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Entertainment, Effects of

Jennings Bryant

Subject Communication Studies » Communication Reception and Effects

Key-Topics entertainment

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


One of the dominant functions of modern media is entertainment ( Zillmann & Vorderer 2000 ). Moreover, entertainment offerings presented by virtually all mass media seem designed to provide immediate gratification of the diverse hedonic needs of modern media consumers. If entertainment is the primary goal of modern media, why are so many critics concerned that those who consume such fare will suffer detrimental social and psychological effects? Indeed, if the real purpose of modern commercial fare were to create high levels of audience enjoyment (→  Enjoyment/Entertainment Seeking ), negative effects might not be such a major issue. However, in reality, in the US and other capitalistic media systems, creating a satisfying entertainment experience is barely a secondary goal of the executives in charge of modern media institutions. The dominant goal is to garner the →  attention of as many consumers as possible for those omnipresent advertisements and commercials. In other words, the primary objective of commercial media systems is profitability (→  Media Economics ). Entertainment reactions are a functionally necessary by-product if one is to gain and retain the eyes and ears of consumers and guarantee ample advertising exposure for profitability. Entertainment really is the means to an end, not the goal. Although the distinction between entertainment as a means rather than ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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