Media: Another word for mass communication


The world we live in now is a world of mass communication. Today we have access to more information than was ever possible before, thanks to radio, television, newspapers, and the internet. You can sum up all these means of gathering information in one word: Media. The means of instant communication for hundreds of millions of people every day, hour, and minute. Where else would you find the latest international news, financial information, or weather with the click of a mouse, touch of a remote control, or turning on of a radio? Media makes possible the means to be informed of who, what, where, and how is going on that instant. Even if you wanted to, its not possible in the world today to flee from information. Anywhere you go, its there. You just have to reach out and make the most of its potential in your life. Now, you may be asking yourself, "What exactly are these means of receiving information?". The answer is what this essay is dedicated to. Like the theme song from "Diff'rent Strokes" said: "It takes diff'rent strokes to move the world.".
Television
One of the largest contributors to mass communication is television, or better known as TV. About 97% of the United States has at least one TV in their home. At least 60% have two or more. This is a incredible way to reach millions of at one time. Examples of this includes Pres. Clinton's grand jury testimony, nightly news, and the Gulf and Vietnam Wars. Without TV, we would still be able to learn about these events, but not in the same clarity or context we are able to with it. On TV you can find anything that you may want to watch or learn. Sex. News. Government. Family. Drugs. International affairs. Its all on the TV for you to research, examine, and use.
The history of TV shows it hasn't always been this way. The name television comes from a Greek word meaning far and a Latin word meaning to see. Thus, television means literally "to see far". Many scientists helped the development of TV, and no one person can be called its inventor. Experiments began with TV in the 1800's, however, progress was slow, and broadcasting as we know it didn't begin until the 1920's. The BBC, CBS, and NBC were the leaders in this time of development. Unfortunately, WW 2 caused TV production to be dropped until after the war was over. But in 1951, TV stations sprang up all over the country. Americans became fascinated with the prospect of so many visual events in their homes. The demand for TV's became enormous. By the 60's , the amount of TV's in the US rose by over 600%. Today, the populous in the US as a near whole has at least one way of watching this broadcasting phenomenon.
Radio
One of the lesser talked about means of gathering information in this age of computers and big screen TV's is radio. Still a major factor in mass communications after 103 years, radio can still inform the masses when other means of communication is down from power outages resulting from storms and other catastrophes. However, like television, almost 90% of radio is reserved for entertainment. The other 10% is to provide some form of communication. On the other hand, radio is invaluable as a means of two-way communication. Without it, police, air pilots, ships, military, and civilians would all have to rely on different means to talk to one another.
Radio as a means of entertainment exploded in 1925, and lasted until the early 1950's, when TV started to take over. This period is often referred to as The Golden Age of Broadcasting. During this time, whole families would gather around the radio to listen to their favorite program. Children hurried home from school to hear programs specially designed for them. During the daytime, millions of women would listen to dramas called soap operas, because soap manufacturers sponsored the majority of them.
Even though it is mostly used for entertainment, radio is still a great way to get news. The reason being is that you don't have to be at your TV or computer to