Types of Mass Media

12 minute read

Media is a vehicle or means of communication that disseminates information from the source to the target public. Any media intended for a larger audience is called Mass Media. From pictorial representations at an early age, massive production of newspapers, and fancy videos on television to high-tech media combining the Internet and computers, there are variations in the type of mass media. Being the prime source of information, entertainment, marketing, advertising media, and motivation for everyone and everywhere in the world, you will, through this blog, learn about the different types of mass media, and tools of mass communication; and how they influence us!

What is Mass Media?

To put it simply, Mass Media can be defined as a technology which is intended to communicate or reach a mass audience. Mass media is the primary means of communication for the general public to communicate with each other as well on a grander level. The most popular types of mass media include Newspapers, Radio, Television, Internet, Magazines and more!

What is Mass Communication?

Mass Communication refers to the process of disseminating and exchanging information through diverse media platforms to reach the masses. Mass Communication is different from Mass Media because various forms of mass media like TV, Radio, the Internet, Print Media, Outdoor Media, etc. are used to facilitate mass communication, i.e. communicate certain information to the masses. These are also different tools of mass communication, that help communicate to a larger audience.

The most common types of Mass Communication are:

  • Journalism
  • Social Media
  • Films
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Books, Magazines, Newspapers and Journals
  • Photography
  • Audio Media like Community Radio, Podcasts
  • Interactive Media like websites, video games, digital ads, etc.

Why is Mass Media Important?

Mass media is a vital part of our daily lives and includes your favourite movies on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video; news on TV and radio, and articles in newspapers and magazines. Brands employ a variety of channels to reach their leads and consumers and pitch their products because it has such a large global impact.

Companies use the media to assist them to run a continuous marathon to success. Brands engage with their target audience using conventional or digital media to increase brand recognition. To project a company’s image and build a solid reputation, business owners take into account a variety of platforms. Brands may successfully market their products and services through mass media, reach a wider audience, raise brand engagement, and enhance sales volume.

Functions of Mass Media

The general public is significantly impacted by mass media, whether it be in written, spoken, or broadcast form. Brands may raise their profile via social media, TV commercials, and outdoor advertising. Regarding branding, businesses look for the best platforms to communicate their message, including websites, social media platforms, blogs, and forums. These are some of the tools of mass communication. They may express their ideas and run branding campaigns after they choose the best kind of mass media outlet for their companies.

People are informed, educated, and entertained by the media in several ways. Users can be educated by brands on how to make the most of their products. Nowadays, most businesses discuss their greatest qualities and the issues their goods can address, and offer step-by-step instructions via social media platforms, blogs on their websites, and YouTube advertising.

Characteristics of Mass Media

Because of the advancements achieved over time, mass communication now has a far greater influence. Therefore, it’s important to understand the primary traits of mass media, which are as follows:

  • A large target audience may find it appealing; a public message is sent; there is a gap between the source of the information and the people who receive it;
  • It may be broadcast by a variety of media, including television, the Internet, radio, and newspapers;
  • It draws a diverse audience;
  • Television, radio, and print media cannot provide comments on news or information that has been distributed.

Advantages of Mass Media

There are numerous advantages of mass media in the contemporary world. From being the watchdog of a democratic country to ensuring faster communication, different types of mass media have various advantages and benefits such as:

  • Making Space for the Voice of Less Privileged
    Mass media plays an essential role in shining the spotlight on the masses as the general public can express their views and opinions freely. This way, it becomes the voice of the voiceless thus giving the right platform for the people to use their right to express themselves freely.
  • Effective and Wider Communication
    It is through different types of mass media from social media to digital platforms that the world has transformed into a global village. This way, mass communication has become useful for people, businesses, governments and the whole world to stay connected with each other.
  • Diffusion of Diverse Cultures
    Mass media also plays a colossal part in spreading arts and cultures to every nook and corner of the world. With the help of the internet, anyone can learn a new language, know about a different culture or even travel the whole world without physically going from one place to another.
  • Encyclopedia of Information
    The internet is truly a massive open source of information and different types of mass media from search engine platforms to social media platforms and learning websites play a greater role in helping anyone learn anything anywhere.

Apart from these, there are certain disadvantages of mass media such as the easier spread of fake news, compromised privacy, health issues, glamorizing censored content and topics, and the possibility of fraud and hacking, amongst others.

Examples of Mass Media

Whenever do you want to listen to your favourite music, watch the latest movie, an event or a cricket match, where do you go? While earlier, television was the only source, the modes of staying updated with the happenings around you have expanded. Here are the most common examples of Mass Media:

These sources of disseminating information and news are considered ‘mass media. It is a medium that is used to communicate with the masses or a large number of heterogeneous audiences with different kinds of information.

