In mass communication, media usually are the visual communication tools or resources utilized to transmit and store data or information. The word refers to varied components of the large mass communications media industry, including television, radio, film, publishing, photographic, motion pictures, theatre, advertising, and television production. It also includes different sub-media, including music, literature, films, videos, games, and visual arts. The mass media influence on society and culture has affected the lives and actions of countless individuals worldwide.
Early forms of mass communication most commonly refer to the spoken language and oral communication. The earliest forms of human communication formed the written word and literary communication. The development of media came into being as a result of human activity. Art and literature developed, along with the establishment of communities and political systems, giving birth to the concept of mass communications.
The early forms of media were controlled by the State. As social media have grown in popularity, the power of State regulation and control has diminished. However, the media still play an important role in determining societal acceptance and societal values. Some forms of media may be categorized as the primary and secondary forms of media.
In terms of the first type of media, namely, mass communication and mass communications, it mainly concerns the delivery and reception of verbal and non-verbal communication. In the electronic media, this term is broader to include the transmission and reproduction of information through electronic means. In this modern day setting, one of the most dominant forms of media is the electronic media.
The second type of media is represented by a mixture of forms of electronic and non-electronic media. The most popular and widely used form of media in this context is digital media. It can either be broadcasted or transmitted, but the most common example is the Internet. Digital media such as videos, audio files, images and text are commonly distributed through networks like the World Wide Web.
The third type of media is not limited to the previously identified categories; it also includes contemporary communications technologies such as television, radio and print. Television, for instance, is a medium that enables people to communicate and interact. However, it is not purely a communication medium. The television allows social interaction and cultural observation through the medium of television.
Another well-known form of media is the printed media. Printed media include the daily newspaper which provides a platform for public debate and interaction. It is not just a mode of communication. In fact, it is part of the political system since the media influence the political system. The role of the media is further strengthened when politicians make speeches on the radio and television. The increased availability of print media in the past decades has greatly contributed to the democratic process in societies around the world.
As a result of the increasing number of users accessing the internet via their personal computers and mobile devices, the increasing influence of the media and communication industries on society is indisputable. Media influences not only societal attitudes towards a particular matter but also affects consumer choices. Therefore, it is important for media organisations to ensure that they present only accurate, legitimate and reliable information to the general public.