LESSON 33 Lecture and practical training "Mass Media in Great Britain"

Aims and objectives:

- to introduce and practice vocabulary, grammar;

- to develop skills in reading and speaking;

- to expand students' knowledge about British Mass Media.



Greeting. Introducing the topic

T. Good morning! Today we’re going to work on the topic “Mass Media in Great Britain”.

Warm up

Task 1. Answer the questions.

1. Why is press called the fourth power of a state?

2. What are the advantages of the planetary press system?

3. How does press influence people’s outlook?

4. What are the most famous British newspapers?

5. What is the difference between popular and serious papers?

6. What Ukrainian papers can be called serious?

7. What is your attitude to the advertisements in the newspapers?

8. What is an independent newspaper?

9. What street is considered to be the home of the British press?

10. What is the name of the street derived from?

Task 2. Open the brackets and make the following text complete.


Mass media ... (denote) a section of the media specifically designed ... (reach) a large audience. The term ... (coin) in the 1920s with the advent of nationwide radio networks, mass-circulation newspapers and magazines. However, some forms of mass media such as books and manuscripts ... (be) already in use for centuries.

Mass media ... (include) Internet media like blogs, message boards and video sharing.

Mass media can ... (use) for various purposes:

• advocacy, both for business and social concerns; this can ... (include) advertising,

• marketing, propaganda, public relations and political communication;

• entertainment, traditionally through performances of acting, music, and sports, along with light reading; since the late 20th century also through video and computer games;

• public service announcements.

Media influence or media effects … (be) terms used in psychology, communication theory and sociology ... (refer) to the theories about the ways the mass media ... (affect) how their audiences ... (think) and ... (behave).

Mass media ... (play) a crucial role in forming and reflecting public opinion, connecting the world to individuals and reproducing the self-image of society.

The media ... (have) a strong social and cultural impact upon society. This ... (predicate) upon their ability (reach) a wide audience with a strong and influential message.

Marshall McLuhan, one of the biggest critics in media’s history, ... (bring) up the idea that “the medium is the message”.

He ... (use) this phrase as a means of explaining how the distribution of a message can often ... (be) more important than content of the message itself. It ... (be) through the persuasiveness of media such as television, radio and print media that messages ... (reach) their target audiences. These ... (be) influential media as they ... (be) largely responsible for structuring people’s daily lives and routines. Television broadcasting ... (have) a large amount of control over the content society watches and the times in which it ... (view).

The internet ... (create) a space for more diverse political opinions, social and cultural viewpoints and a heightened level of consumer participation. There ... (be) suggestions that allowing consumers ... (produce) information through the internet ... (lead) to an overload of information.

Task 3. Match the words to their meanings, make sentences using them.

a) mass media, n pl

1) extremely important, because everything else depends on it

b) coin, v

2) the activity of deciding how to advertise a product, what price to charge for it or the type of job in which you do this

c) denote, v

3) a group of radio or television stations, which broadcast many of the same programs, but in different parts of the same country

d) design, v

4) able to make other people believe something or do what you ask

e) audience, n

5) information which is false or which emphasizes just one part of a situation, used by a government or political group to make people agree with them

f) network, n

6) the effect or influence that an event, situation etc has on someone or something

g) advocacy, n

7) when someone gets too much information at one time and becomes tired and unable to think very carefully about any of it

h) marketing, n

8) to be based on or to depend on

i) propaganda, n

9) to plan or develop something for a specific purpose

j) crucial, adj

10) public support for a course of action or way of doing things

k) impact, n

11) the business of making television and radio programs

l) be predicated on / upon something

12) the people and organizations that provide

information and news for the public, including television, radio, and newspapers

m) persuasive, adj

1 13) the people who watch or listen to a particular program, or who see or hear a particular artist’s, writer’s etc work

n) broadcasting, n

14) to mean something

o) information overload, n

15) to invent a new word or expression, especially one that many people start to use

Task 4. Answer the questions.

1. What does the term “mass media” denote?

2. What purposes can mass media be used for?

3. What is the role of mass media?

4. Do you agree with the idea of Marshall McLuhan that “the medium is the message”?

5. What do you think about information overload?

Task 5. Read the text, divide it into logical parts. Suggest appropriate title for each part.


Types of drama in numerous cultures were probably the first mass-media, going back into the Ancient World.