Functions of Mass Media

Mass media has been one of the most significant forces in modern culture. All types of mass media communication whether written, broadcast or spoken reach a larger audience thus creating a massive impact. Here are the important functions of Mass Media:

  • Mass media plays a crucial role in shaping how we view the world.
  • The intensive use of mass media has resulted in the world appearing smaller and closer.
  • It also promotes the distribution of goods and services.
  • The fundamental objectives of mass media are to inform, educate and entertain the masses.
  • It is known to be an important player in democracy and the smooth functioning of the nation.
  • The media is the watchdog of society.
  • Mass media works to transmit heritage and cultural values.
  • The rise of new mass media creates a global platform to bring people together.

Types of Mass Media

tools of mass communication

When it comes to the different forms of media, there are varied formats of modern media such as print media (newspapers, books, magazines), broadcast media (television, radio), digital media (internet) as well as video games, music, cell phones, films, amongst others. All these types of mass media comprise content as well as a device or object which is the medium for delivering the content.

There are 6 main types of Mass Media. These can also be described as tools of mass communication.

  1. Traditional Media
  2. Print Media
  3. Electronic/Broadcasting Media
  4. Outdoor Media or Out of Home Media (OOH)
  5. Transit Media
  6. Digital Media/New Media/Internet

Traditional Media

People have developed different ways of communication depending upon their local language and culture. Traditional media is one of the oldest types of mass media or tools of mass communication, to transfer traditions and culture over generations. The tools of communication have been developed from beliefs, customs, rituals, and practices of society. Traditional media has imparted indigenous ways of communication for ages. Further, this type of mass media varies per each culture and society as every culture has its mediums to communicate to its mass audience. Thus, the traditional media can be folk songs, dances, folktales and folklore as well as paintings, sculptures, stupas, statues and fairs, festivals, rural or community radio and announcement mediums like nagada, etc.

Study Hall

Forms of Traditional Media

  • Folk Dances
  • Folk Songs and Music
  • Theatre, Drama, and Folktales
  • Painting, Sculptures, Inscriptions, Statues, and Stupas
  • Motifs and Symbols
  • Announcements are made by beating drums or ‘nagada’
  • Shadow Puppetry and String Puppetry
  • Storytelling
  • Nautanki
  • Fairs and Festivals
  • Rural Radio

Print Media

Courtesy: Research Guides at New Jersey State Library

In simple words, Print Media is all about the printed form of information and news. Before the invention of the printing press, printed materials had to be hand-written, making mass distribution almost impossible. Print media is one of the basic types of mass media tools, or tools of mass communication, making it very popular and convenient to reach a wider audience. Newspapers are considered the oldest forms of mass media after the traditional mass media as for a long period, the general public relied on newspapers to know the latest happenings in their local areas as well as from around the world. Thus, print media originally referred to newspapers and then expanded to magazines, tabloids, promotional brochures, journals, books, novels and comics.

Forms of Print Media

  • Newspapers (broadsheet and tabloid)
  • Periodicals, Newsletters, and Magazines (general or specific interest)
  • Brochures, Leaflets and Pamphlets
  • Journals
  • Books, Novels and Comics

Electronic Broadcasting Media

tools of mass communication
Courtesy: Pinterest

Broadcasting, one of the tools of mass communication, is simply a distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience using the electronic broadcasting medium. Originally the term ‘broadcasting’ referred to the sowing of seeds on farms by scattering them over a large field. Broadcast media allows ease of news dissemination to even an illiterate person because it appeals to both the auditory and visual senses making it one of the most lucrative types of mass media. Centuries later after the newspapers were used as the original mass media, the advent of radio and television happened. Radio was the primary medium of news for the general public during wars as well as for sports and entertainment. When television was invented, it became the most effective type of mass media as it was primarily used for news dissemination and then for TV shows, live events and other entertainment purposes.

Forms of Broadcasting Media

  • Television
  • Radio (AM, FM, Pirate Radio, Terrestrial Radio, and Satellite)
  • Traditional Telephone
  • Film/Movie/Motion Picture
  • Video Games
  • Audio Recording and Reproduction

Outdoor Media

This is also known as OOH or Out-of-Home Media and is focused on transmitting information and news when the public is outside their home. Outdoor media gives importance to displaying advertising and attracting individuals towards new products, some social cause or any development or change in society. These are prominent in brand promotion seen on buildings, streets, electric polls, roadside, vehicles, screens, Android or Windows kiosks, etc. This is one of the most prominent types of mass media used for commercial as well as public welfare advertising and mainly includes billboards, banners, posters, brochure distribution, Com Park Advertising, and Wallscape, amongst others!

tools of mass communication
Interactive Billboard
Courtesy: Pinterest

Forms of Outdoor Media

  • Billboards or Bulletins
  • Inflatable Billboards
  • Mobile Billboards
  • Banner
  • Lamppost Banners
  • Posters
  • Signs and Placards
  • Blimps, Skywriting
  • Brochure distribution
  • compare Advertising
  • Wallscape

Transit Media

Transit Media revolves around the concept of advertising and information dissemination when consumers are “on the go” in public places or transit. These include display advertising on vehicles and transportation. With the aim of “driving home, a message” transit media is significantly used for massive brand promotion to millions of people who travel the country’s streets and highways every day.

