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What Is Media?

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Basics on the topic What Is Media?

Media – a definition for primary school children

People have always enjoyed exchanging information with one another. Nowadays, there are many ways to do so.

This exchange of information is called communication. For example, if you want to invite friends who live far away to your birthday party, you can either write them an invitation card, call them, or email them. Telephone, letter, and email are all media and means of communication. Therefore, they help us to transmit or receive a message to/from others. All means of communication together are called media**.

What types of media are there?

Sometimes the already mentioned means of communication are not enough. If a researcher, for example, has made a great discovery, it would be too tedious to individually call all people around the world. This is where the so-called mass media come into play. These are print media like newspapers or digital media like television. Through these channels, a researcher can reach many people at the same time and report, for example, on previously undiscovered species of animals. Then, all people interested in the subject can access this newspaper article or television report to see what the researcher discovered. This makes it very easy and convenient to access or share information.

And what are new media, social media, and *digital media? These are all communication methods that exist on the internet because they have not been around as long as pen and paper. You may have already heard of them in social studies lessons in elementary school or from older siblings. This includes internet services** like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more, which help you to exchange with your friends online and share information. The following picture shows you all the current media at a glance:

SEO_26148_26502_Media.svg

The history of media – overview

The variety of ways to get in touch with others did not always exist, as it does today. Since there was not even a phone or television in the past, people had to come up with other ways to exchange information.

From the Stone Age on, neighboring villages communicated with each other through drums or smoke signals. Through common codes which they agreed on, the inhabitants knew what the message meant, depending on the rhythm of the music or the sequence of short and long smoke signals. They could warn against wild animals, for example.

In the Middle Ages, although there was already writing, usually only priests and nobles could read and write, so letters were not a suitable means of communication for everyone. At that time, people found out about news from traveling merchants.

In the 17th century, there were already individual stagecoaches. However, important news was still announced by the "announcer".

In the 19th century, a new medium was invented: telegraphy. It was the forerunner of today's phone. Short messages could be sent electronically from one telegraph pole to the next via Morse signals made up of dots, dashes, and pauses. That, however, was very expensive and time-consuming.

Today we have a variety of media available. Depending on the occasion or situation, we choose one or the other means of communication.

When to use which medium?

When considering which means of communication to use, you can ask yourself the following questions:

-> How many people do I want to reach?

-> Am I close to the other person, or are they strangers to me?

-> Is the information confidential or public?

-> How quickly do I need a response?

If you want to reach many people or need to contact an official authority, a formal email is suitable. On the other hand, a phone call is practical if you need an immediate response or want to talk about personal matters. And letters are mainly sent to older people today or for special occasions like birthdays.

Frequently Asked Questions about What are media?

What is media? — Elementary School
What does the term media include?
What is media – examples?
What different types of media are there?
What is new media?
What is online media?
What is audiovisual media?
What is traditional media?
What is analog media?
What are the tasks of the media?

Transcript What Is Media?

Have you used any media today? Maybe you just made a phone call with your smartphone, played a game, or watched an educational video? But have you ever asked yourself "What is Media?" Let's explore this question together. There are SO many different types of media. For example a smartphone, a book, a radio, a magazine, a television, or a tablet. Which of these media can you use to listen to something? And which do you use to watch something? If you need some more time to think about it, click the pause button. Let's sort together now. With the radio, ... you can LISTEN to something. The book and the magazine are media you can LOOK at. With the TV, you can mainly WATCH movies or shows. And what about the smartphone and the tablet? You can use them to WATCH something, but also to LISTEN to it. But that's not all: You can also use the devices to PARTICIPATE: Play games, write something, or take photos. So media can be used in different ways. Did you know that the word "media" comes from the Latin word "medium" which means "the middle" or "the mediator". A medium can transmit, or send, one or more pieces of information from one person to another. For example, a text message on your smartphone reaches a very specific person. That could be your best friend. Or a very specific group of people. For example, your birthday guests! But there is also media that reaches MANY people. This is mass media. It is aimed at a large number of people, or more precisely, at MASSES of people: This can be the television, ... the newspaper, or the Internet. Media, then, is the medium by which information is shared. The information can be pictures, ... texts, or ... sounds. Sometimes it is ONLY sounds, sometimes sounds AND pictures. And other times sounds, texts AND pictures together. You can say media also is a "means of communication". Through them, we get information, and then we can form our opinion on a subject. Let's take a report about the school festival at your school as an example. Each medium reports about it differently. On the radio, you hear an interview with your school principal. In the newspaper, you see a photo of a runaway goat that ate all the textbooks at the school festival. And on television, you see a report in which you learn how many books the goat has eaten. So you can find out about the festival in different ways and then form your own opinion. Forming an opinion is VERY important. Everyone is allowed to express their opinion FREELY. This is an important basic right in a democracy. Therefore always look and listen carefully at media, inform yourself, ... question what you hear, read and see... and THEN form your OWN opinion!

