Types of Media

Media are the communication tools or platforms utilized to deliver and store data or information to the end users. The word refers to various components of this vast mass communication media and the different parts of the mass media systems, like print media, broadcasting, the television, cinema, publishing, audio/video, and the web. Basically, there are four forms of media: the analog (electronic), digital (fax and cable television), digital-to-analog converters (DTV), and wireless (radio, satellite and cable television). These forms of media are categorized according to their medium of transmission and delivery.

As we all know, newspaper, magazines, and other mass communication media fall in the first category of digital media. Therefore, we can say that the newspaper, magazines and other printed forms of mass media are part of the first form of media. Meanwhile, all the other types of digital media fall in the second category of media. They are: broadcast media (television and radio), electronic books (e-books and computer books), motion pictures (movies and videos), sound recordings (art and music), television programs (air and cable television), and newspapers.

For the large part, news media refers to the visual forms of communicating information, while magazine and periodical news media refer to the audio and video forms of communication. It is worth noting that news media outlets depend primarily on visual stories to communicate information. As for periodicals, they make use of written material to convey information, while television news sources depend primarily on visual images.

There are two types of print media: mass market and specialist print media. Mass market include mainly the magazines and newspapers. On the other hand, specialist print media are journals, periodicals, book series, posters, maps, directories, handbooks, pamphlets, directories, and the like. The major difference between these two categories is that the bulk of specialist print media are specialist periodicals while news sources tend to be general news sources. It should be noted that print media also cover the Internet and electronic periodicals such as podcasts and web logs. All these forms of print media together make up the total amount of print media available in the market.

On the other hand, broadcast media refers to the broadcasting industry and mediums such as radio, TV, and newspapers. There are a few major differences between broadcast and print media. While print media rely largely on literary sources, broadcast media rely mostly on non-fiction materials and are more focused on entertainment. With regard to music, radio tends to be more focused on music channels while television stations and movies are more entertainment focused.

Digital transmission is a modern version of radio and television transmission and it is usually used for transmitting content via the Internet to specific endpoints (e.g. television channels and radio stations). Internet video is a relatively new term but refers to recorded media that is sent via the Internet to an end-user (e.g. television, video streams, etc. ).