Mass Media is defined by sociologists as the agencies of communication which broadcast information, entertainment and news to a mass audience.

The media is sometimes divided into the traditional media (books, television, radio, newspapers) and new media (the Internet, digital radio, podcasts, cable and satellite TV).

Another way to divide media is like this:

  • The print media: anything you can read on a real page.
  • Audiovisual media: television, radio, cinema, music and DVDs. Most broadcasting companies are commercial and get their money through advertising. Some offer a public service and so offer educational and impartial (unbiased) news broadcasts, like the BBC.
  • The electronic media: mostly made up of the Internet, which offers social networking services like Facebook and email. Mobile phones, MP3 players and the computer games industry are part of the electronic media.

Interactivity: An explosion in new forms of media has provided more choice for the consumer. In 1980 there were just three television channels, now there are hundreds to choose from satellite and cable TV channels.

Digital television allows viewers the ability to take part in reality shows and competitions by voting or selecting answers using a handset. This means viewers are in a small way responsible for influencing the television they are watching.

Convergence refers to the putting together of a number of services into one place. Some digital services, for example, allow people to shop online, browse the net, email or bank through their TV sets. Another example is the Apple iPad, which allows a number of applications to be downloaded and used for a variety of purposes including the storage and playing of music and producing complex documents.