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MASS MEDIA — Средства массовой информации

The mass media play an important part in our lives. Newspapers, radio and especially TV inform us of what is going on in this world and give us wonderful possibilities for education and entertainment. They also influence the way we see the world and shape our views.
Of course, not all newspapers and TV programs report the events objectively, but serious journalists and TV reporters try to be fair and provide us with reliable information.
It is true that the world today is full of dramatic events and most news seems to be bad news. But people aren’t interested in ordinary events. That is why there are so many programs and articles about natural disasters, plane crashes, wars, murders and robberies. Good news doesn’t usually make headlines. Bad news does.
Some people say that journalists are given too much freedom. They often intrude on people’s private lives. They follow celebrities and print sensational stories about them which are untrue or half-true. They take photos of them in their most intimate moments. The question is — should this be allowed?

The main source of news for millions of people is television. People like TV news because they can see everything with their own eyes. And that’s an important advantage. Seeing, as we know, is believing. Besides, it’s much more difficult for politicians to lie in front of the cameras than on the pages of newspapers.
Still, many people prefer the radio. It’s good to listen to in the car, or in the open air, or when you do something about the house.
Newspapers don’t react to events as quickly as TV, but they usually provide us with extra detail, comment and background information.
The Internet has recently become another important source of information. Its main advantage is that news appears on the screen as soon as things happen in real life and you don’t have to wait for news time on TV.

Questions
1. Do the media play an important part in your life?
2. Do you think that the media influence our life?
3. Millions of people get most of their news from television. What about you?
4. Do you read newspapers?
5. When do you usually listen to the radio?
6. Do you agree that most news we get from the media is bad news?
7. Do you think it would be nice if all news printed in newspapers and shown on TV was good news?
8. Do you think that journalists are given too much freedom?
9. If people have died in a plane crash, should their bodies be shown on TV?
10. How do paparazzi earn their living?
11. Are you interested in politics? Don’t you think that some politicians use the media to influence their voters (избиратели)?
12. What is the main advantage of the Internet?

(Speak out 2/2001)
Средства массовой информации
Средства массовой информации играют важную роль в нашей жизни. Газеты, радио и особенно телевидение, сообщают нам о том, что происходит в этом мире и дают прекрасные возможности для образования и развлечения. Они также влияют на наше мировоззрение и формируют наши взгляды.
Конечно, не все газеты и телевизионные программы сообщают о событиях объективно, но серьезные журналисты и телевизионщики стараются быть справедливыми и предоставить нам достоверную информацию.
Это правда, что сегодня мир полон драматических событий и большинство новостей кажутся плохими. Но людей не интересуют обычные события. Вот почему существует так много программ и статей о стихийных бедствиях, авиакатастрофах, войнах, убийствах и грабежах. Хорошие новости обычно не попадают в заголовки газет. А плохие наоборот. Некоторые люди говорят, что журналистам дано слишком много свободы. Они часто вторгаются в личную жизнь людей. Они преследуют знаменитостей и печатают сенсационные истории о них, которые не соответствуют действительности или являются наполовину правдой. Они фотографируют их в самые интимные моменты. Вопрос в том — должно ли это быть разрешено?
Основным источником новостей для миллионов людей служит телевидение. Людям нравятся теленовости, потому что они могут видеть все своими глазами. И это является важным преимуществом. Как мы знаем, лучше один раз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать. Кроме того, политикам гораздо труднее лгать перед камерами, чем на страницах газет.Тем не менее, многие люди предпочитают радио. Его хорошо слушать в машине, или на открытом воздухе, или когда вы делаете что-то по дому. Газеты реагируют на события не так быстро, как телевидение, но они, как правило, преподносят нам детали событий, комментарии и дополнительную информацию. Интернет в последнее время стал еще одним важным источником информации. Его главное преимущество в том, что на экране появляется новость, как только что-то случается в реальной жизни, и вам не приходится ждать новости по телевизору.

