chapter  10
A Selective and Limited Influences Theory
Pages 15

W hile media such as newspapers, magazines, movies, and home radio were in wide use in the U.S. by the mid-1920s, systematic research on the process and effects of mass communication within a science perspective did not begin until the late 1920s and

early 1930s. One of the reasons was that, before that time, media scholars had little in the way of scientific research tools to use in addressing the issue of media influences. That is not to say that earlier scholars were uninterested in newspapers or other media that played a part in shaping political or social behavior. During the last decades of the 1800s, or early 1900s, as the present text has explained, intellectuals like James Bryce, Walter Lippmann, Charles Horton Cooley, and Gustave Le Bon began to write thoughtful essays discussing the role of newspapers in political and social life. Some claimed that the newspapers of their time had great power. Others concluded that they did not.