A few centuries ago people knew only a few kinds of communication. They could speak to each other, they could send their message from one place to another by smoke signals, they used mail. Later on, they also had some newspapers. The first expansion of media was when the radio and television were invented. The second and the biggest boom started in 1960s when the first communication satellite was launched into orbit.
There are 4 main means of mass communication: Newspapers, TV, Radio and the Internet. Today’s people take this as an ordinary thing and we don’t realise that we nearly can’t live without it. Media are very important for us. They give us big amount of information, so big that we can’t remember all that things. They help us to understand things and if you have lots of information you are able to make your own decisions. This is connected with education and media are very good teachers. They highly influence us. They can help other people – making charities… News aren’t always true, they are not objective or says just half true.
Our world is very huge and sending a message from America to Asia a hundred years ago was nearly impossible or it took a lot of time. Nowadays you can send the message in a few seconds and it is very simple. The media makes the world much smaller – particularly the TV and the Internet. When you turn on the TV or a computer you can see whole world like it would be in the next village. You can learn the culture and habits of other nationalities, you can see what they are doing right now. The world is also called ‘the global community village’.
There are not only good things about media. Firstly there is always some information that is not true. We have to be careful about it but when you listen to media for a long time you can find some companies which are nearly always true. Secondly, there is a danger of being influenced in a bad way (a lot of pornography on the Internet, lot of action films in TV. Thirdly – if you are a famous person the media very often take a very big piece of your privacy.
Newspapers are the oldest kind of communication but we can say that they are today quite old-fashioned. They are not flexible because when something happens you can’t read about it until the next day. You can read some newspapers on the Internet too. Newspapers still have their own magic. People are weary of looking in a box and it is very nice to buy newspapers, have a cup of coffee and a breakfast in the garden. Nobody is disturbing you. Everything is calm. It’s like magic.
Radio is the second oldest kind of media. Although we nowadays have TV, radio is still very popular. It has lots of advantages:
– you can take it nearly where you want (very popular in a car)
– because it is mostly used for listening to music it is very good for relaxing – just to lie down and listen to it (watching TV became tiring)
– it is very often used for a background sound; it can notify about events quicker than a TV
– at present the radio is very well developed so if you have a good receiver you are able to choose which kind of programs you like to listen to (PTY)
– you can also notify people about traffic jams and other events but not is spoken way but in words (RDS)
There are also some disadvantages to a TV – you can’t see the ‘moving pictures’
TV is maybe the most widespread media in cultivated countries. It is a media with the biggest strengths – it can influence us very much because of its ‘moving pictures’. With coming of communication satellites you can choose from variety programs (news, children’s programs, programs with lots of films…). They use lots of advertisements because they want to earn money (if the channel is more popular they earn more money). Some people say that it is needless to have so much adverts but I think that it is good because you can choose which product is the best for you. but it’s true that they sometimes lie and many of them are absolutely stupid.
Very huge, world-wide, very fast, lots of information – more than in TV, it costs a lot of money to have the Internet today because you have to pay the provider (he has the entrance to Internet) and you have to pay the telephone if you use modem, hard link costs at least 10 000 crowns a month… But you can find there everything if you know how to find it.