News and mass media, advertisements
Mass media play an important role in the modern society. We live in the era of information, nowadays information can be more valuable than money. We live in the era of information explosion. Every day we learn more facts than a man of the XlXth centuiy learnt in a week or in a month. This information is necessary for our life, work and entertainment.
Mass media are considered to be fourth branch of power because they influence the society and all the three branches of power. Mass media express people's opinions and can show and describe the smallest and the least important details of any juridical case or event. Journalists take their own investigations and write about their discoveries. They bring forward various versions and search proofs for them. Mass media publish information about the plans of the government and the President. That sometimes makes G-men give up their plans.
Mass media give us all kinds of information. The most important mass media are newspapers, radio, television and the Internet.
Newspapers appeared the first of the listed. The first Russian newspaper was issued in 1702 on the initiative of Peter the Great. It was entitled «Gazette» («Vedomosty»). Now we have all kinds of newspapers - tabloids, sports papers, business papers, kids' papers and political papers.
There are a lot of magazines to all tastes. Both newspapers and magazines are sold in the streets all around the city, but you can also subscribe to any papers and magazines you like at the post-office.
There are daily and weekly papers, weekly, monthly and quarterly magazines. Some of the Russian newspapers are issued in two formats: daily (from Monday to Friday) and weekly (Sunday issues).
Our family subscribe newspapers such as “arguments and facts” and local “Ploschad’ mira”, “vstrecya”. I’m not fond of magazines because there are too much rubbish in them, but if I want to read them, them I prefer “Cosmopolitan” because there are some sensible articles.
Radio appeared much later than the first Russian newspaper. It was invented by A.S. Popov in 1895, but the term started being used in the first decade of the XXth century. In Russia regular radio broadcasting began in 1924. Now we can not imagine our life without radio. To switch on the radio is the first thing in the morning, and it wakes us in the morning with the national anthem. There are dozens of radio stations in Russia, everyone can choose a station to listen to. Most of them broadcast music, but of different styles. Music attracts listeners. You can also listen to weather forecasts, sports news, radio theatre, agricultural, political, economical programmes, talk shows, advice of lawyers, news, daily horoscope, the history of our city, you can take part in an intellectual quiz and win a prize. My giandparents love radio, they do not switch it off. They say it is a custom of their youth, when there was only one radio station in their town. My parents also like to listen to the radio. I am happy that now we have many channels, for example, Radio Maximum, Radio Hit, Europa+. It was dull, I think, to have only one channel. Radio has another advantage. You can do something and listen to it at the same time.
The principle of television is as old as that of radio broadcasting. It was offered at the end of the XIX"1 century by A. di Paiva and the Russian scientist P.I. Bakhmetyev independently. But only in the 30-ies of the XXlh century regular TV broadcasting began in Moscow and St.-Petersburg and in the 50-ies all over the USSR. The first TV sets' screens were as big as a pocketbook, and they were black-and-white. By and by TV sets changed: the screen became larger, flatter, colour TV sets appeared. Now having a colour TV set is normal. Many families have several TV sets, in the living-room and in the kitchen, for example.
Television now gives people a great chance to learn about the world. Some people like to travel, yet you can not visit all places on the Earth. But television offers you a wide range of programmes about wild life and other countries. Such films as «Walking with Dinosaurs» and «Wild Life» are television masterpieces. The first one is the reconstruction of the life on the Earth and what it was like in the era of Dinosaurs. The other portrays wild animals in their habitat. Then there are news programmes, talk shows, quizzes and other kinds of programmes. What I like about TV is watching films. I like science fiction: «Star troopers», «Robocop», and «X-files», but I also watch films about Russian history by Parfyonov, Kiselyov, and alike. I would watch MTV if we had it. But if you spend too much time in front of your telly, it can ruin your eye-sight. Then you can become a couch potato, a person who lies on the sofa and watches TV. This person does not socialize, does not go in for sports. Some people call TV set «a boob tube» because they think that watching television turns a man into a booby (a fool). I can not agree with this point of view. I believe there are many useful things on TV.
The Internet is the newest kind of mass media. Only few people in Russia now use it on the regular basis. There are several reasons for that: it is rather expensive, not all places have connection and many people do not have telephones or computers, especially in the village. In the Internet you can now find any kind of information. It can be called a kind of combination of newspapers, radio, TV and computers. All main newspapers and broadcasting companies have their sites in the Internet. So, you can find there the latest news without buying a paper. I'd like to use the Internet, because I can find there any information I want - information about different countries, pop stars' songs and even prepared papers on all topics. With e-mail and in chat rooms I can communicate with people all over the world. With the help of search engines one can easily find the necessary information.
All the mass media have their advantages. They supply us with political and other important information, entertain and give food for thought. But they also have some disadvantages. You can read your newspaper wherever you want, but you need a radio set if you want to listen to it. You can watch TV only in the place with a TV aerial and electricity. You need both telephone and electricity to navigate the Internet. But the worst thing about mass media is advertising. They all catch our attention just to get more money for the advertisements. I understand that they have to sell time to buy good films and make programmes, but it is a shame to cut a good film to show soap or beer. One more disadvantage is that information is not always reliable, especially in the Internet.
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