Mass media
Mass media are one of the most characteristic features of modern civilization. People are united into one global community with the help of mass media. People can learn about what is happening in the world very fast using mass media. The mass media include newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
The earliest kind of mass media was newspaper The first newspaper was Roman, handwritten newssheet called «Acta Diurna» started in 59 B.C. Magazines appeared in 1700’s. They developed from newspapers and booksellers’ catalogs. Radio and TV appeared only in this century.
The most exciting and entertaining kind of mass media is television. It brings moving pictures and sounds directly to people’s homes. So one can see events in faraway places just sitting in his or her chair.
Radio is widespread for its portability. It means that radios can easily be carried around. People like listening to the radio on the beach or picnic, while driving a car or just walking down the street. The main kind of radio entertainment is music.
Newspapers can present and comment on the news in much detail in comparison to radio and TV newscasts. News- papers can cover much more events and news.
Magazines do not focus on daily, rapidly changing events. They provide more profound analysis of events of preceeding week. Magazines are designed to be kept for a longer time so they have cover and binding and are printed on better paper.

Questions:
1. What kinds of mass media do you know?
2. What was the earliest kind of mass media?
3. Why is the television so exciting?
4. What is the reason for widespread use of radios?
5. What advantages do newspapers have over the other kinds of mass media?
6. What is the difference between a newspaper and a magazine?

Средства массовой информации
Средства массовой информации — одна из наиболее характерных черт современной цивилизации. С помощью средств массовой информации люди объединены в глобальное сообщество. Люди могут узнавать о том, что происходит в мире, очень быстро с помощью средств массовой информации. Средства массовой информации включают в себя газеты, журналы, радио и телевидение.
Самым старым средством массовой информации является газета. Первой газетой была написанная от руки римская листовка, которая называлась «Acta Diurna» («События дня»), которая издавалась с 59 года до н. э. Журналы появились в XVIII веке. Они развились из газет и каталогов книготорговцев. Радио и телевидение появились только в этом столетии.
Наиболее захватывающим и предоставляющим больше всего развлечений средством массовой информации является телевидение. Оно приносит движущееся изображение и звук прямо в дома к людям. Так что можно увидеть события в далеких местах, не вставая из кресла.
Радио распространено из-за портативности. Это означает, что радио можно с легкостью носить с собой. Людям нравится слушать радио на пляже или на пикнике, сидя за рулем или прогуливаясь по улице. Главным развлечением на радио является музыка.
Газеты могут представить и прокомментировать новости с большими подробностями, чем это могут сделать обзоры новостей на радио или телевидении. Газеты могут охватить больше событий и новостей.
Журналы не сосредоточиваются на ежедневных, быстро меняющихся событиях. Они предоставляют глубокий анализ событий прошедшей недели. Журналы предназначены для более длительного хранения, и поэтому у них есть обложка и переплет, и они печатаются на лучшей бумаге.

Источник: 100 тем английского языка. Авторы Каверина В. Бойко В. Жидких Н.