The first dated printed book known is the “Diamond Sutra”, printed in China in 868 AD, although it is clear that books were printed earlier. Movable clay type was invented in 1041 in China. However, due to the slow spread of literacy to the masses in China, and the relatively high cost of paper there, the earliest printed mass- medium was probably European popular prints from about 1400. Although these were produced in huge numbers, very few early examples survive, and even most known to be printed before about 1600 have not survived. Johannes Gutenberg printed the first book on a printing press with movable type in 1453. This invention transformed the way the world received printed materials, although books remained too expensive really to be called a mass-medium for at least a century after that.

Newspapers developed from about 1612, with the first example in English in 1620; but they took until the nineteenth century to reach a mass-audience directly.

During the 20th century, the growth of mass media was driven by technology, including that which allowed much duplication of material. Physical duplication technologies such as printing, record pressing and film duplication allowed the duplication of books, newspapers and movies at low prices to huge audiences. Radio and television allowed the electronic duplication of information for the first time.

Mass media had the economics of linear replication: a single work could make money. An example of Riel and Neil’s theory proportional to the number of copies sold, and as volumes went up, unit costs went down, increasing profit margins further. Vast fortunes were to be made in mass media.

In a democratic society, the media can serve the electorate about issues regarding government and corporate entities. Some consider the concentration of media ownership to be a grave threat to democracy.

Task 6. Make up questions to cover the plot of the text.

Task 7. Read the text.


In a democratic country like Great Britain the press, ideally, has three political functions: information, discussion and representation. It is supposed to give the voter reliable and complete information to base his judgement. It should let him know the arguments for and against any policy, and it should reflect and give voice to the desires of the people as a whole.

Naturally, there is no censorship in Great Britain, but in 1953 the Press Council was set up. It is not an official body but it is composed of the people nominated by journalists, and it receives complaints against particular newspapers. It may make reports, which criticise papers, but they have no direct effects. The British press means, primarily, a group of daily and Sunday newspapers published in London. They are most important and known as national in the sense of circulating throughout the British Isles. All the national newspapers have their central offices in London, but those with big circulations also print editions in Manchester (the second largest press centre in Britain) and Glasgow in Scotland.

The population of the United Kingdom is over 56 millions. Over 30 millions newspapers are sold every day. Therefore, the British people are great readers of newspapers. There are few homes to which one newspaper is not delivered every morning. Besides, newspapers can be bought at the station book-stall as well.

Probably in no other country there are such great differences between the various national daily newspapers — in the type of news they report and the way they report it.

All the newspapers whether daily or Sunday, totalling about twenty, can be divided into two groups: quality papers and popular papers. The distinction between the quality and the popular papers is one primarily of educational level. Quality papers are those newspapers which are intended for well educated people. They include “The Times’, “The Guardian”, “The Daily Telegraph”, “The Financial Times”, “The Observer”, “The Sunday Times” and “The Sunday Telegraph”. Very thoroughly they report national and international news.

“The Times” (1785) is called the paper of the Establishment. It has a high reputation for reliable news and serious comments on the news. It is an independent paper. “The Times” has three weekly supplements, all appeared and sold separately.

“The Guardian” has become a truly national paper. In quality, style and reporting it is nearly equal with “The Times”. It has made great progress during the past years, particularly among the intelligent people who find “the Times” too uncritical of the Establishment.

“The Daily Telegraph” (1855) is the quality paper with the largest circulation (1.2 million compared with “The Times” 442 thousand and “The Guardian’s” 500 thousand). Being well produced and edited it is full of various information and belongs to the same class of journalism as “The Times” and “The Guardian”.

The popular newspapers tend to make news sensational. These papers concentrate on more emotive reporting of stories often featuring the Royal Family, film and pop stars, and sport. They publish “personal” articles which shock and excite. Instead of printing factual news reports, these papers write them up in an exciting way, easy to read, playing on people’s emotions. They avoid serious political and social questions or treat them superficially. Trivial events are treated as the most interesting and important happenings. Crime is always given far more space than creative, productive or cultural achievements. Much of their information concerns the private lives of people who are in the news. The popular newspapers are very similar to one another in appearance and general arrangement, with big headlines and the main news on the front page. This press is much more popular than the quality press.

The most important of the popular papers are the “News of the World”, “The Sun”, the “Daily Mirror”, the “Daily Express”.

