Media is a technique of relaying information. Media broadcasts information to people by visual means; billboards, audio means; radio or audiovisual means television, and computers, paper means; newspapers, magazines, and journals, among others.
The term media is comprehensive as in fact, anything that we read, watch, or listen to for knowledge or advertising purposes is as a matter of fact media. Mass media, on the other hand, refers to media that is intended to reach massive audiences. Mass media is published and broadcasted by media group companies, freelance writers, independent companies, among others.
Mass media can be categorized into two; print media and broadcast media. Print media is any written or pictorial form of message produced mechanically or electronically. In contrast, broadcast media isaudio or visual media that is transmitted through a signal to its audience. This review will focus on these two types of media and their functions in society.
Print Media: Newspapers &Magazines
In the United States, the first newspapers were tied to political groups and political parties, but the development of high-speed presses. Improved levels of literacy and the invention of the telegraph led to the rise of mass-circulation newspapers in the 19th century.
Competition for readers increased so much so that papers emphasized on yellow journalism; news that has eye-catching headlines mainly meant for sales but are not well researched or legitimate. Though there was a dedicated shift to objectives and reporting on this type of journalism, it is still prevalent in the so-called tabloid press and supermarket newspapers.
Broadcast Media: Radio& Television
During the world wartwo era radio was a top-rated source of news and political analysis. Radio was used by presidents and leaders alike to relay their messages to the masses. Radio was a vital source of information for the Pacific Region and Europe. In recent times; this medium has seen a resurgence and makeover to being publicly and commercially used by leaders to address the masses.
Television, on the other hand, has given people news and information based on scheduled programmes. Television has become part of the political process as rallies, and political meetings are streamed live by the media houses. The selective range of TVs is quite good.
You can browse through various channels to get what you want, and also it has widespread access to its users with little or no cost of accessing information.
Functions of Mass Media inthe Society
Positive public opinion is very crucial in areas such as politics, goods, or services, among others.Mass media is used to report on results of public opinion surveys conducted by independent organizations or polls conducted by media houses based on their news coverage.
This means that newspapers and televisions can be used to sway public opinion to the wanted direction. This is because people will take on critical issues that are influenced by media.
This refers to issues people think are critical and need government intervention as soon as possible. An individual’s perception of matters crime, immigration, religion, civil rights, and elections are shaped by the manner and extent of coverage by the media.
Media becomes part of the process by which we learn the values of society and what society expects from us. This influence mainly stems from entertainment programming. Mass Media’s portrayal of minority groups, family relations, and religion is considered to be a substantial impact on our attitudes.
The Link between the Government &Masses
Mass media is the platform from which the government tries to gain support for its policies from the public. Policies without public approval are short-lived in democracies; hence this is a significant thing.
To sum it all up, Mass media has a very big role to play in society, as discussed above. Mass media should be protected and prevented from abuse from powerful individuals who wish to gain unfair advantages in their undertakings.