except Sunday. Sunday newspapers are larger than daily ones. They often have two or three sections. All Sunday newspapers are national.

In the 17th century newspapers, magazines and almanacs were published in America. The oldest printing press in America was set up as early as 1639 at Cambridge, and its activity was never interrupted. The first newspaper in the United States came out in Boston in 1690. But it was suppressed by the colonial governor after one issue. The weekly “Boston Newsletter” began publication in 1704. Independent newspaper publishing started with the “New-England Courant” in 1721. In 1776 on the eve of the Revolution Boston had five newspapers, and Philadelphia – three. Freedom of the press was achieved in the United States in 1791 by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Now there are about 1700 daily and 7500 weekly newspapers in the USA. The circulation of some weeklies is no more than a few hundred of copies per issue and the circulation of some dailies is over a million of copies.

There are daily newspapers and weekly newspapers. Daily newspapers print world, national and local news. Many dailies are morning papers, others are afternoon papers. Sunday issues of the dailies are usually larger than the weekly ones. They may include special sections on such topics as entertainment, finance and travel, a guide to TV programs, coloured comics. The major dailies in the US are “Christian Science Monitor”, “New York Times”, “USA Today”, “Wall Street Journal”, “Washington Post”.

In the USA daily newspapers are of two kinds: quality and popular. For example, “The Wall Street Journal” is a quality newspaper. It covers national and international news. “The Washington Post” contains full coverage of Congress.

Weekly newspapers serve usually for smaller areas. They are printed in small communities where people know each other and are interested in activities of their friends and neighbours. Weeklies report of weddings, births, deaths and news of local business and politics. Most weeklies do not print world or national news.

    1. Magazines

In Great Britain there are over 7,000 magazines and periodicals that are published weekly, monthly or quarterly. They cover a great number of business interests, professions, sports and hobbies. It’s difficult to get into this industry. For example, in Britain there are no coloured illustrated newsmagazines because they can’t compete with TV and already-existing magazines.

The main serious weekly magazines are “New Statesman and Society” (a political magazine of left parties which also comments events in the society), “Economist” (an economical magazine), “Spectator” (a conservative magazine) and “New Scientist”. “The Times” publishes some important weeklies, such as "Educational Supplement", "Higher Education Supplement" and "Literary Supplement". There are also less serious editions, such as "Private Eye" which mocks and attacks on the things it considers to be disadvantages of the British society.

The competition in the industry of women’s and teens’ magazines is extremely hard. Only few new projects go through the first editions. Women’s magazines, such as “Woman” and “Woman’s Own” are published with a high circulation. But the record belongs to weeklies “Radio Times” and “TV Times”, which include articles and TV programs for BBC and independent TV. Other magazines cover different interests, such as computers, travelling, gardening, railway, architecture and so on.

In the United States there are over 11,000 magazines and periodicals. More than 4,000 of them appear monthly, and over 1,300 are published each week. They cover all topics and interests: from art and architecture to tennis, from aviation and gardening to computers and literary criticism. Quite a few have international editions, are translated into other languages, or have “daughter” editions in other countries. Among the many internationals are “National Geographic”, “Reader’s Digest”, “Cosmopolitan”, “Vogue”, “Time”, “Newsweek”, “Scientific American”, “Psychology Today”.

The weekly newsmagazines – the best known are “Time”, “Newsweek” and “US News and World Report” – serve as a type of national press. They also have considerable international impact, above all – “Time”. This newsmagazine appears each week in several international editions. There are some for various parts of the United States, for the Far East, for Australia, for Europe, and so on. No other single news publication is read so widely by so many people internationally as “Time”.

The newsmagazines are all aimed at the average educated reader. There are also many periodicals which treat serious educational, political and cultural topics. The best known of these include “The Atlantic Monthly”, “Harvard Educational Review”, “The New Republic”, “National Review”, “Foreign Affairs”, and of course, “The New Yorker”. Such widely read periodicals, along with the hundreds of professional journals, provide a broad and substantial forum for serious discussion.

3.3. Radio and Television

Broadcasting in Britain has traditionally been based on the principle that it is a public service accountable to the people through Parliament. While retaining the essential public service element, it now embraces the principles of competition and choice.