In addition to the daily and Sunday papers, there is an enormous number of weeklies, some devoted to specialised and professional subjects, others of more general interest. Three of them are of special importance and enjoy a large and influential readership. They are the “Spectator”, the “New Statesman” and the largest and most influential — the “Economist”. These periodicals resemble one another in subject matter and layout. They contain articles on national and international affairs, current events, the arts, letters to the Editor, extensive book reviews. Their publications often exert a great influence on politics.

All modern newspapers could not be sold at a profit without advertisements.

Task 8. Write English equivalents to the following expressions and use them to discuss the text.

політичні функції;

мати певні обов’язки;

• достовірні відомості;

• призначений (на посаду) журналіста;

• приймати скарги;

• шанувальники читання газет;

• доставляти кожен ранок;

• купувати у книжковому кіоску;

• призначений для освічених людей;

• найбільший наклад;

• концентруватись на більш емоційному висвітленні подій;

• висвітлювати поверхнево;

• велике й впливове коло читачів;

• бути схожими за змістом та макетом;

• продавати з вигодою.

Task 9. Agree or disagree. Expand the point of view given in the statement or prove that it is false.

1. The British press has three political functions.

2. There is nobody in Great Britain capable of criticism of the papers.

3. All the national newspapers print their editions in London.

4. All the British newspapers can be divided into two groups: Daily papers and Sunday papers.

5. There is no significant difference between the quality and the popular papers.

6. “The Times” is an independent paper intended for well educated people.

7. “The Guardian” has the largest circulation.

8. “The Daily Telegraph” belongs to the same class of journalism as the “Daily Mirror” and the “Daily Express”.

9. The popular newspapers have larger circulation than the serious newspapers.

10. The main objective of the popular press is sensation.

11. The weekly papers avoid serious political and social questions or treat them superficially.

12. Advertisement is the important source of the profit for newspapers.

Task 10. Express the same in English.

1. Британці шанувальники читання газет.

2. У Британії навряд чи знайдеш багато сімей, яким газети не доставляють додому.

3. Ви читаєте «Таймс»? — Так. Я надаю їй перевагу серед інших газет, оскільки в ній завжди достовірні новини.

4. Популярні газети намагаються зробити свої новини сенсаційними, тому вони прагнуть до більш емоційного висвітлення подій.

5. Де ти купив газету з таким кумедним заголовком? — У кіоску навпроти.

6. Мій брат надає перевагу місцевим газетам, бо вони хоч і мають невеликий наклад, проте достовірно висвітлюють регіональні події.

7. Новий проект спричинив сенсацію та був широко висвітлений у пресі.

8. Щоб продавати газету з вигодою, треба заповнити її рекламою. Інакше прийдеться зменшити її наклад.

9. Я читаю цю газету, бо вона не тільки об’єктивно відображає внутрішні і міжнародні події, але й містить статті про спорт, культуру, моду та багато інших цікавих речей.

10. Шкода, що єдина можливість цієї газети конкурувати з іншими та утриматись на ринку продажів, — це розміщення реклами та публікація статей розважального характеру, цікавих пересічному читачу.

Task 11. Make up a dialogue on one of the following topics.

• Buying a newspaper

• Advertisement in newspapers

• Discussing the news published in the newspaper

• Freedom of the press

Task 12. Read and discuss the quotations of famous British people.

• Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. George Bernard Shaw, 1931

• The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman — like habits, supplies their demands. Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891

• In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. Oscar Wilde

• The people will believe what the media tells them they believe. George Orwell

• If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them. George Orwell

• Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house. Alfred Hitchcock



Task 13. Answer the questions.

1. What does the word “Mass media” denote?

2. What is the role of Mass Media?

3. What can you say about British press?

Home assignment

Choose a quotation and expound the point of view given in it.

Additional material to the topic "Mass Media in Great Britain"

Task 14. Read the text.


Broadcasting in Britain has traditionally been based on the principle that it is a public service accountable to people. While retaining the essential public service element, it now also embraces the principles of competition and choice:

• the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), which broadcasts television and radio programmes;

• the ITC (Independent Television Commission), which licenses and regulates commercial television services, including cable and satellite services.

• the Radio Authority, which licenses and regulates commercial radio services, including cable and satellite.

