What Is The Term Media?
Media are basically the communication tools or resources used to transmit and store data or information. The word refers generally to components of today’s mass communications system, including television, radio, print media, cinema, publishing, telecommunication, television, film, radio, digital media, video, and advertising. The mass media system has changed drastically over the years with the increasing accessibility and usability of computers, telecommunications, the Internet, digital cameras, and digital recording devices. The traditional mass media have been greatly affected by technological advancements like the dawn of online television, radio, films, books, and music, the growth of cable and satellite TV services, the penetration of mobile phone technology, and the emergence of numerous Internet based services.
While earlier the print media were the backbone of the vast mass media system, newspapers and other printed media are no longer the dominant source of information and entertainment for the masses. As indicated in a number of studies and research reports, the vast majority of people read newspapers not because they seek information or entertainment, but because of the business value of the information and entertainment they get from the newspapers. However, newspaper and magazine proprietors realize the potential importance of this medium to their business and thus they aim to retain their readership by ensuring quality content and timely delivery of news and current affairs. In fact, many newspapers and magazines are now aggressively promoting media as a promotional strategy.
For years, newspaper and magazine owners have realized the importance of effective and cost-effective mass communication that is easily accessible and capable of reaching a large audience through the various means of electronic media. Now, in addition to offering comprehensive sports section, news, sport reports, feature stories, and many other special features, most papers and magazines are also incorporating audio, video, and Internet capabilities in order to provide multimedia experience to their readers. This is an evident indication that the traditional print media are diminishing while the online media are growing exponentially. It would appear from this data as well that people prefer online communication over printed media. This does not mean that electronic media are more popular than printed media. But the fact that online communication is more favored by the people and newspapers and magazines are realizing this trend, they are embracing every available opportunity to make online media a part of their service.
The growing popularity of television and radio communication is due to the ease with which people can access these media. This has led to the overall decrease in the need for print media. It is observed that the readership of newspapers and magazines has declined along with the percentage of people who subscribe to television and radio channels. Similarly, radio and television advertisements are often ignored by people. People are more receptive to advertising content on the Internet.
There are many factors responsible for the increasing popularity of online communication media. One important factor is the convenience with which people can access these media. Online media are easy to access and don’t require travel or complex set up. The Internet has also significantly reduced the costs associated with publication. As a result, newspapers and magazines are realizing that Internet publications are the future of media communication.
However, one could also argue that electronic media have replaced the early forms of human communication. We can observe that people no longer read newspapers or magazines in their original form because of the convenience with which they can get access to websites. Moreover, human interaction is also being substituted by automated systems. This might suggest that the term media is no longer appropriate to identify online publications.