Three public bodies have the main responsibility for television and radio services to which nearly everyone has access throughout Britain:

- the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) broadcasts television and radio programs;

- the ITC (Independent Television Commission) licenses and regulates non-BBC television services, including cable and satellite services;

- the Radio Authority licenses and regulates all non-BBC radio services, including cable and satellite.

The BBC was established in 1936 by the government. It has five national networks (radio stations), which transmit all types of music, news, current affairs, drama, education, sport and a range of feature programs. The Radio Authority regulates two national commercial radio stations.

There are 39 BBC local radio stations serving England and the Channel Islands, the regional and community radio services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some 150 independent local radio (ILR) services are also in operation. Stations supply a comprehensive service of local news and information, sport, music and other entertainment, education and consumer advice. “Phone-in” programs allowing listeners to express their views on air are popular. About 90 per cent of the population can receive BBC or ILR stations.

The largest satellite programmer is BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting), which provides 15 channels devoted to light entertainment, news, feature films, sport and home shopping transmitted from the Astra satellite.

Other satellite channels available to British viewers include Eurosport (sport), CNN (news), MTV (pop videos) and TV Asia (for Asian viewers). The choice available to viewers is expanding steadily.

Both the BBC and Channel 4 broadcast educational programs for schools and continuing educational programs for adults. Broadcasts

3.4. Internet

The Internet has already entered our ordinary life. Everybody knows that the Internet is a global computer network, which embraces hundreds of millions of users all over the world and helps us to communicate with each other.

The history of Internet began in the United States in 1969. It was a military experiment, designed to help to survive during a nuclear war, when everything around might be polluted by radiation and it would be dangerous to get out for any living being to get some information to anywhere. Information sent over the Internet takes the shortest and safest path available from one computer to another. Because of this, any two computers on the net will be able to stay in touch with each other as long as there is a single route between them. This technology was called packet switching.

Invention of modems, special devices allowing your computer to send the information through the telephone line, has opened doors to the Internet for millions of people.

Most of the Internet host computers are in the United States of America. It is clear that the accurate number of users can be counted fairly approximately, nobody knows exactly how many people use the Internet today, because there are hundreds of millions of users and their number is growing.

Nowadays the most popular Internet service is e-mail. Most of the people use the network only for sending and receiving e-mail messages. They can do it either they are at home or in the internet clubs or at work. Other popular services are available on the Internet too. It is reading news, available on some dedicated news servers, telnet, FTP servers, etc.

In many countries, the Internet could provide businessmen with a reliable, alternative to the expensive and unreliable telecommunications systems its own system of communications. Commercial users can communicate cheaply over the Internet with the rest of the world. When they send e-mail messages, they only have to pay for phone calls to their local service providers, not for international calls around the world, when you pay a good deal of money.

But saving money is only the first step and not the last one. There is a commercial use of this network and it is drastically increasing. Now you can work through the internet, gambling and playing through the net.

However, there are some problems. The most important problem is security. When you send an e-mail, your message can travel through many different networks and computers. The data is constantly being directed towards its destination by special computers called routers. Because of this, it is possible to get into any of the computers along the route, intercept and even change the data being sent over the Internet. But there are many encoding programs available. Not with-standing, these programs are not perfect and can easily be cracked.

Another big and serious problem of the net is control. Yes, there is no effective control in the Internet, because a huge amount of information circulating through the net. It is like a tremendous library and market together. In the future, the situation might change, but now we have what we have.

5. The list of used literature

1. Андросенко Т.Д., Рахуба И.С. Английский язык. 9 класс: элективные курсы. – Волгоград: издательство «Учитель», 2009.

2. Биболетова М.З., Трубанева Н.Н. Английский с удовольствием. 8 класс. – Обнинск: издательство «Титул», 2012.

3. Бойко В., Жидких Н. 200 тем английского языка. – Москва: ЗАО «БАО-ПРЕСС», 2006.

4. Миньяр-Белоручева А.П., Ивашова О.Д. Ответы на экзаменационные билеты. 11 класс – Москва: издательство «Экзамен», 2004.

5. Северинова Е.Ю. Готовые экзаменационные билеты, английский язык. 11 класс. – Санкт-Петербург: издательство «Тригон», 2004.

6. Стомпель Е.М. American life and institutions. – Астрахань: издательство Астраханского Государственного Педагогического Университета, 1999.

7. Стомпель Е.М. British life and institutions. – Астрахань: издательство Астраханского Государственного Педагогического Университета, 1999.

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