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What Is Media?


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Team Digital

Basics on the topic What Is Media?


Media – a definition for elementary school children

People have always liked to exchange ideas with others. There are a lot of ways to do that these days. This exchange of information is called communication. If you e.g. For example, if you want to invite friends who live further away to your birthday, you can either write them an invitation card, call them, or send them an email. Telephone, letter and e-mail are all mediums and means of communication. So you help us send or receive a message to others. All means of communication together are called media.

What types of media are there?

Sometimes, however, the means of communication already mentioned are not sufficient. For example, if a researcher has made a great discovery, it would be too difficult to call all people around the world one by one. This is where the so-called mass media come into play. These are print media such as newspapers or digital media such as television. A researcher can use these channels to reach many people at the same time and, for example, report on previously undiscovered animal species. All people who are interested in the topic can then access this newspaper article or television report. This makes it very easy and convenient to access and share information. And what are new media, social media and digital media? This is the name of all types of communication that work over the Internet, because it hasn't been around as long as paper and pencil. You may have heard of them be it in elementary school science or about older siblings. This means Internet services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp and Co., which you can use to exchange information with your friends online and share information. In the following image you can see an overview of all of today's media:

The history of the media – an overview

But there is such a variety of ways of getting in contact with others not always given. Since there wasn't even a telephone or television in the past, people had to find other ways of communicating. In the Stone Age, neighboring villages communicated with each other via drums or smoke signals, for example. By means of agreed codes, the residents then knew what the message meant, depending on the rhythm of the music or the sequence of short and long smoke signals. For example, they could warn each other about wild animals. In the Middle Ages there was already writing, but mostly only clergy and nobles could read and write, so that letters were not yet a suitable means of communication for everyone. In order to find out news, people in those days asked traveling traders. In 17. In the 19th century there were already a few stagecoaches. But the "crier" still announced important news. In 19. In the 19th century a new medium was invented, telegraphy. It was the forerunner of today's telephone. With the help of Morse signals from points, Dashes and pauses could be used to send short messages to the nearest telegraph pole. However, this was very complex and expensive. In the present, i.e. today, we have a large number of media at our disposal. Depending on the occasion and situation, we choose one or the other means of communication.

When do I use which medium?

When you think about which means of communication you want 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 is she a stranger to me? -> Is the information confidential or public? -> How soon do I need an answer? If you want to reach many people or need to contact an official body, a factual e-mail is a good idea. A phone call, on the other hand, is useful if you need an immediate answer or want to talk about personal things. And letters are now mainly sent to older people or on special occasions such as birthdays.

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!

  1. verry cool

    From Michael, before 2 days
  2. cool

    From Michael, before 2 days
  3. it was cool

    From Eian, before about 1 month
  4. Its so boring more entertaining like robots or Minecraft

    From Addy, before 4 months

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?


    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.


    There are many types of media.
    *The Internet
    All means of communication together are called media.

  • How can we use media?


    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?


    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


    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?

    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


    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?



    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.
    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?


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

    Media that reaches a large audience is known as mass media. Which of these media examples will reach a large audience or many people at the same time?

    Some media, like texts and letters, are personal and don't reach a large audience. These types of media are only for the individual recipient.


    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.


    There are five errors in Nari's project. Can you find all of the errors?

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

    Remember, all means of communication together are called media. We can use media to share ideas. We can learn new things at school, but is school a type of media?


    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.