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    From Allison, 5 months ago
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What Is Media? exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video What Is Media?.
  • Can you find all of the forms of media?

    Hints

    We use media in our day-to-day lives for communication and entertainment (amongst other things). You may even be using a type of media now.

    Can you see any types of media you've used today?

    Remember, there are many different types of media. We can use media to communicate through listening, watching, or participating.

    Solution

    There are many types of media.
    *Telephones
    *Smartphones
    *Radio
    *Letters
    *The Internet
    *Newspaper
    *Television
    All means of communication together are called media.

  • How can we use media?

    Hints

    Which type of media allows you to communicate with other people? Can you communicate back and forth with someone using the radio or a book?

    Listening is the only option available for one of these media. Which media type is this?

    What type of media are you able to check out from a library to take home and read?

    Solution

    Each type of media is used for different things.
    Books can be used for fiction and nonfiction reading and research.
    Smartphones can be used to send messages, access the Internet, and even take pictures.
    The radio can be used for listening to weather forecasts and news reports.

  • Understanding media

    Hints

    Communication is a way of sharing information. Opinions are the way we feel about a topic.

    Only certain types of media can be used to communicate with others. Think about it, which two types of media allow you to send messages or participate in media?

    What does the word mass mean? A small group or a large group?

    Solution
    1. Media is a means of communication. Through media we get information, and then we can form our own opinion on a subject.
    2. Media that is aimed at a large number of people is called mass media. Examples of this type of media are television or newspaper.
    3. Personal devices are another form of media. You can use smartphones and tablets to listen, watch, and participate in media.
  • Staying informed with media

    Hints

    Why is it important to do your own research before forming an opinion about a topic?

    Why is it important to read more than just the title or headline of print or digital news media?

    Solution

    True:

    1. Consume a variety of media from different sources and of different forms, like print, digital, or radio.
    2. Ask questions about and do your own research on what you see and hear in the media.
    3. Look and listen carefully at media, inform yourself, and then form your own opinion.
    False:
    1. Before forming an opinion, read only the title or headline of print or digital news media. Before forming an opinion on a topic, readers should read the entire article.
    2. Believe everything you read on the Internet and on social media. It's important that you do your own research, from a variety of sources when it comes to a topic that's being presented on the web and social media.

  • What is mass media?

    Hints

    Why is it called mass media? What does the word mass mean?

    Media that reaches a large audience is known as mass media. A TV can show the news to many people at once.

    What are some other examples of mass media?

    Communication that is only meant for one or two people are personal. They don't reach a large audience and are not mass media.

    Solution

    Television, radio, newspaper, and the Internet are all examples of mass media.
    Media that reaches a large audience is known as mass media.

  • Nari needs help with his media project.

    Hints

    First, look at the "Types of Media" in the pink box.

    Which is not a type of media?

    Next, look at the green and purple boxes. Two of these are not true.

    What types of mass media can you watch? Can you watch the radio?

    Finally, look at the pink box that says "Mass Media." All of these are media but two of them are not mass media.

    Which two are personal and do not go to a large amount of people?

    Solution

    Nari made a few mistakes in his project. Nari included this incorrect information:

    1. School is not a type of media.
    2. You cannot watch the radio to learn more about what’s going on in your community. You can only listen to this type of media.
    3. You should question what you read and see in the newspaper. Questioning what you read and see in the newspaper is important so that you can form your own opinions about a topic.
    4. Text messages to your friends and are not mass media because they are not sent to a large group of people.
    5. Birthday party invitations are also not mass media because they are not sent to a large group of people.