The three bodies work to broad requirements and objectives defined and endorsed by Parliament, but are otherwise independent in their daily conduct of business.

Television viewing is by far Britain’s most popular leisure pastime: over 97 per cent of households have at least one TV set. British television productions are sold worldwide.

BBC Television

The BBC has a powerful television service. It owns two channels: BBC1 and BBC2. Practically all the population of the country lives within the range of the TV transmission. With the exception of a break during the Second World War, the BBC has been providing regular television broadcasts since 1936. All BBC2 programmes and the vast majority of those on BBC1 are broadcasted on the national network. The aim of the Government is that at least 25 per cent of programmes on all channels should be made by independent producers.

The BBC television programmes are designed for people of different interests. BBC1 presents more programmes of general interest, such as light entertainment, sport, current affairs, children’s programmes, as well as news and information. BBC2 provides documentaries, travel programmes, serious drama, music, programmes on pastimes and international films.

The BBC does not give publicity to any firm or company except when it is necessary to provide effective and informative programmes.

It must not broadcast any commercial advertisement or any sponsored programme. Advertisements are broadcasted only on independent television, but advertisers can have no influence on programme content or editorial work. Advertising is usually limited to seven minutes in any one hour of broadcasting time.

Both the BBC broadcast education programmes for children and students in schools of all kinds, as well as pre-school children, and for adults in colleges and other institutions and in their homes. Broadcasts to schools cover most subjects of the curriculum, while education programmes for adults cover many fields of learning, vocational training and recreation.

The Government has no privileged access to radio or television, but government publicity to support non-political campaigns may be broadcasted on independent radio and television. Such broadcasts are paid for on a normal commercial basis. The BBC is not the mouthpiece of the government. All the major political parties have equal rights to give political broadcasts. Radio and, particularly, television have their greatest impact on public affairs at election time. Each of the principal political parties is granted time on the air roughly in proportion to the number of its candidates for the Parliament.

Television and radio coverage of political matters, including elections, is required to be impartial.

Television and the other channels of mass media are playing an increasingly important part in bringing contemporary affairs to the general public.


In addition there are two independent channels: ITV (Independent Television) and Channel 4, which is owned by the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority).

The ITV has 15 programme companies, each serving a different part of the country. The whole of ITV is controlled by the IBA. ITV programmes include news, information, light entertainment and are interrupted at regular intervals by advertisements. The first regular commercial ITV programmes began in London in 1955.

ITV programmes are broadcasting 24 hours a day in all parts of the country. About one-third of the output comprises informative programmes — news, documentaries, and programmes on current affairs, education and religion. The remainder cover sport, comedy, drama, game shows, films, and a range of other programmes with popular appeal. Over half the programmes are produced by the programme companies and ITN.

BBC National Radio

The BBC has five national radio channels for listeners in the United Kingdom. Radio (channel) 1 provides mainly a programme of rock and pop music. Radio 2 broadcasts lights music and entertainment, comedy as well as being the principal channel for the coverage of sport. Radio 3 provides mainly classical music as well as drama, poetry and short stories, documentaries, talks on ancient and modern plays and some education programmes. Radio 4 is the main speech network providing the principals news and current affairs service, as well as drama, comedy, documentaries and panel games. It also carries parliamentary and major public events. BBC 5 (on medium wave only), which is devoted chiefly to sport, education and programmes for young people.

The BBC has over 30 local radio stations and about 50 commercial independent stations distributed throughout Britain. To provide high-quality and wide-ranging programmes that inform, educate and entertain, to provide also greater choice and competition the government encourages the growth of additional radio services run on commercial lines.

Besides these domestic programmes, the BBC broadcasts in England and in over 40 other languages to every part of the world. It is the World Service of the BBC. Its broadcasts are intended to provide a link of culture, information and entertainment between the people of the United Kingdom and those in other parts of the world. The main part of the World Service programme is formed by news bulletins, current affairs, political commentaries, as well as sports, music, drama, etc. In general, the BBC World Service reflects British opinion and the British way of life. The BBC news bulletins and other programmes are re-broadcasted by the radio services of many countries.

Task 15. Find the English equivalents to the following.

радіо (ТВ) трансляція;

базуватися на принципах конкуренції та вибору;

• визначений та схвалений Парламентом;

• мати вплив на зміст програми;

• повинен бути безстороннім;

• перериватися рекламою;

• решта програм;

• присвячений спорту (освіті, новинам);

• вітчизняні програми;

• випуск новин.

