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Segment-Making and Society-Making Media:What Is a Good Balance?

Joseph Turow

  In an increasingly number of societies,it is commonplace to talk about the movement away from a broadly shared media system to a much more fragmented media system.All agree that media organizations still have-and are expanding-the capability to lead a substantial percentage of earth s humans to focus on particular events or ideas.The Beijing Olympics comes to mind.At the same time,though,most observers note that public electronic media also have the capacity to reach out to smaller and smaller segments of populations.Part of the reason relates to the large number cable and satellite channels available in many nations.They are often intended for one or another group,so that different parts of society gravitate to different channels.Recently,too,media companies have figured out how to target particular customized messages to individuals or small groups.So rather than reaching billions instantly with the same event,an organization can potentially reach billions instantly with message tailored distinctively to the segments(or niches) in which organization has placed them.……   
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