Ways of exploring the world
There are many ways of exploring the world. Previously the choice of the means of exploring the world was rather limited. It was confined to books and meeting other people. Transport was poorly developed to allow people to travel throughout the world without difficulties. With the appearance of newspapers in the 17-th century people had a chance to learn about current events more quickly. The technical progress of the 20-th centuries has made our planet a small world. Any distance is covered in a twinkle of an eye. Today besides books and travelling the world can be explored with the help of mass media and the Internet.
Books are considered to be a traditional way of learning about the world around us. This is quite natural because books give information about various subjects. From the point of view of the 21-st century it is possible to say that this source of knowledge is proved by time. Books introduce us to the experience of the present, past, and future. In every day life we are limited by Time. We cannot enter the distant future or return to the past. Every moment we live only in the present. Books make an easily accessible time machine. They give everybody a wonderful opportunity to travel into the past and future. With the help of books we can almost eyewitness the major historical events, the way people lived in distant epochs. Ancient and medieval writers show us the world of the past centuries as it was. For example, by reading books about the expeditions to the North and South Poles we live the lives of the people who participated in them. From books we derive all possible knowledge of arts and sciences. Textbooks and manuals are written to give knowledge and information about different special things. It is held that nothing can be more important but the book acquired in time. All the revolutions are conceived first in mind and then put into practice. From the books we understand that the idea of an ideal society has interested people since antiquity. The stories about an ideal society were written by Plato, Thomas Moor, Adam Smith; modern scholars developed them. In the last two centuries attempts were made to put the dream into reality through a number of successive revolutions. I think that books play a very important part in our education. Every specialist first derives information from books.
Travelling as a way of learning also has a long tradition. In the past travelling was the final stage of the education of aristocrats. Lord Byron described his journey in his poem «Childe Harolde». It is very useful to visit different countries and get familiar with different cultures. People today are travelling far more than they ever used to. In the past people did not travel so much as we do today; they set sail in search of new lands and trade routes. Now a person travels in order to learn more about the culture of the country he is visiting and compare the real life of the people with the information given in the books. Sometimes the reality and the books do not coincide. The information given in the books does not often reflect the reality of the day. For example, the pictures of the great painters given in the albums do not show the size, colour or emotion of the paintings. That is why it is better to see paintings, sculpture and architecture in the original. Travelling is indispensable for learning foreign languages. Pupils go to different countries to learn the chosen language. In all European countries there are a lot of summer schools. They are not expensive, but are very useful. The effect is great. After studying at such schools pupils can speak English more fluently. They do not have a language barrier any more. They can establish contacts with people easier. Travelling is very popular today. The most fantastic wishes are put into life due to modern technologies. Millions of people move from their own countries. By mountain biking or skiing, flying into outerspace, feeding sharks or just sight seeing people explore both themselves and the world around them. It should be said that now people travel by car, train, plane, ship, spacecraft or on foot. Travelling, going from one place to another, gives a person a kind of social experience.
I am fond of travelling because it is the best way to learn the world. It gives me a chance to see new places and meet new people. Reminiscences about my travelling experience will stay with me forever and a day. I guess that the most impressive was the trip to Greece a year ago. I spent there a fascinating fortnight. I visited Athens, Delphi, and Corinth. The trip was especially important to me because we were through with the history of Ancient Greece and it gave a rare opportunity to see the place where Ancient Greek history happened. I saw the region where ancient heroes lived, fought and died. I visited the temples of incomparable beauty, especially the Parthenon. And may be there in Greece I made up my mind to be a historian.
Unfortunately, the majority of the Greek monuments and ancient cities lie in ruins. Everything that I saw seemed unreal to me. The temple in Delphi, the citadel in Mycenae, the theatre in Epidaurus, the tombs of the ancient kings seemed to be the remnants of an alien race to which we do not belong. People had abandoned the cities before they were forgotten for centuries to come. Only excavations returned most of the monuments to humanity. I saw St. Paul’s Pulpit in Ancient Corinth, the mask of Agamemnon from Mycenae, the reconstructed Athenian treasury in the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. Although the Ancient Greek civilisation has vanished we still admire its temples and statues. We want to know more about the people who erected them. Nauplia, the first capital of modern Greece, is full of life. The fortress, erected by the Venetians in the 18-th century, has become a museum to remind people of the heroic deeds of the past. In 1822 it was the stronghold of the rebellious Greeks that led them to independence from the Turks.
By travelling we get new information. The period of extensive travelling is called the Age of Discovery. Tourism, activity or practice of touring for pleasure, is the phenomenon of the 20-th century.
Another phenomenon of the 20-th century is the Internet. It is a brand-new way of exploring the world. This symbol of the 20-th century is becoming more and more popular among the people of different ages and social standing. Through the Internet people get all kind of information. The Internet as a means of communication is very convenient: a person can get a lot of information without leaving his apartment. The Internet breaks the traditional frontiers. Through it a person, who lives in Moscow, gets information which is stored in the libraries of Oxford, Cambridge or Washington.
The Internet is the global communication system. With its help a person can find friends, who share his interests and tastes in any part of the world. Such programmes as ICQ (I Seek You) and AOL (America Online) Messenger, specifically designed for communication, make it easy and thrilling. Through the Internet it is not only possible to receive messages from a friend in the United States, but see a picture of him and hear his voice. The only problem is that people in different countries speak different languages and in order to explore the full depth of the Internet one should know the universal language of international communications, English. The invention of the mobile phone, the wireless means of communication, allows a contemporary man to communicate and get information 24 hours wherever he/she is.
We can not imagine our life without mass media. They are one more source of information. Mass media give not only the current information about the situation in the world. They impose certain values on contemporary man. Sometimes information given by television, radio, newspapers is contradictory and man must decide which one is more reliable. The received information moulds the way of thinking. It is imposed on people in such a way that they hardly understand that they are robots and the greatest task of mass media is to programme man to do certain things. Of course it is possible to switch everything off and live in isolation but then people will deprive themselves of one of the sources of information. Previously it took news months to travel from Asia to Europe; today it takes it only several seconds. It is better to be selective to all the received information, for it is really important to live with mass media.

