Mass Communication

“Crazy People” is a movie about a disillusioned advertising executive named Emory and his move from “normality” to near insanity. Emory was on the top of his game in the advertising world when all of a sudden, he decided that he was tired of lying to consumers about what products were really capable of doing. So he proceeded to launch a campaign that produced ads that were honest. Emory’s boss and co-workers thought that this was ridiculous and therefore had him admitted to a sanitarium for “rest and relaxation.” What they didn’t realize at the time was that Emory’s honesty would become appealing to consumers and producers alike, therefore causing his tactic to grow and flourish right before their eyes. In the end, Emory realized that there was nothing wrong with being truthful and he also helped his newfound friends in the sanitarium to realize their potential and escape from imagined glass ceiling that they were under.

Since an artifact is defined as “anything that can be analyzed,” we can comfortably say that “Crazy People” is an artifact. We can go a step further and say that it is also an artifact because it is available to a wide audience. While overall the movie is a narrative about the “adventures” of Emory and his quest for freedom to be honest, some portions of the movie can even be classified as rhetorical. The biggest example that I can think of that can be rhetorically criticized is the preparation that the members of the sanitarium did so that they could present their first ads to Mr. Drucker and Associates.

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Rhetoric is defined as “giving a prepared, persuasive speech.” When Emory and his friends found out that they were to give presentations to Mr. Drucker, they started formulating a plan, which can be classified under the Neo-Aristotelian style of rhetorical criticism. Their main goal was to persuade the producers of the products that their message would be effective in catching the public’s attention, thus boosting sales. To prepare for this, they had to organize their speech, mainly using external proof. A cause and effect approach was used for the majority of the ads presented so that the consumer could see what would happen if they were to use that product.
After the organization was complete, then they had to decide what type of style they were going to use. Since their goal was to gain favor, they knew immediately that they had to use persuasive speech, which is also a requirement of a rhetorical speech. They had to use word choice and visuals that would be consistent with honesty, yet convincing enough that the consumer would believe that the product was what it claimed to be. The next step was to choose a delivery method. The group knew that Mr. Drucker would be coming to the sanitarium and Emory had had many meetings with him before and knew his mannerisms, so they had a couple of things in their favor. The manner chosen was for each person to memorize their speeches, which isn’t done very much today. They focused a lot of their attention on proper body language and gestures as will as their physical appearance when they were giving the speech, i.e., wearing a suit and being well-groomed. Emory also obviously coached them on vocal skills, like articulation and pitch so that they would use it effectively.

At the presentation of the speeches, each person achieved their goal. Through the careful and thorough use of the five canons of Neo-Aristotelianism, Emory and his friends were able to persuade Mr. Drucker and his associates that each ad was precise and effective for the intended audience. Therefore this is an artifact that is truly rhetorical in many of the conventional ways.

Mass Communication

Mass communication, by definition, is the process in which professional
communication using technological devises share messages over great distances
to influence large audiences. The technology of modern mass communication
results from the confluence of many types of inventions and discoveries, some of
which ( the printing press, for instance) actually preceded the Industrial Revolution.

Technological ingenuity of the 19th and 20th centuries has developed the newer means
of mass communication, particularly broadcasting, without which the present near-
global diffusion of printed words, pictures, and sounds would have been impossible.

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The steam printing press, radio, motion pictures, television, and sound recordings-
as well as systems of mass production and distribution- were necessary before public
communication, in its present form, might occur.

What I would like to discuss now is the actual process of mass communication and
how it works. In mass communication, a professional communicator is the source,
someone who shares information, ideas, or attitudes with someone else. The source may
be an author, a newspaper reporter, a television reporter, or an announcer. The
technological devices are the channels, or the means by which the message was sent.

An example of this would be that radio and television messages are transmitted via cable
and satellite systems. The message is whatever the source attempts to share with another
person. In mass communication, the large audience comprises the receivers, the people
who are the attended recipients of the message. Occasionally a receiver of the message
will sent feedback to the source, that is, a response that allows the source to determine if
the message was correctly understood. In mass communication feedback can be
conveyed through a letter to the editor, for instance, or a telephone call to a television

There are several reasons why it is important to understand the process off mass
communication. Probably the most important is that by understanding the process of
mass communication we will learn to think critically about the messages the media
send us. We will become more thoughtful media consumers. As a consumer of the
media, and as a citizen of the world in which technology seems to be bringing people
closer together, our responsibility is to understand how the media function and to
develop the skills to interpret the significance of the products they offer. By
understanding the nature and function of mass communication, we can begin to
recognize the significance of the media and the role they play in shaping our
understanding of the world.


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