What are The Mass Media?
A message can be communicated to a mass audience by many means: hardly any person lives through a day without felling the impact of at least one of the mass media. The oldest media are those of the printed word and picture which carry their message through the sense of sight: the weekly and daily newspapers, magazines, books, pamphlets, direct mail circulars, and billboards. Radio is the mass communications medium aimed at the sense of sound, where as television and motion pictures appeal both to the visual and auditory senses.
The reader turns to his newspaper for news and opinion, entertainment, and the advertising it publishes. In the weekly the focus is upon the reader’s own community; in the daily the focus is upon the nation and the world as well. Magazines give him background information, entertainment, opinion, and the advertising; books offer longer range and more detailed examination of subjects, as well as entertainment; pamphlets, direct mail pieces, and billboards bring the views of commercial and civic organizations. Films may inform and persuade as well as entertain. Television and radio offer entertainment, news and opinion, and advertising messages and can bring direct coverage of public events into the listener’s home.