What are other ways of getting information?
– Films can be regarded as one more source of information, especially educational and documentary. It is better to watch such films at home with the help of television or video.

Does television help pupils in their education?
– Yes, it does. There are educational programmes, which help pupils to study history, geography, biology, and learn foreign languages.

Which way of getting information is the best for you?
– I cannot say which way of getting information is the best. It depends upon various factors. Sometimes it is necessary to travel to get more information. I think that books continue to be the best and the most traditional way of getting information. We cannot deny that to get information through the Internet is very convenient. As for me, I think that all the above mentioned manners are useful and important. It is impossible for me to chose one way at the expense of others.

Do you often go to the museums?
– No, I do not. Unfortunately I do not have much free time. But I like to go to the museums, especially to the art galleries. Visiting museums is another possible way of exploring the world. There are a lot of museums in Moscow. I like to go to the State Tretyakov Gallery. There I can walk for hours to enjoy my favourite paintings by Bryullov, Vrubel, Petrov-Vodkin, and other great artists.

Reading books
Literature is the greatest human property. It is generally known that Russian literature is one of the most voluminous in the world. A. Pushkin, I. Turgenev, I. Goncharov, L. Tolstoy, F. Dostoevsky, A. Chekhov are the leaders of the world classical literature. They set a pattern for language, subject matter, and narrative techniques of Russian and world literature. Their works attract readers even today, because everybody can find something special there.
Ivan Turgenev successfully linked social problems with true literary art. His «Hunter’s Sketches» and «Fathers and Sons» depict Russia’s life with realism and with artistry which make these works classics. The problem of the generation gap discussed in his «Fathers and Sons» is very acute today. The everyday life of the Russian provincial gentry is perfectly described by Goncharov in his famous novel «Oblomov». The writer shows how the best and the brightest men can degenerate if they do not see how to use and develop their talents.
Leo Tolstoy and Feodor Dostoevsky are recognised as the best Russian writers. They give a realistic picture of the Russian society of the 19-th century. Their research in a person’s inner world is unique. Their characters do not always know what they really want, and when they think they do know, the fate breaks their illusions. Moral issues are raised in Tolstoy’s and Dostoevsky’s works. Tolstoy’s «War and Peace» and «Anna Karenina» as well as Dostoevsky’s «Crime and Punishment» and «The Brother Karamazov» focus on serious human problems.
The end of the 19-th century was dominated by Anton Chekhov. He contributed to two genres: short stories and drama. His short stories are really short, but powerful. They make people laugh and cry at the same time. Some of his stories may seem very cruel, but Chekhov simply reflected the Russian life in his prose. His plays are not numerous, but they are really outstanding. «The Cherry Orchard» is his best known play. It is an emotional drama of the decline of a Russian noble family, which shares the fate of the Russian nation.
I also like British literature. My favourite writer is Oscar Wilde. His reputation as a dramatist rests on his comic masterpiece «The Importance of Being Earnest». Within the social intrigues and artificial devices to resolve conflict, Wilde used his wit to create a form of comedy new to the English theatre. Oscar Wilde was the representative of the late 19-th century Aesthetic movement in England. It proclaimed art for art’s sake. Wilde was born in Ireland; he went to Trinity College in Dublin, and later continued his education at Oxford. During the years of study Wilde distinguished himself not only as a classical scholar, but also as a poet by winning the popular prize for his poem. In the early 1880s Wilde established himself in social and artistic circles. His most powerful novel is «The Picture of Dorian Gray.» In this novel Wilde shows the darkest corners of a man’s soul. The author’s message can be interpreted in the following way: a person who loves only himself will never be able to realise himself.
America gave the world many great writers. Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Рое, and Walt Whitman dominated in the 19-th century literature. The great American writers of the 20-th century were Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
My favourite American writer is Edgar Allan Рое. Не was an outstanding poet and a short story writer. In Europe Рое was considered the only American poet of significance, the one who created literary works of many varied forms. Рое expressed his deep and sincere feelings in his poems. Edgar Allan Рое is mostly remembered for establishing new symbolic poetry. The «Raven» is his best known poem. The poet used symbols, following the ancient traditions. It is the ancient poetry that helped him to find the unusual rhythm. The symbolic meaning of the «Raven» is unclear; raven is a symbol of eternal life as well as the herald of death. Numerous readers in the United States and other countries admire Poe’s short stories. He was the inventor of the detective stories that became very popular in the 20-th century. Рое won recognition and admiration of the Russian readers very quickly. «The Gold Bug», one of Poe’s best stories, was published in the United States in 1843 and in 1847 it was translated into Russian. Poe’s poetry had tremendous influence on the Russian poets of the beginning of the 20-th century. Such outstanding Russian poets as Balmont and Brusov admired Poe’s poetry. They translated his poems into Russian, and used his motives in their lyrics.

