What were the major developments in the evolution of mass media during the 20th century? In the early 1900’s newspapers was the main form of mass media. Over the years there were many developments in the evolution of mass media in the 20th century. The major developments were the radio, television, and the internet. Radio came along in the early decades of the 20th century. They were considered to less expensive than telephones and by the 1920’s it was likely that most homes had a radio. Radio did something that newspapers could not do. It allowed many people all over to listen to same thing at the same time. Many people tuned in for updates on the war going on at this time.
After radio the next form of mass media was the television. In 1946, about 17,000 televisions existed in the United States; within 7 years, two-thirds of American households owned at least one set. (“Media and Culture”, Ch. 1, p.32) Television brought along the ability for Americans to not only hear a certain message but for them to see it also. ABC, NBC, and CBS were the 3 major networks that controlled most of the things that Americans watched on television. After television the next major development in mass media was the internet. The first computers were big and bulky and were mainly used by businesses. Eventually computers that people could have in their home were produced. People could access the internet through the phone lines in their home. The internet became a new way for people to communicate with others all around the world. It also opened up many other possibilities for people like doing research, or shopping. How did each development influence American culture?
The development of radio influenced American culture in many ways. It opened up a whole new way marketing for those who were trying to sell products. It gave them the ability to reach massive audiences they could not reach before. Radio became the main source of entertainment for most Americans early in the 20th century. They would get their news updates, listen to sporting events, and listen to advertisements. Many believe everything that was said on the radio and lived their lives according to what they heard. From what food to eat, what clothes to wear, radio gave them a sense of how they should be living. With the development of television it gave Americans the ability to put a face to the voice we hear on the radio. I would say that television is a big part of most people’s lives today.
Many people today form their beliefs and opinions about certain things from what they see about it on the TV. Politics is a very good example of this. The development of the internet has major influences on American culture today. Most of the world uses the internet daily in some form whether it is on our computer, tablet, smartphone or some other internet ready device. The internet has opened many doors that were not open in years past. One example is it gives people that are not able to attend college in person a chance to earn a college degree. The internet has now become one of the main ways that people communicate. It offers us the ability to stay in touch with friends and family through social media and it gives us ways to meet new people.