Mass communication gives lessons in life

Samantha Sigler

Every student should be required to take a mass communication class for a multitude of reasons.
Not only is communication something we deal with every day, but it also shapes who we are and the society that we live in.
But why should students who major in, say, biology, also take a mass communication class? For the same reasons that I am: communication is the key to any career and to simple day-to-day interactions, and to understanding what’s going in the world.
Mass communication is especially important these days because the Internet has allowed access to more information and communication.
Mass media is used by individuals for personal entertainment and anything from looking at cats online to watching the latest CNN reports.
“I think that we live in such a media-saturated world that it is important for everyone to be media literate,” said Dr. Susan Currie Sivek, assistant professor of mass communication.
Many of the media sources we consume are controlled by the “big six” companies that own shares in different media forms. Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, News Corporation, CBS Corporation and NBC Universal control the vast majority of the content and flow of the media reaching the masses.
It is important to understand who is controlling what in the media that we receive.
On a larger, more global level, mass communication is our connection to everyone and every event around us.
If we want to know what is going on in the Middle East right this second, we rely on the media to tell us.
“There’s a lot of our world that we really only know through the media,” Sivek said.
This dependency makes it imperative that we as a society understand how the mass media works.
We must understand who controls it, why things are being said, and how the mass media works as a whole.
Overall, the media shapes many of society’s norms and the beliefs, thoughts and ideas that we share.
Regardless of what career field we end up in one day, the media will always be surrounding us, sending out more information and creating and reinforcing the norms of the world.
The media is something that will never go away and only continues to expand, and therefore it is more crucial than ever to understand the media and become media literate.

Samantha Sigler
News Editor
Smantha Sigler can be reached at [email protected]