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Arkansas State University

Master Your Mass Media Career

The basic need to communicate lies at the heart of many of humanity’s most important technological innovations. Present-day digital technology is no different. Smartphones and social media platforms, from Facebook to Snapchat, all extend our abilities to record our experiences and share them with others. We are all broadcasters now.

What Is Broadcasting?

To understand the full implications of what it means to be a personal broadcaster, we need to reorient ourselves within a larger media landscape. The very idea of broadcasting — disseminating information from a single, centralized source to an audience consisting of many, widely dispersed individuals — cannot be separated from the rise of mass media over the course of the 20th century.

Understanding the Media in “Mass Media”

Some definitions of mass media focus on the broadcast technologies employed. The rise of “mass media” as a concept dates from the progressive era of the 1920s. During this era, newspapers and radio networks dominated the mass media industry. By 1935, radios could be found in two out of three American homes. Television, made available to the general public in the late 1940s, soon eclipsed radio in popularity. Watching television is now so ingrained in most Americans’ lives that we dedicate an average of five hours of each day to it.

Understanding the “Mass” in Mass Media

Other definitions of mass media concentrate on its role in influencing opinion, shaping culture and promoting social cohesion. For example, such was radio’s power in the 1930s that, during the 1936 Presidential election the following year, candidates Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alf Landon spent a combined $2 million on reaching listeners. The Pew Center for Research found that, in 2016, more than half of American adults still watch televised news broadcasts on a regular basis.

Career Opportunities in Mass Media Management

Television and other forms of mass media therefore possess an institutional dimension. Mass media is fundamental, not only to how we interact with the world and with each other but also to the functioning of our economy. Communications professionals all rely on their familiarity with how mass media affects a business’s messaging strategy to advance their careers. Success in this field often comes down to consistently being able to generate answers to the following questions:

  • What are media assets, how are they valued, and how can they be allocated to achieve a high return on investment?
  • When, where and under what other circumstances do you have the most access to your desired audience?
  • Which audiences prefer which channels?
  • Which audience demographics are most vital, and what is the most productive method of audience segmentation?
  • What predictions can be made based upon past audience behaviors?
  • How do you translate messages from one channel (or medium) to another while preserving your brand’s unique voice and identity?
  • How do you stand out from your competitors using your mass media messaging?

Arkansas State University’s online Master of Science in Media Management degree program includes a Mass Media Management specialization designed to provide you with the skills you’ll need to create compelling content and deliver it with maximum efficiency and impact. Whether your background is in journalism, marketing, sales, psychology or statistical analysis, the MS in Media Management curriculum allows you to broaden and deepen your expertise.

You’ll receive a foundation in communications theory, investigate emerging media, navigate the regulatory and legal complexities of mass media management, get hands-on experience using ratings and audience measurement systems (e.g., Nielsen, Arbitron), and address real-world media management issues by applying all you’ve learned in a capstone project. There is a growing need for managers in all areas of media and communications, from public relations professionals to producers and directors.

Learn more about the A-State online Master of Science in Media Management.

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