Task 16. Find the correspondences between the adjectives and nouns and make up sentences using them.

1) public

a) rights


b) interest

3) popular

c) network

4) national

d) radio services

5) general

e) entertainment

6) light

f) leisure pastime

7) current

g) training

8) informative

h) music

9) commercial

i) people

10) editorial

j) television

11) vocational

k) service

12) equal

l) affairs

13) classical


14) young

n) advertisement

15) additional

o) programmes

Task 17. Answer the following questions.

1. What public bodies are responsible for television and radio services throughout Britain?

2. How long has the BBC been providing regular television broadcasts?

3. What programmes do BBC1 and BBC2 present for their audience?

4. Does the BBC broadcast advertisements?

5. Do political parties have any privileges in broadcasting?

6. What is the output of Independent Television?

7. What programmes do the BBC national radio channels provide?

8. What is the purpose of the BBC World Service broadcasting?

Task 18. Correct the following statements.

1. Broadcasting in Britain is a public service accountable to the Government.

2. The BBC has been providing regular television broadcasts since 1926.

3. The BBC television programmes are designed for well-educated people.

4. Advertisements are broadcasted on BBC television and advertisers have influence on programme content and editorial work.

5. The government publicity to support political campaigns may be broadcasted on independent radio and television.

6. Television and the other channels of mass media are playing an increasingly important part in advertising products.

7. The whole of ITV is controlled by the Government.

8. The first regular commercial ITV programmes began in Manchester in 1955.

9. The BBC has over 30 local radio stations and about 50 commercial independent stations distributed all over the world.

10. The BBC broadcasts are intended to provide information about British way of life.

Task 19. Fill in the gaps with the article where necessary and be ready to explain your decision.


(1) ... BBC and independent television each operate (2) ... teletext service, offering constantly updated information on (3) ... variety of subjects, including (4) ... news, sport, travel, local weather conditions and entertainment. (5) ... teletext system allows (6) ... television signal to carry additional information which can be selected and displayed as “pages” of text and graphics on (7) ... receivers equipped with (8) ... necessary decoders. Both Ceefax, (9) ... BBC’s service, and Oracle, the independent television’s service, have (10) ... subtitling facility on certain programmes for people with (11) ... hearing difficulties. Both services are available whenever (12) ... transmitters are on (13) ... air. Nearly 40 per cent of households in (14) ... Britain have (15) ... teletext sets and over 7 million people turn to (16) ... service daily: more than most daily newspapers.

Task 20. Complete the sentences using one of the words from the list of verbs above. Don't forget to use the correct form of the verbs.

Set up; provide; broadcast; carry (2); transmit (2); be (4)


Direct broadcasting by satellite, by which television pictures (1) ... directly by satellite into people’s homes, (2) ... available throughout Britain since 1989. The signals from satellite broadcasting (3) ... receivable using specially designed aerials or “dishes” and associated reception equipment.

Several British-based satellite television channels (4) ... supply programmes to cable operators on Britain and, in many cases, throughout Europe.

British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) (5) ... channels devoted to light entertainment, news, feature films and sport, transmitted from the Astra and Marcopolo satellites. Each Astra satellite can (6) ... 16 channels, simultaneously. Two satellites (7) ... operational so far, with more planned, and (8) ... about 18 channels in England. Other channels (9) ... sport, general entertainment for women, and a service for children. MTV (10) ... a pop video channel. The Marcopolo satellite (11) ... BSkyB broadcasts made under contract to the ITC in the five DBS channels allocated to Britain under international agreement.

Task 21. Imagine a talk with a foreigner who is very interested in learning more about our country and its people. What evening programmes would you recommend for him? Act this dialogue out.

Task 22. Discuss.

1. How important is TV in our life?

2. How selective are you about what you watch?

3. Do you think that children can be affected by television? How?

4. If you had the power, would you ban or restrict any programmes on TV?

5. What changes have you seen in television in your lifetime?

6. What are the possible future achievements of TV?

7. Why can people be lost in the information ocean of television?

8. What is the main value of the radio broadcast?

Task 23. Write.

1. An ideal list of TV programmes for the evening (they can be real or imaginary).

2. An essay about the influence of TV on people.

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