In mid 1930’s media scholars found the first theory on Media Effects and the Media Behaviors. During second world wars media plays a vital role in both United States and Germany to made influence in the people’s mind. The Germany Hitler’s Nazi used film industry for Propaganda and they produced lots of movies about their achievements which made a great impact in Germans mind. Later the United States also used its own Hollywood and produced films like “Its Happened one night”, “It’s a wonderful life” and Mr. Smith goes to Washington” to portrait Germany as Evil force which also made impact in Americans Mind. Here media audience accepts the messages directly without any rejection.
The media (magic gun) fired the message directly into audience head without their own knowledge. The message cause the instant reaction from the audience mind without any hesitation is called “Magic Bullet Theory”. The media (needle) injects the message into audience mind and it cause changes in audience behavior and psyche towards the message. Audience are passive and they can’t resist the media message is called “Hypodermic Needle Theory”.
Both theories are deals with impact of media messages in audience mind and how audience react towards the message without any hesitation.
In 1930, Newly formed mercury theater and Orson Wells join together and created a fake news bulletin about aliens invasion in american city called Grover’s Mill, New jersey. They broadcast this news bulletin in between the radio program called “The War of the Worlds”. The “Panic Broadcast” was reached merely 12 million American people and one million were seriously believed. Due to this broadcast the whole country was in chaos.
The magic bullet theory is based on assumption of human nature and it was not based on any empirical findings from research. Few media scholars do not accepting this model because it’s based on assumption rather than any scientific evidence. In 1938, Lazarsfeld and Herta Herzog testified the hypodermic needle theory in a radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” (a famous comic program) by insert a news bulletin which made a widespread reaction and panic among the American Mass audience. Through this investigation he found the media messages may affect or may not affect audience.
“People’s Choice” a study conducted by Lazarsfeld in 1940 about Franklin D. Roosevelt election campaign and the effects of media messages. Through this study Lazarsfeld disproved the Magic Bullet theory and added audience are more influential in interpersonal than a media messages.
very nice 🙂
The magic theory had effect at the period under mention today,s audience believes in interpersonal relations to influence opinion or build attitude
Does anyone think that the divisive nature of our politicians are created by the media being sensationalistic with the opinionated rants conducted by their hired pundits? I do. I also believe this practice is tearing our society apart and making people angry over issues that are really just created by the 24 hours news channels. Things are never as bad as what the news media makes it out to be. I should know I worked for one of these channels.
I agree with Jeanne . Considering the marked diversity of individual’s backgrounds there is simply no way they can be lumped into one mass which interprets a message uniformly. Just like how someone shot in the head may die but another may live to tell the tale.Also the same injection does not have a fixed effect on every individual, some are healed and some are not whilst some even develop fatal reactions. So even metaphorically speaking the term hypordermic syringe still leaves room for different reactions to a message.
I also agree with Jeanne. If you know personally what occurred you know that the media tends to blow things out of proportion and then by the time that everyone adds their take on the matter, a blitz can occur with very little actually taking place.
I am suthira Rajapaksha in Sri Lanka . I like to learn mass Communication and mass media. I have a MA degree of mass communication University of Kelaniya
the ar4e many things that negetive effects through the media messages which means the are some massages that needs acritical eye befor they can be sent to people, so I think the censorship system must intrduced again.
people have no stregth ones the media pull their trigger they completely surrender by believing what is broadcasted
A majority of mass media audiences take in messages just they way they stream in and tend to believe every bit of the message content. However, a part of the audience with analytical minds, thoroughly scrutinize the messages and draw conclusions from personal judgment.
i Agree to Jeanne. But one thing is left i think. Only the media is not changed. The Audience also have changed a lot. they want only the juicy news, and that is why people seem to subscribe more than one newspapers as they they wish to graze through different Channels.
I am binod kumar pradhan, pursuing my MA JMC course under Ravenshaw University , Cuttack, Odisha, India. I think it was good for media organisation since 1970. After 1970 the rise of electronic media had made it very meaningless theory but till now we can’t deny on its functioning because it work today as a anonymous theory.
The media plays on the emotions and intelligence of the audince because they leave no room for the audience to think.The message is imposed on the audience
I rather see similarities with the magic bullet theory and the agena setting theory based on the fact that the media hits on issues of their interest or want audiences to believe and they tend to show some kind of passiveness in their absorbtion of information
thums up! thank you
mass media use as mass deception in the society, MASS WHO REALLY DO NOT THINK CRITICALLY TAKES WHAT EVER THE MEDIA BROADCAST. AND IT SHOULD BE SEEN AS A BODY THAT PROMOTE THE POLICIES OF GOVERNMENT NOT A REVOLUTIONAL BODY OR ANY KIND OF VIOLENT ANTIPASTI…..THERE I COMMENT.
Hi, I`m a uni student. I`m Korean.
I`m looking for more examples of the bullet theory for my assignment. So if some one knows it just help me out PLZ
what are the relevance of the academics needle theory in the current communication environment?
the media though helps us for information to reach us they are now putting pressure on us to listen to whatever they publish .IS THAT WHAT THE MEDIA IS TO THE MASS??????????LVU “THE PREACHER”
According to me media using it in way to gain their interest like this used earlier in world war or in Cold War .they trying to control the mind of common peoples those who belives what they listend.politicans also used in a way to get peoples vote by making promise to them.when media channel bombarded a message than after sometime people started to belive in that msg
it`s lovely & lively i like it, but it is better if u add critics and more examples.
A situation which already created, media also play its role to influence a large group of audience.
These two theory of mass communication is very effective in third world because there are literacy rate is too low that`s why.
Do you have sources for the numbers of people that listened to the broadcast and how many panicked?
I have liked this theory coz it very applicable in illiterate societies where there z no argument of issues . Even the one for Argend setting
I need on my studies in regards to media studies;Theories of media
kindly anyone tell me who gave this story?
Very well explained in a concise manner.
Another example would be Radhe Maa.
The piece of work is quite helpful. I now have a clear picture of the theory.
I would say Magic Bullet is not applicable to all the classes of public. Their is always a group who is not being effected by the information given by media.
Should we say that this theory is not applicable in this present era but it can be found in most media’s publication on important issues relating to it audience directly with a sure possible effects. Though not as before.
To the best of my knowledge this theory is no longer applicable, unlike in the past, people can now receive and filter fake news from actual news with diverse forms of communication channels
I want to know if the theory is still relevant and how
I would say this theory is still applicable today. It has, however, evolved.
Now I believe 2 (at least) opposing messages are introduced… a mainstream message And a counter message (which is also deception but comes across as “truth”).
This way nobody really finds truth, they divided, but think they know truth.
The only place I know of to really find Truth is, the Word of God.
There are instances of influence by media and also instances of people verifying the content disseminated by media. Maybe city people who have access to verify through search but rural area people still believe in the media content.
Very interesting theory. It is also very helpful to the students of Journalism
Thank you for sharing this Theory.
I like this this theory coz, media has a powerful impact to its audience, and it can manipulate the illiterates into believing what see or hear.
Please the assumptions of the theory according to Baran and Davis