Media are basically the communication tools or means utilized to deliver and store data or information. The word also denotes elements of the multimedia mass communications media industry, including print media, broadcasting, the television, film, photography, publishing, video, and radio. The various media forms are categorized by the methods of delivery as: linear (or time-based), digital, hybrid/analog, interactive, and non-interactive.
Although there are several different kinds of media, they have a number of common features and drawbacks. Print media is a great medium for magazines, books, newspapers, and other written materials. Media are often used for mass distribution of information and entertainment such as in radio and TV advertisements and films. Print media are expensive to produce; they are also limited by their delivery speeds and vulnerability to various forms of degradation. Media also include broadcast media, which includes televisions, radio, films, and magazines.
Print media has some obvious disadvantages when it comes to transmitting or printing information, most obviously in the case of newspapers. In the case of radio or television programs, noise can dominate a transmission signal which makes listening difficult or even impossible. In publications, print media are vulnerable to fading, yellowing, and smudging because of excessive handling of the paper or ink used.
As more media industries consolidate, their content is increasingly being targeted at specific audiences. Television and radio advertisements, for example, are targeted at specific demographics. Print media is not targeted in this way. Advertisements for movie theaters, restaurants, banks, clothing stores, chains of hotels, and so on are designed to appeal to a broader audience. Because of this, print media experience a much higher level of patronage, far higher than their online and telecommunication counterparts.
One of the most important disadvantages of mass media is its very high selectivity. When selecting an ad message, advertisers can easily control the message that will be presented to recipients. Advertisers do not have to compete with thousands of other companies or advertisements for a particular viewer. They also do not have the opportunity to determine the outcome of a story based on whether or not it appeals to a particular demographic.
In contrast, print media provides the opportunity for social media users to become informed about specific topics by reading other people’s opinions. The most common mediums of mass communication are newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Because these media tend to cater to a specific geographic location and ethnic group, they offer a diverse reading base. This allows users from different locations and ethnicities to combine their individual observations about a given topic in an accurate and concise manner.