Let’s talk about the mass media.
Let’s talk about mass media. What types of mass media do you know? Which of them are the most popular?
Nowadays information communication is an important part of our life. It goes without saying that mass media has become an integral part of modem people’s life. People live with a constant necessity of getting new information. How can they satisfy their need? They may communicate with one another or just use the huge space of means of communication. People need information in order to keep up with the whole world around them — with vogue, new trends of life, discoveries and inventions. We live to leam news; we breathe and live with this.
Mass media play an important role in the life of society. Mass media include various types of media such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Reading newspapers and magazines, watching TV, listening to the news on the radio are our main means of getting information.
TV is rather popular kind of mass media. We have many different channels through which viewers are fond of watching films, sports, plays, educational and cultural programs.
Newspapers report different kinds of news. They carry articles which cover the latest international and national events. Some people still buy newspapers for the radio and TV programs which they publish. There are newspapers and magazines for young people. They give a wide coverage of news, events and reports on education, sports, cultural life, entertainment, fashion.
Mass media brings to millions of homes not only entertainment and news but also cultural and educational programs. If you watch TV and listen to the radio you can improve your knowledge of history, biology, literature or even leam a foreign language by radio.
Do you agree that radio is the least popular mass medium? Why?
I agree to some extent with this idea. Radio is less popular than newspapers and television. But people listen to the radio in cars and at work. I usually listen to the radio when I do my homework because it helps me think. There is a lot of music on modem radio and very few conversations. Every hour radio stations tell us news in brief. There are different types of radio stations. They are divided according to the style of music they play. There are radio stations where you can hear only classical music, rock or pop music. Older people like listening to the radio. So it can be seen that even being less popular than TV or the Internet, radio still possesses great power of influencing the public’s minds and tastes and definitely has its fans.
Imagine you are given the task to find out how much newspapers are popular among teens nowadays. What questions would you ask your classmates?
How often do you read newspapers?
What columns are you most favourite?
What newspapers give us the news?
Have newspapers changed over the years?
Do you prefer to buy newspapers or read them in the electronic version?
What can you tell me about Belarusian press?
Printed press is available mainly in the Belarusian and Russian languages, though there are some newspapers in English, Polish, Ukrainian and German.
The most influential newspapers include "Belarus Segodnya" and "Re- spublika." Local editions of major Russian newspapers "Komsomolskaya Pravda" and "Argumenty i Fakty" are very popular in Belarus, too. Nine national news agencies, including seven private ones, operate in Belarus.
The BelTA News Agency is the country’s biggest news agency, having the correspondent network in all the regions of the country.
It is true that the world today is full of dramatic events and most news seems to be bad news. But people aren’t interested in ordinary events. That is why there are so many articles about natural disasters, plane crashes, wars, murders and robberies. Good news doesn’t usually make headlines. Bad news does.
Nevertheless, newspapers are worth buying! My father thinks they are a daily source of news, education and fun that no home should be without. He is sure that every home should have at least 3 different newspapers a day to get a balanced opinion of world events. So my father buys newspapers to do our bit for the local economy.
Speak about advantages and disadvantages of watching TV.
Let’s concentrate on one more of mass media branches — television. As we know, it appeared much later than such kinds of mass media as radio, newspapers and magazines. Nowadays almost everybody has got at least one TV-set at home. Television now plays an important role in our life. It takes a steady place in our daily timetable. However, watching television has two sides: not only advantages, but also disadvantages.
On the one hand, TV keeps people informed of current events; TV gives us wonderful possibilities for education. We can choose any programme according to our interests, mood and needs. There is a great amount of channels which are specialized in various spheres. It can be the sphere of politics, news, sports, animals, feature films, soap operas, art, talk-shows, cartoons, educational programmes, music, fashion and many others. Such channels as "History," "Discovery," Animal Planet" enrich our knowledge in different fields. There are also channels which offer to our attention some educational programmes for children and adults, for example "Happy English" — a programme focused on teaching the English language.
The second advantage of watching television is that it gives families an opportunity to spend some time together. Nowadays adults are often too busy to give enough attention to their children. When they come home from work in the evening, so tired and exhausted, the only possible way to relax for many is just lay on the sofa in front of TV. In such situations it’s high time to choose a family comedy and watch it together with thechildren. So, watching TV helps us to relax and forget about it worries and problems that are on our mind.
Moreover, television is a great source of entertaining. Every day there is a wide choice of films and serials on TV — detectives, dramas, comedies, action films, thrillers, horrors, cartoons and others. Nowadays you are not limited in your choice. Besides, sometimes television is the only opportunity to watch concerts of world-famous celebrities.
However, watching television has its negative side. It is well-known that television may turn to be harmful for our health. Spending too much time in front of a TV screen may affect our eyesight badly. There are many cases when children become TV-addicted. Every spare minute they try to switch the TV on. Their progress in studies suffers due to the fact that children try to do their homework as fast as they can in order to have more time for watching TV.
Moreover, nowadays some TV programmes and films include a lot of violent scenes that can have a negative influence on a child’s psychic development.
Another disadvantage of television is an enormous amount of advertising, as it makes people buy some useless or unnecessary things.
Finally, many children nowadays would rather spend a day glued to a TV-set than go outdoors to play with their peers.
Undoubtedly, we need TV, for it is one of the main and most convenient means of mass media. However, taking into account all its drawbacks, we must try to organize our time in the right way so as not to become a TV slave.