Massmedia have existed as long as mankind itself. But it took quite a long time to reach their present hi-technology. There always been a need to exchange news and messages among people. Developments in technology over the past few years have led to a revolution in the field of information, never before has so much information been able to be produced, stored, used and communicated so quickly and efficiently. By mass media we mean those means of communication which reach large or “mass” audiences: the press, radio and television are probably the most important and well known means of communication today.
We have newspapers of various size and format. In Britain they are referred to as “broadsheets” (large sheet) and “tabloids” (small sheet). The broadsheets are known as quality newspapers and the tabloids are called popular. Quality papers are read by those readers who expect to find serious news. The popular papers (or gutter press) is relatively poor when compared to that of the quality paper. They contain a high number of features about stars, sports and celebrities.
Typical sections found in newspapers are leader of editorial, news reports, feature articles, international news, political commentaries, cartoons, sports reports…
Modern life is closely connected with radio and television as sources of information, entertainment or just background noise. Radio and television can be divided into two categories: commercial and non-commercial. Commercial stations are supported by charging money to companies that would like their good or services advertised on the stations. Non-commercial stations, on the other hand don’t advertise products, are financed from state budget or supported by donations, grants or private organizations.
Programmes in television cater for viewers of different age groups, interests, educational background. We have programmes whose aim is to entertain – chat, shows, quiz shows, comedies, cartoons, sitcoms, serials, soap operas and those which want to inform and educate people – documentaries, wildlife programmes, nature programme, the news with weather forecast, plays, and dramas.
All the main newspapers and magazines how have websites as do TV and radio stations. These new media are starting to get similar numbers of readers as the old media.