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INTRODUCTION The term mass media according to McQuail [2000] is shortened to describe a means of communication that operates on a large scale reaching and involving virtually everyone in a society to a greater or lesser degree. Media is plural of medium which means a channel or vehicle through which something is transmitted. In other words, mass media are channels of communication in a modern society, primarily the print and the electronic media. MCQuail further describes the mass media as the organized many receivers within a short space of time. The mass media are impersonal communication sources that reach large audiences. The primary function of the mass media system is to provide information to several millions of people. The mass media are extremely influential. Each of the media is presumed tom affect perceptions and behaviour in a distinctive way. They can affect the society and vice versa. The mass media are the uniquely modern means of public communication and much of their importance lies in the fact that they are a major cause of whatever modes of perception, thought, public discourse and political action. Because of their size and the larger number of people they reach the mass media tremendous impact on society. Murphy (1977) sums up societal impacts of the media in different way as oil, give and dynamite. As oil, Murphy asserts that media of communication keep the world running smoothly by helping individuals adjust to the reality of lives. They keep society on and healthy by suggesting solutions that are socially acceptable. As given, social cohesion is maintained by communication. Murphy contends that the media give all of us including strangers, something to talk about by setting agenda of discussion. And that over the years, communication builds up and reinforces the fabrics that hold a society together. Murphy also describes the mass media as dynamites that can rip the society apart. A good example of this is the propaganda campaigns that preceded the Russian revolution in 1917 and Hitler‟s rise to the German chancellorship in 1933. Similarly, the mass media particularly the newspaper and magazine played a tremendous role in the struggle for Nigeria‟s independence in 1960.

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