In mass communications, media are simply the communication tools or media used in the exchange and distribution of information or data through various mediums. The term also refers to elements of the mass communications industries, like print media, television, radio, cinema, publishing, and the web-based news media. Media have contributed largely in the information age by creating and disseminating information, through a variety of mass communications media. They also help create and provide information, especially through news media.
The broad term “media” includes all facets of the communication process. It is inclusive of visual as well as verbal communications that make communication possible. This practice has made possible the widest access to information and diverse ways of disseminating it, both in and out of the traditional mass media. Media today often serve as the first point of contact for the general public when it comes to issues, products, and services. Some mass media outlets include:
The newspaper is a one of the oldest mass media outlets. It is primarily read by the people and this serves as a primary source of information to the public. The major newspapers in United States are the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Daily News, the New England News-Miner, The Boston Globe, and The Chicago Evening News.
Television is another popular medium that enables individuals to communicate information to the audience. Unlike newspapers or magazines which can be read from left to right, television programs are viewed from left to right. It is commonly used by the television viewers to watch programs and news that they are interested in. Most of the television channels also carry music and movies that are similar to what they watch.
Another type of media that is used by viewers is the radio. Most radio stations are only able to transmit a few selections to the listeners. The listeners are either introduced with prerecorded segments or they listen to an in-depth report. Most of the time, radio programs broadcast news and factual reports that are relevant to their listeners. The major national radio broadcasting services are: WBCI (WBN), GMN ( MGM Network), ESPN Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, XM Satellite Radio, and local news channels.
Print media is basically composed of magazines and newspapers that are circulated among the population on a daily basis. A growing number of individuals prefer to purchase print media than to purchase newspapers every day. As a matter of fact, there is a large percentage of people who rarely, if ever, buy newspapers. Print media mainly comprises of: the Sunday morning paper, Ladies Home Page, Scripps Howard News Service, The Sporting News, Town Pages, Education Series, People, The New York Times, and many more.