All the diverse gears that are used to aid the dissemination and circulation of information and entertainment to the public are categorized under Media.
Radio, Television, Newspapers, Cinema, Theatre and Internet (the new rapidly increasing mode of transmission of information and entertainment) are all considered as Media.
In the beginning of civilization, the only ways of transmission of messages from one person to another were through using words in the form of stories and conversations. Later, humans fabricated written language and started recording messages on some grounds. This method further progressed with the potential to copy written messages over and over again. In the 20th century, electronic media evolved. At 1st, radio was the only electronic media to be preferred by masses. This later advanced into T.V and eventually into the internet.
Media is a tool and involvement of the society is very essential to make this tool effective. The modification and revolution in the society can be achieved by these tools only if the masses intend to accept them.
Media therefore is a most prominent means to revolution.
The evolution of media can be drawn from the days when dramas were performed in diverse prehistoric cultures. This was the first form of media to be broadcast to a wider audience.
· The “Diamond Sutra” is the world’s earliest dated printed book printed in China in 868AD with this print media is known to be the first form of media to be generated in Europe in middle ages.
· In 1401, movable clay type was invented in China.
· Johannes Gensfleisch Zur Laden Zum Gutenberg, a goldsmith from Germany gave birth to a remarkable invention and brought revolution in the world of printing known as “Printing Revolution” by introducing printing press with replaceable wooden/metal letters in 1436 and completed in 1440. It nurtured the development in the fields of science, religion and art through transmission of words. This enabled the publication of books and newspapers on a wide scale which was never dreamt of earlier.
· The first high-circulation newspaper was “The Times” earlier known as The Daily Universal Register, began in London in the early 1800s, but it was considered as the one way medium as it failed to invite/ encourage feedbacks which resulted in its decline.
· The word “Media” arose in the 1920s.
· During the Second World War radios and television were introduced which brought the war home to the American people.
· Internet has revolutionized the computer and communication world like nothing before. Now a day it is considered as the widespread easily accessible information infrastructure.
FUNCTIONS OF MEDIA
The media plays a considerable role in today’s modern society. They influence almost every aspects of our social, political and economic model. Media has some assured functions to perform which comprise of:-
It refers to conveying news and information to the audience. It relates to the continuous flow of news or information about the incidents occurring within the country or all over around the world.
Surveillance can be of 2 types:-
1. Warning Surveillance:- it happens when media informs the audience about the threats from terrorism, natural calamity etc.
2. Instrumental Surveillance:- it occurs when the information required in everyday life i.e. stock market price, new product launch etc. is provided by the media.
Media do not only transmit facts and data but also provide ultimate meaning and significance of events which helps the audience to evaluate the event and arrive at a conclusion. But the accuracy of the interpretations made by the media is not assured.
· Transmission of Values
Media plays a significant role in transmitting values in the modern society. Our society learns and initiates the values which it grasps when exposed to media. This is called the socialization function of media.
Media holds the society together. They are able to join different elements of society that are not directly connected. E.g. Facebook (Social networking sites), Ebay (Advertisements link the buyers and sellers) etc.
Entertainment is the most common function of media. When used for entertainment the media broadcast such programs which are pleasing to the consumers and provide them escape from uneasiness of daily life. E.g. Comedy shows on T.V.
FORMS OF MEDIA
· Print Media
Print Media are the publications printed on paper and circulated in forms of newspapers, books, magazines and newsletters. These hold informative and entertaining content of general or specific interest. They are published daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.
· Electronic and Broadcast Media
Electronic Media are the information or content that is created, transported and accessed using electronic energy or any equipment used in electronic communication. Electronic Media comprises of television, radio, cell phones etc.
· Internet/ Web Media Internet/Web Media comprises of informative and entertaining content which is distributed and accessed over internet.
Social Media is a form of internet media where people create and share information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. E.g. facebook, twitter etc.
IMPACT OF MEDIA
Positive impact of media on society
· The masses gets the latest news or information regarding the events happening in the country or all around the world within a fraction of seconds while sitting anywhere around the world as the distance id not at all a barrier now.
· Media gives the common man a platform to exchange their thoughts and ideas.
· Media persuades people to actively participate in social issues and present their views openly through blogging in the internet, writing letters to the newspaper etc. which makes it a two way communication process.
· Media gives voice to the opinions of the masses in different political and social matters.
Negative impact of media on society
· Media moulds the decision making power of an individual and influence the purchase decision of the consumer.
· Media offers entertainment, culture, news, sports, education and much more as they are important part of an individual’s life. But some of what they offer may not be suitable for children but still they are exposed to such things through media.
· Media is making violence increasingly more popular as the movie plots or television programs often revolve around violence which increases the probability of the children becoming more aggressive.
· People usually imitate their role models without distinguishing between what is right or wrong. This results in blind imitation of what is shown over media.
· Now a day people are spending major time of their lives in front of a television or surfing the internet which affects the physical well being of an individual to a major extent.
The impact and power of media on our lives is tremendous. Now we cannot even imagine our lives without reading newspaper or switching from one channel to another on our television screens.
In today’s modern world media has become almost as necessary as food and clothing. The media has power to educate and influence the psychology of the consumers. However consumers must ensure the information circulated to them through media is accurate and not one sided by looking at its contents critically and evaluating what is right or wrong for them.