Free newspapers that fill up mailboxes; popular news site; radio, delighting with your favorite music - all these are the media, abbreviated as media. What is included in this concept, and how are modern media classified?
What is media: concept, decoding
Mass media (mass media) means any print or network publications, television and radio channels (or individual programs) or individual television and radio and video programs, as well as any other means of delivering information to a wide range of readers / viewers / listeners. In this case, the mass media is recognized as such subject to three conditions:
- frequency of release (at least once a year);
- the presence of a permanent name;
- targeting a mass audience (from 1000 people).
Mass media can also be called mass media (MCM), mass media, and their totality - media space.
Main types of media
All existing media are traditionally divided into five main groups.
- Print press. These are magazines, newspapers, almanacs and other periodicals that use traditional paper as a "information carrier". It is the oldest existing media type. It is believed that the first printed newspapers began to appear in China: as early as the 8th century, the Capital Bulletin was published here - a leaflet with the emperor's decrees and reports on the most important events. The release of the publication was laborious: the prototype of the page was cut out on a wooden board, after which the resulting "stamp" was covered with ink and made prints. In recent decades, there has been an active question of whether the print press has a future, or whether it will completely disappear under the onslaught of more modern electronic media. However, it is too early to talk about the imminent death of the press - people's trust in printed publications is higher than in what “is written on the Internet. And against the backdrop of a worldwide epidemic of fake news, the demand for traditional media as a source of "verified information" is growing. At the same time, as evidenced by the data of a study conducted by the sociological company Kantar in 2017, print newspapers and magazines are in the first place in terms of the “level of trust”.
- Radio. The specificity of this type of media is obvious: radio broadcasting technologies make it possible to transmit sound, moreover, in "real time", which ensures efficiency, allows for live dialogues, ensures interactivity, etc. At the same time, radio is the only modern media outlet that is not a "time eater": the process of obtaining information "through the ears" can be combined with any other occupation. The history of radio as a media goes back about a century, with regular and experimental radio broadcasts beginning in the early 1920s in many countries around the world. At the same time, the "radio content" was very diverse: concerts, gramophone records, literary readings and "radio plays" were broadcast live; reports from sports matches.
- Television is a technology that allows a moving image to be transmitted via electric waves, which is most often accompanied by sound. Television as a media is only slightly younger than radio - the first TV channel with regular broadcasting was launched in Germany in 1934. The "birthday" of television broadcasting in Russia is considered September 1, 1938, when the Experienced Leningrad Television Center began to air programs twice a week. We watched them collectively - in houses of culture and workers' clubs. The ability to support the story with the appropriate video sequence, to turn viewers into witnesses to the event, provided the television media with a huge credit of confidence. Television remains the most influential type of media today. According to a survey by the Public Opinion Foundation, in 2017 it was TV that was the main source of information for 78% of Russian citizens.
- News agencies, whose main task is to collect and transmit operational information to the editorial offices of the media, are not always classified as mass media. However, in accordance with the Russian law on mass media, they are subject to both the status of an editorial office and a distributor of information; and their work takes place in the same legal field as the work of other mass media. The first news agency appeared in Paris in 1835. It was discovered by Charles Havas. He started his information trading business by translating materials from foreign periodicals and selling them to influential French newspapers. The next step was the organization of a wide international correspondent network: Havas agents quickly transmitted messages by telegraph from their places of stay, and the local press willingly printed them. The first domestic information service, the Russian Telegraph Agency, was established in 1866. The agency sent information to subscribers 2-3 times a day, using the telegraph for this. Modern news agencies can distribute information of a wide variety of types (not only news, but also photos, video or audio recordings, etc.), using different distribution mechanisms - from their own media (for example, websites, print publications) to the traditional subscription scheme.
- Internet media. They are often called "electronic media", but this term cannot be called accurate - after all, both radio and television also use electronic technologies to transmit information. Internet media is a young and rapidly growing segment of the media. The first online publications appeared in the 90s, and by the beginning of the XXI century they seriously squeezed the traditional media out. The peculiarities of modern Internet media are extreme efficiency, interactivity and multimedia (that is, the transfer of information simultaneously in different forms - text, photo, video, audio, computer animation, etc.). Internet media can be very diverse - from electronic magazines to Internet radio stations or to personal blogs (they can also be registered as media). Some online publications are independent, some are a “mirror” of a media outlet in a different form (for example, the website of a print newspaper, where information published on paper is duplicated, or the website of a TV channel, where you can watch live programs or view records from the archive).
At the same time, many modern media cannot be rigidly attributed to one of the traditionally distinguished main types: convergent media are becoming more and more widespread, when the same editorial staff, working under a common brand or as part of a large media holding, "reaches the audience", simultaneously using different methods information transmission, both traditional and modern multimedia.
Classification of media by content and functions
The concept of any media, the principles of material selection, content, features of "presentation" are determined by its content orientation (main purpose). By this criterion, the following main types of mass media can be distinguished:
- Official. They are issued on behalf of government agencies or institutions, and one of their main functions is to convey certain information to a wide audience. For example, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, established by the Government of the Russian Federation, is the official publisher of state information, and the texts of all federal laws, regulations, etc. appear on its pages without fail. - in this case, the publication itself becomes an "official document".
- Social and political. In this case, the emphasis is on socially significant, socially oriented materials that affect the interests of a wide range of readers. Their function is not only to inform the public, but also to influence it; such publications can be openly propagandistic in nature.
- Information and entertainment. Their main task, as the name itself suggests, is to entertain the audience and take their leisure time. This class of media includes entertainment TV channels, and numerous print publications that print gossip about stars, and popular TV guides, and music radio stations.
- Cultural and educational media are focused on satisfying the demands of a more intellectual audience. These can be popular science projects, cultural or regional media outlets, literary critical almanacs, etc.
- Specialized. They target a specific segment of the audience (for example, car enthusiasts, young mothers, knitting enthusiasts, military personnel, subject teachers, computer games lovers), offering information that is relevant specifically for this category of people. Industry media are also included in this category.
- Advertising. The main function of such media is to disseminate information about the goods and services offered. Moreover, they can be both thematic, focused on those who, for example, are going to buy real estate, choose furniture or play a wedding, and for an indefinitely wide range of audience (for example, free classifieds newspapers).
In order to more accurately describe this or that media, a set of typological characteristics is used that allow classifying media according to the following parameters:
- by territorial coverage of the audience - national, regional and local (municipal), for example, federal (all-Russian) TV channel, city radio, municipal newspaper;
- by the regularity of the release / update or the volume of broadcasting - for example, a round-the-clock TV channel, a daily / weekly newspaper, a monthly updated Internet magazine, a quarterly almanac;
- by circulation (for print media) or audience size (for television, radio and Internet media);
- by the form of ownership - state, departmental, corporate, private.
The characteristics also include the characteristics of the target audience, the positioning of the publication and the peculiarities of the presentation of the material (“high-quality”, “mass”, “tabloid” media).