Journalism and mass media


Journalism and mass communication graduates work nationwide and worldwide at newspapers and magazines and in advertising, branding, broadcast news, social media, marketing, media research, photojournalism, publication design, public relations, radio, and other areas


Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities.Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. These elements not only separate journalism from other forms of communication, they are what make it indispensable to democratic societies. History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have.


  1. What is journalism?
  2. What makes journalism different than other forms of communication?
  3. What is the purpose of journalism?
  4. The elements of journalism
  5. What does a journalist do?
  6. The journalist as a ‘committed observer’
  7. The theory of the interlocking public
  8. Bias and objectivity
  9. The lost meaning of ‘objectivity’
  10. Understanding bias

1.What is journalism?

Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. … Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices.

2. What makes journalism different than other forms of communication?

The vast majority of this communication, however, is not news and especially not journalism. Almost 70 percent of email traffic is spam, according to web security company Symantec. In 2012, there were an average of 175 million tweets each day. But almost all – 99% — consisted of “pointless babble,” according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

3. What is the purpose of journalism?

“The purpose of journalism,” write Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in The Elements of Journalism, “is not defined by technology, nor by journalists or the techniques they employ.” Rather, “the principles and purpose of journalism are defined by something more basic: the function news plays in the lives of people.”

4. The elements of journalism?

In their book The Elements of Journalism, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel identify the essential principles and practices of journalism. Here are 10 elements common to good journalism, drawn from the book.

5. What does a journalist do?

Asking who is a journalist is the wrong question, because journalism can be produced by anyone.At the same time, merely engaging in journalistic-like activity – snapping a cell-phone picture at the scene of a fire or creating a blog site for news and comment – does not by itself produce a journalistic product. Though it can and sometimes does, there is a distinction between the act of journalism and the end result.

6. The journalist as a ‘committed observer’

Gil Thelen, the former publisher and president of The Tampa Tribune, believes the journalist has a very specific role in society. He calls it the “committed observer.” What he means by that, Thelen explains, is that the journalist is not removed from community, though at times may stand apart from others so as to view things from a different perspective.

7. The theory of the interlocking public

The splintering of mass media audiences and the migration of information consumers to tens of thousands of niche web sites is further evidence that everyone is interested, and expert, in something. The diversity and magnitude of the public, in fact, is its strength. A mix of publics is usually much wiser than a public comprised of just the elite or one segment of special interest.

8. Bias and objectivity

Journalism attempts to be fair and accurate. It does this through objective methods and managing bias. The guides in this section help you understand and navigate those processes.

9. The lost meaning of ‘objectivity’

One of the great confusions about journalism, write Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in The Elements of Journalism, is the concept of objectivity. When the concept originally evolved, it was not meant to imply that journalists were free of bias. Quite the contrary. The term began to appear as part of journalism after the turn of the 20th century, particularly in the 1920s, out of a growing recognition that journalists were full of bias, often unconsciously. Objectivity called for journalists to develop a consistent method of testing information – a transparent approach to evidence – precisely so that personal and cultural biases would not undermine the accuracy of their work.

10. Understanding bias

For a time, “bias” was the term of choice to describe anything people hated about journalism, whether the power and influence of corporate news organizations to the choices reporters made in writing individual stories. In 2001, in fact, a book about media unfairness entitled “Bias” was number one on the New York Times bestseller list. In recent years the public seems to have adopted a more nuanced view of bias.  Perhaps this is because many critics have found their voice online – where studies confirm that half the blogs contain just the author’s opinion – or that one-sidedness has become a successful business model, as Fox News Channel and MSNBC have demonstrated.

What Is Mass Media?


Mass media is communication that is to a large group, or groups, of people in a short time (Mass Media, 2013, p. … This can be written, spoken or broadcast communication. Some of the most popular forms of mass media are newspapers, magazines, radio, advertisements, social media, television, Internet, and films/movies.

Mass Media:-

Think about this for a second: whenever you want to hear your favorite song, watch your favorite show, or see the latest current events, where do you go? You more than likely turn on your television, radio, or computer. The source that the majority of the general public uses to get their news and information from is considered mass media.Mass media means technology that is intended to reach a mass audience. It is the primary means of communication used to reach the vast majority of the general public. The most common platforms for mass media are newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet. The general public typically relies on the mass media to provide information regarding political issues, social issues, entertainment, and news in pop culture.

There are 6 main types of Mass Media:

  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

1. 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 to transfer traditions and culture over generations. The tools of communication have been developed from beliefs, customs, rituals, and practices of society. Traditional media imparts indigenous ways of communication for ages. Further, this type of mass media varied as per each culture and society as every culture has their own mediums to communicate to their 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.

Forms of Traditional Media

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

2. Print Media

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 that made mass distribution almost impossible. Print media is one of the basic types of mass media tools making it very popular and convenient to reach a wider audience. Newspapers are considered as the oldest forms of mass media after the traditional mass media as for a long period of time, 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 refers to newspapers and then expanded towards 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

3. Electronic/Broadcasting Media

Broadcasting 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 the 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

4. Outdoor Media or Out of Home Media (OOH)

This is also known as OOH or Out-of-Home Media and is focussed on transmitting information and news when the public is outside their home. Outdoor media gives importance to display advertising and attracting individuals towards new products, some social cause or any development or change in the society. These are prominent in brand promotion seen on buildings, streets, electric polls, roadside, vehicles, screens, 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, ComPark Advertising, Wallscape, amongst others!

Forms of Outdoor Media

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

5. Transit Media

Transit Media revolves around the concept of advertising and information dissemination when consumers are “on the go” in public places or in transit. These include display advertising on vehicles and transportation. With the aim “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, at transit stations where passengers enter or disembark from public transportation.

Forms of Transit Media

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

6. Digital Media/New Media/Internet

Since the invention of the World Wide Web by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, the Internet has drastically taken over all the types of mass media because of faster dissemination speed and higher digital technology. New Media is an interactive two-way communication with users being the active producers of content and information. The Internet is considered as a highly interactive mass medium and can be simply defined as the “network of networks”. It has quickly transformed as the centre of the 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 as 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 Designing 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

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