Many words and phrases have special meanings in mass communications. This guide will help students understand more fully a number of the expressions, words, and concepts.
Account executive: The key person providing liaison between an advertising agency, or a public relations firm, and a client.
Actuality: A brief on-the-scene report, live or on tape, inserted into a radio news programmer. Advertising: Any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.
Advocacy advertising: Advertising in which companies take sides onimportant issues. (See Commercial speech.) Affective aspect of mass communication: The ability of the media to change attitudes of readers, listeners, or viewers. Agenda-setting: The ability of the media to influence the salience of events in the public mind, shaping public awareness and action.
AIM: Accuracy in Media, Inc. An organization founded in the 19608 to investigate and report publicly on what it considers to be serious errors in news reporting. Alternative press: A designation used to group various publications outside the norm. Feminist, radical, black, Latino, underground are examples.
A.M. newspaper: One distributed primarily in the early morning hours. AM radio: Amplitude modulation transmission sent high
into th e air. Analog: Mechanical method of using changes in electrical voltage to create sound and pictures.
Anchor: Person on a television news programmer who reads news items and introduces stories taped in the field. Audio cassette: Magnetic tape on which sound may be recorded.
Authoritarian theory: The assumption that a small ruling class should detennine what others read, hear, and know. Behavioral aspect of mass communication: The success of the media in moving people to action, 88 in voting decisions.
Channel research: Studies of various media, called channels of communication by researchers, to determine their characteristics and most effective uses. Character-generated text: Delivery of information on a television screen in simple text block form.
Chip: A tiny disc, generally of silicon, on which electronic circuits are etched. Cinema verite: Film format that uses a camera to record reality in an unbiased and umnanipulated manner. Also known spontaneous, or direct, cinema. (See Documentary.) .Cognitive aspect of mass communication: The effectiveness of media in shaping thought. Commercial speech: The First Amendment right of a company to express its views through advertising and other means. Subject to legal regulation. (See A dvocacy aduertising.) Communication: The act of transmitting information, ideas, and attitudes from one person to another.
Compact disc: Small recording whose content encoded in digital form can be heard when “read” by a laser beam, as co.ntrasted to a grooved recording played with a needle . Comparative advertising: Advertising that refers specifically to a competitor’s product or service.
Computer: A machine that accepts and processes information and provides the results in desired form. The digital computer is the most widely used type.
Computer animation: Creation and movement of objects in motion pictures, television, and video production. Also called electronic animation.
Conglomerate: A corporation owning companies in several different fields of endeavour. Connotative: The emotional or evaluative meaning of a word or other symbol.
Content analysis: Methodical study of print or broadcast messages to determine the subject matter of items, writer’s style, editor’s intent, and so forth .
Controlled circulation newspaper: A publication distributed free to every home in its area. Sometimes called a shopper.
Coproduction: A filmed or videotaped presentation produced through financial and other arrangements between companies in one or more countries.
Corporate public relations: incorporated company to establish relationships with its various publics. Counsellor: In public relations, a person or firm that provides advice, and often services, for a fee.
Countercommercial: Broadcast advertising that replies to claims made by other commercials. hatred, ridicule, or contempt, thereby lowering them in others’ . esteem or injuring them in their business or calling. Denotative: The common, or dictionary, meaning of a word or other symbol.
Desktop publishing: Writing, editing, setting textual material, preparing artwork, and laying out a letter-size page that can be sent to a printer for multiple reproduction. The operator uses a personal computer, software, hard-disc drive, and laser printer, all of which generally are situated together on a desk or table.
Developmental [ournalism: Use of the media as committed agents of a government for development of its country. Digital: Electronic method of translating signals into binary and decimal notations.
Direct broadcast satellite (DBS):In its original, narrow sense, transmission of televised material by a high-power satellite directly to extremely small reception dishes. Diskette: A thin magnetic disc that stores computer data or programmes. Also known as a floppy disc.
Dissonance: The discomfort experienced by the recipient of a message because of its variance with that person’s experience or attitudes.
Documentary: Photo or film depicting real life. (See Cinematographer) Electronic animation: See Commuter animation. Electronic camera: Film less camera with digitized circuits and motors capable of producing still or motion pictures that may be viewed on a television monitor or printout.
Electronic carbon: Copy of a news story transmitted from one computer to another for publication or reference, for example, from a member newspaper to an Associated Press office. Electronic darkroom: Term used to describe the computerized processing of photographs, which then may be printed or sent to computer storage. Contrasts with a darkroom in which pictures are processed by chemical means.