Do you like to return to the books that you have once read?
– Yes, I do. There are certain books that I can read any time from virtually any page. Each time I open these books I discover there something new, something that I have missed or misinterpreted during my previous reading. Some people say that rereading books is boring, that there are so many books that they have not read yet, that they will never return to the books they have already read. I can not agree with it. There are many books that are not worth even a single reading, while there are others that have numerous layers. Most of all I like to return to the books that 1 have already read every couple of years just to compare in which way my perception of the author and his book has changed.

What are these books?
– It would take me some time simply to mention the books that I love to reread. One of these books is «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer» by Mark Twain. When I first got acquainted with this wonderful novel I did not know how to read and my mother read it to me. The first thing I did when I started reading myself was reading «Tom Sawyer.» It was as if I met the old friend. Later I was rereading some episodes that I liked most of all and each time I discovered something new. For example, when I was a kid I thought that the adventures of Tom and Huck constituted the most important part of the book. Later I started to understand the humour of Mark Twain. Since my first acquaintance with this author I have read many other novels and short stories by Mark Twain. Reading «Tom Sawyer» again and again enhanced my understanding of Mark Twain not only as a writer, but also as a personality. Now I am trying to read the novel in the original, I think that this will help me to understand both Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer better.

What do you read when you want to have some rest?
– As I have already mentioned I read Mark Twain’s stories and novels a lot. But of course there are other English and American writers whom I admire. When I want to have some rest I like to read Jack London’s Alaskan stories such as «The White Silence», «Call of the Wild», and «Burning Daylight.» They are unforgettable. Jack London knew the life of the North perfectly well. He met his characters in real life. He was familiar with their needs and troubles. One of J. London’s best stories is «White Fang.» It is a story about the adventures of a wolf, who was tamed by the Indians as a sledge dog, and who little by little perceived the law of life: to eat or be eaten. White Fang, is not only the title of the novel, but the name of the wolf as well, who eventually understood that love and kindness ruled the world. I believe that Jack London loved animals. He wrote a lot about them.

Do you read the books of British and American writers in the original or in translation?
– It is much easier to read books that are already translated into Russian. At the same time I am reading some books in English that are specifically adapted for Russian pupils. Reading such books is not only fun; it helps me to improve my English, so that I shall be able to read the works of British and American authors in the original. As I have already said, at the moment I am reading «Tom Sawyer» in the original. This is not an easy task for me. But I know this book very well, and this helps me a lot. Thus I can say that reading Russian translations of the English books is the first step toward reading them in the original.