Some people might think that this type of mass media is outdated or ineffective, yet it is widely visible on the sides of buses, in subway cars, and at transit stations where passengers enter or disembark from public transportation.

Forms of Transit Media

  • Bus Advertising
  • Railway Advertising
  • Taxi Advertising
  • Transit Shelter Advertising

New Media or Digital Media

Courtesy: Digital Resource

Since the invention of the World Wide Web by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, the Internet has drastically taken over all types of mass media because of its faster dissemination speed and higher digital technology. New Media is an interactive two-way communication and one of the tools of mass communication, with users being the active producers of content and information. The Internet is considered a highly interactive mass medium and can be simply defined as the “network of networks”. It has quickly transformed into the centre of mass media as it has marvellously integrated all the prominent types of mass media. Now, you can see news websites, broadcasted TV shows as well as listen to online radio using the internet and this is also called the convergence of mass media!

New Media is normally a re-conceptualization of the existing media. This is a rapidly growing mass media with the ease of accessibility with a computer and an Internet connection (broadband or WiFi). From Story Writing and Graphic design to Multimedia and Animation, pursuing a career in this field can be highly advantageous.

Forms of Digital Media

  • Websites
  • Emails
  • Social Media and Social Networking Sites (SNS)
  • Webcast and Podcast
  • Blogging and Vlogging
  • IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)
  • E-forums and E-books
  • E-commerce and M-commerce
  • Digital Videos
  • Computer Animation
  • Digital Video Games
  • Human-Computer Interface
  • Virtual World & Virtual Reality

Types of Mass Communication Courses

Mass Communication is emerging as one of the most popular disciplines in the digital era and there are numerous diplomas, bachelor’s and master’s courses which are offered in this specialisation. Here is the complete list of Mass Communication Courses:

Mass Communication CoursesDuration
Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication2 years
Diploma in Media Studies3 years
Bachelor of Mass Communication3 years
BJMC (Bachelor of Journalism & Mass Communication)3 years
Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication3 years
Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM)3 years
BA Journalism and Mass Communication3 years
MA in Journalism and Mass Communication2 years
MA in Mass Communication2 years
PG Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication2 years
PG Diploma in TV Journalism & Communication1-2 years

Mass Media Communication Careers

Mass Media and Mass Communication are among the most trending careers in the digital world. By pursuing a degree in any of the tools of mass communication or different types of mass media, such as Journalism, Corporate Communication, TV Production, etc. you can explore lucrative high-paying careers in this vast domain. Here are the most popular jobs in different types of Mass Media Communication:

Types of Mass Media - Careers
Choose your type of Mass Media and Mass Communication career!

Explore more

Barriers of Communication: Communication, Effective Ways to Improve Communication
Types, Methods and Modes of Communication
Masters in Mass Communication
BJMC (Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication)
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How many types of mass media are there?

There are different types of mass media such as Print Media, Digital Media, Broadcast Media, and New Media, amongst others. For example Films, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio, CDs, Video Games, Advertisements, etc.

What are the 4 types of media?

The 4 types of media are:
Print Media (Newspapers, Magazines)
Broadcast Media (TV, Radio)
Outdoor or Out of Home (OOH) Media.
Internet or Digital Media

What are the 3 major types of Mass Media?

The 3 kinds of Mass Media :
– Print Media
– News Media
– Broadcast Media

What is the Mass Media?

Media technologies that are designed to communicate with a large audience are known as Mass Media.

Which was India’s 1st TV channel?

Mass media came to India a little late in compresión with other western countries. The first TV channel was Doordarshan. It was launched by the state in the year 1991.

What is Mass Media also referred to as?

When individual plans on pursuing Mass Media academically, the courses offered by the universities fall under the name of Mass Communication. Thus, another name for Mass Media is Mass Communication.

Can we say that Traditional Media is better than Transit Media?

No, we cannot say that Traditional Media is better than Transit Media as both hold importance at different levels of communication. While TV and Radio ads are important home advertising is also essential.

What is the root is Mass Media?

The printing press is considered to be one of the main reasons for the development of Mass Media. 

What are the top Mass Media courses?

-Bachelor of Journalism
-Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication
-Master of Journalism

The scope of career opportunities in all these types of mass media/tools of mass communication is endless. Are you excited about a career in this field? Talk to our experts at Leverage Edu and transcend into an unmatched growth of success in the field of Mass Media Studies.  Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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