Mass media is any transmission of information that reaches large numbers of people, usually within a short time frame, in a one-to-many communication flow. It can also be referred to as mass communication. The information transmitted could be news, entertainment, advertising or public service announcements.
Types of Media
- Outdoor advertising such as billboards
- Movies, concerts, shows, and events that attract large crowds
- Internet websites
- Social media
Characteristics of Mass Media
5 Characteristics of mass communication have been identified by sociologist John Thompson of Cambridge University:
- Comprises both technical and institutional methods of production and distribution” This is evident throughout the history of mass media, from print to the Internet, each suitable for commercial utility.
- Involves the “commodification of symbolic forms” As the production of materials relies on its ability to manufacture and sell large quantities of the work; as radio stations rely on their time sold to advertisements, so too newspapers rely on their space for the same reasons.
- Separate contexts between the production and reception of information”.
- Its “reach to those ‘far removed’ in time and space, in comparison to the producers”.
- Information distribution one to many form of communication, whereby products are mass-produced and disseminated to a great quantity of audiences.