Mass media is media that is intended for a large audience. It may take the form of broadcastmedia, as in the case of television and radio, or print media, like newspapers and magazines. Internet media can also attain mass media status, and many media outlets maintain a web presence to take advantage of the ready availability of Internet in many regions of the world. Some people also refer to it as the “mainstream media,” referencing the fact that it tends to stick to prominent stories which will be of interest to a general audience, sometimes ignoring controversial breaking news. Many people around the world rely on this form of media for news and entertainment, and globally, it is a huge industry.
Usually, mass media aims to reach a very large market, such as the entire population of a country. By contrast, local media covers a much smaller population and area, focusing on regional news of interest, while specialty media is provided for particular demographic groups. Some local media outlets that cover state or provincial news may rise to prominence thanks to their investigative journalism, and to the clout that their particular regions have in national politics. The Guardian, formerly known as the Manchester Guardian, for example, is a nationally-respected paper in England that started as a regional daily.
Print media refers to publications that are distributed in a printed form on paper, such as newspapers, which must be delivered to customers in physical form either through hand delivery or physical purchase.
Print media is one of the most common ways for people to stay informed about current events, technology and other special interests.
Print media is extremely varied in terms of what sorts of topics are covered; normal newspapers typically report relevant current events, but other periodicals may be printed purely for entertainment or made for a specific interest, such as fashion, fitness or a certain sport.
Print media is relatively cheap and does not require access to technology, such as a computer, to use. Periodicals and magazines are also extremely portable.
Digital media, such as Internet news and video websites, present a stiff source of competition to print media.
The importance of print media may decline in the future due to the rise of mobile technology and the Internet which allow users to access news and other information from remote locations on demand.