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Mass Communication

Mass Communication
Living in a Media World

Seventh Edition
Additional resources:

November 2018 | 528 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“An entertaining, informative and thoughtful mass media text that keeps students engaged.”

—Charles W. Little Jr., Santa Ana College

Transform your students into smart, savvy media consumers.

A book that students find fun to read and instructors consider educationally valuable, Mass Communication: Living in a Media World provides the media literacy principles and critical thinking skills that students need to become self-aware media consumers. Known for his storytelling approach, bestselling author Ralph E. Hanson uses examples drawn from everyday life to explain the many dimensions of mass media that operate in our society. This newly revised Seventh Edition is packed with contemporary examples and compelling stories that illustrate the latest developments and recent events that are changing the face of media today.

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About the Author
Chapter 1. Living in a Media World: An Introduction to Mass Communication
Levels of Communication  
Elements of Mass Communication  
Evolution of the Media World  
Understanding the Media World  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 2. Mass Communication Effects: How Society and Media Interact
History of Media Effects Research  
Effects of the Media in Our Lives  
Theories of Media and Society  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 3. The Media Business: Consolidation, Globalization, and the Long Tail
The Development of the Media Business in the United States  
Big Media: The Legacy Conglomerates  
Big Media: The New Players  
Media Economics and the Long Tail  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 4. Books: The Birth of the Mass Media
The Development of the Book and Mass Communication  
Buying and Selling Books  
Books and Culture  
The Future of Books  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 5. Magazines: The Power of Words and Images
The Development of a National Culture  
The Magazine Business  
Magazines and Modern Society  
The Future of Magazines  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 6. Newspapers and the News: Reflection of a Democratic Society
Inventing the Modern Press  
The News Business  
News, Politics, and Society  
The Future of News  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 7. Audio: Music and Talk Across Media
History of Sound Recording and Transmission  
Music, Youth Culture, and Society  
From Singles to Digital Downloads: Making Money in the Recording Industry  
The Future of Sound  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 8. Movies: Mass Producing Entertainment
The Development of Movies  
The Movie Business  
Movies and Society  
The Future of Movies  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 9. Television: Broadcast and Beyond
Television: Broadcast and Cable/Satellite  
From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting: The Changing Business of Television  
Television and Society  
Moving Beyond Broadcasting  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 10. Online Media: The Internet, Social Media, and Video Games
The Development of the Internet  
What Are Online/Mobile Media?  
Social Media: Sharing Our Lives Online  
Video Games as Mass Communication  
The Internet and Society  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 11. Advertising: Selling a Message
The Development of the Advertising Industry  
The Advertising Business  
Advertising in Contemporary Culture  
The Future of Advertising  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 12. Public Relations: Interactions, Relationships, and the News
From Press Agentry to Professionalism  
The Business of Public Relations  
Public Relations and Society  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 13. Media Law: Free Speech and Fairness
The Development of a Free Press  
Protection of Individuals  
Controlling the Press  
Regulation of the Media Industry  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 14. Media Ethics: Truthfulness, Fairness, and Standards of Decency
Ethical Principles and Decision Making  
Ethics and News  
Ethics and Persuasive Communication  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  
Chapter 15. Global Media: Communication Around the World
Media Ideals Around the World  
Going Global: Media Standards Around the World  
Chapter Review  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Review Questions  


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  • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation
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  • Chapter-specific review questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to different learning styles, featuring:
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  • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions
  • Media Transformation Videos accompanied by easy-to-follow narrations demonstrate how media channels and industries have changed over recent decades.
  • Media News Clips bring extra coverage of current events into the book, connecting multiple, brief 2- to 4-minute news clips to core chapter content.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course that give you options to customize your course in a way that is perfect for you
  • Integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video
  • An Instructor’s manual written by the author and offers chapter overviews, lecture starters, media literacy exercises, class activities, review questions, and suggested readings.




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  • Video, audio, and web resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives, and are curated exclusively for this text.

Key features


  • Explore the latest shifts that are changing the face of the media landscape with new sections on fake news, social media propaganda efforts, Presidential tweets, the rise of Twitter hashtag movements, and more!
  • Fourteen new chapter-opening vignettes connect core concepts to current figures and issues in the media, including the problem of consumer brands depending on erratic young YouTube stars like Logan Paul as endorsers; the #MeToo movement that brought down movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; and journalist Marie Colvin, who was murdered by the Syrian military to stop her from reporting on that country’s civil war.
  • A new focus on the importance of representation, inclusion, and diversity is incorporated throughout the book, with an emphasis on whose voices are heard.
  • New Media Transformation Premium Videos, included in the Interactive eBook, depict the rapid rate of media transformations over recent decades. Preview a video now. 


  • Chapter-opening vignettes exemplify chapter themes by engaging students with current stories about the people at the center of newsworthy events.
  • Test Your Media Literacy boxes ask students to read about current research, interviews, data, or events, and then answer questions that encourage critical thinking to elicit analysis of the topic presented.
  • Test Your Visual Media Literacy boxes showcase images from various media, seeking instinctive reactions from readers, before providing context and questions that encourage critical assessment.
  • Review questions at the end of every chapter encourage students to apply critical thinking to examples of mass communication from literature and popular culture.   
  • The Seven Secrets are highlighted to underscore the importance of media literacy principles.
  • SAGE coursepacks allows instructors to import high-quality content into their school’s learning management system (LMS) with no access codes.
  • SAGE edge provides students helpful tools, including eFlashcards, practice quizzes, and more, in one easy-to-use online environment.



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