Mass media


The mass media are media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication. Their meaning is spreading of information to a large number of people. Broadcast media (also known as electronic media) transmit their information electronically and comprise television, radio, movies, CDs, DVDs, and other devices such as cameras and video consoles. Alternatively, print media use a physical object as a means of sending their information, such as a newspaper, magazines, books, newsletters, leaflets, and pamphlets. The organizations that control these technologies, such as television stations or publishing companies, are also known as the mass media.

In the late 20th Century, mass media could be classified into eight mass media industries: books, newspapers, magazines, recordings, radio, movies, television and the internet. With the explosion of digital communication technology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the question of what forms of media should be classified as „mass media“ has become more prominent. For example, it is controversial whether to include cell phones, video games and computer games in the definition.

But in the 2000s, a classification called the „seven mass media“ became popular. In order of introduction, they are:

  1. Print (books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, etc.) from the late 15th century
  2. Recordings (gramophone records, magnetic tapes, cassettes, CDs, DVDs) from the late 19th         century
  3. Cinema from about 1900
  4. Radio from about 1910
  5. Television from about 1950
  6. Internet from about 1990
  7. Mobile phones from about 2000

Each type of mass media has its own content types, its own creative artists, and its own business models.

The sixth and seventh media, internet and mobile, are often called as digital media; and the fourth and fifth, radio and TV, as broadcast media. Some people argue that video games have developed into a distinct mass form of media.


In Gothic era there was only one type of mass media and it was spoken word. People were going to church where the priests preached and told stories. Also very commonly used form of spreding the information were the „town crier“ – the man with very loud voice who shoutted news to people.

The beggining of mass media would be consider the invention fo printing press. In 15. century, Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith, invented the printing press of movable type, which is said to be based on screw bases. The first book was printed in the year 1453. One of the books that were printed was, ‚The Gutenberg Bible‘. From a single city in Germany, the printing press spread all over Europe and helped people very much. Before the printing press were the books transcribed manually and it taked lots of time.


The invention of  printing press also transformed the way the world received printed materials, although books remained too expensive really to be called a mass-medium for at least a century after that. In 17th century appeared the first newspaper. The first high-circulation newspapers arose in London in the early 18 century, such as The Times, and were made possible by the invention of high-speed rotary steam printing presses, and railroads which allowed large-scale distribution over wide geographical areas.

Newspapers and magazines

Newspapers are a traditional and still widely used source of information. Many people buy a copy of them regularly, some newspapers are distributed free (Metro). The newspaper consists of articles. Some are serious (news, reviews, sports page), some are not (feature articles, gossip column). Every article needs a headline and the name of the journalist or correspondent from abroad who wrote it. The newspaper usually contains other things, like crosswords, horoscopes, weather forecasts, comic strips etc.

The Daily newspapers can be divided into two large groups. The first are the broadsheets (the quality press) and the second are the tabloids (popular press).
The broadsheets are newspapers, in which there is only serious information. These newspapers are mainly old, some with more than a hundred-year tradition. They contain political, industrial and cultural news and there are also pages with finance matters and international news. For example some Czech broadsheets: Hospodářské noviny, MF Dnes, Právo and the most famous world broadsheets: NY Times (the most read newspapers in the wordl), The Times, The Gurdian.
The tabloids are newer than the broadsheets. They are printed on smaller paper, they have usually large headlines and they use colours. They contain sensational stories about famous people, gossips, violent crimes and other topics that attract people. You can’t find much relevant information in there but there are lots of pictures. The most popular tabloids in Czech Republic are Blesk and AHA, than in the UK: The Sun or The Mail.

Magazines are another kind of press. It’s a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by advertising and purchase by readers.

Magazines are typically published weekly, monthly, bimonthly or quarterly, with a date on the cover that is in advance of the date it is actually published. They are often printed in color on coated paper, and are bound with a soft cover. They are much more expensive than daily newspapers.

Magazines fall into two broad categories: consumer magazines and business magazines.

Magazines can be classified as:

  • General interest magazines (, India Today, The Week, The Sunday Times  in CR Respekt)
  • Special interest magazines (women’s, sports, fashion, business, cars, animals, computers etc.)


Television is used for showing different types of programs, it depends on the TV station. There are stations which broadcast general information – it contains news, documentaries, movies, tv shows, soap operas, sport, music. Of course, advertisement is everywhere now. The other stations are specialized in only some topics, many of them are international. The benefit of TV is that we get a realistic picture of an event very easily, for many people it is also a means of entertainment. However, compared with the newspaper, where you can choose what to read and what not, on TV you don’t have this choice.

Television is one of the most common kind of media. There are a lot of people who can not imagine their lifes without television. In the Czech Republic there are not as many television stations as in other countries. We have four main state channels- ČT1, ČT2, ČT4 nad ČT24.  Then some private commercial channels like Nova, Prima, Barrandov etc. Their main income is from advertisements. Than the world most famous and importatnt channels are for example BBC, CNN, ABC, CNBS, FOX.


The youngest form of mass media is Internet. It is a system of computers connected with eachother, where can you find whatever are you looking for. There is an uncountable amount of pages of various types. You need a computer or some other device like phone or tablet and a connection to the Internet (nowadays the Wi-Fi is everywhere).

Quick something from history:
1.  The Net began for military reasons. Later scientists started using it in 1969.
2.  In 1980s people started calling it the “Internet”.
3.  In the mid-1990s the Internet began to grow very fast.

People can do on the Internet almost everything – buying, connecting with people all around the wordl, finding every single information, watching movies, playing games and much much more. The Internet is becoming necessary for everyday life and it is a type of mass media with the biggest future.

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