What does broadcast media mean

Scientists tend to consider the different Mass media differentiate according to their distribution channels. Books, newspapers and magazines are often referred to as "print media", while radio and television are often referred to as "electronic" or "broadcast" media. Two other electronic distribution channels are also very important: "electronically recorded" media such as CDs, audio cassettes, videotapes and the like - they are electronic in nature but are sold in the same way as books - and "movies" which are similar to television but in own premises to be shown in "cinemas".

Telephones are electronic media, but are traditionally not counted among the "mass media" because they are mainly used in individual communication (communication from person to person). It is similar with computers. Computers, especially large computer networks, can potentially be used as mass communication media, but are still so new that nothing definite can be said about their use. Things are still developing here. Although they do not yet belong to a category of their own, they are often referred to as "new" media.

The following table shows the most common classification for the distribution channels of mass media. As mentioned earlier, the telephone and computer network have been omitted because they are used more in individual than mass communication today and become some of the channels that could have been cited - posters, leaflets, memorandums, film strips, slideshows and video games, for example not listed because they are not as much in the focus of the investigations as the primary media, although they are quite significant.


The distribution channel of a mass medium aims to create a "flow" of statements towards a specific audience. The next two sections deal with two important aspects of this media "flow".

Target audience
Some media are best suited to audiences made up of individuals, all of whom are more or less alone when the news arrives. Other media are more suitable for audiences that come together in groups.

Books, newspapers, magazines, and mail are commonly read by individuals. Films, on the other hand, are played in cinemas in which the audience can be found in relatively large groups. Radio, television, (video) tape recordings etc. are often heard and seen in group constellations, but these groups are usually smaller than the audience at a cinema show and all three media are also often used by individuals.

The relationship between the target audience and the transmission medium is particularly important for commercial media companies as they need to calculate the cost and effectiveness of their media products. In the case of print media, for example, the price of a book, newspaper or magazine plays a role in the decision of the reader whether or not to belong to the audience. Although many people like to read books, it was only the "paperback" that made the readership (audience) jump to today's size.

Media companies that use advertising to cover their costs must pay special attention to their target audience, as the advertisers are often interested in specific groups of people. For example, there is currently the following trend in magazines: an increase in the number of different magazines, each with a small target audience, which in turn is of interest to a specific group of advertisers.

Media access and availability
In order to receive messages over a particular mass communication medium, the addressees must have a connection to the end of the channel. Television is not available to people without a television; CDs are of no use to people without CD players, etc. The extent to which a potential audience can make use of a mass medium is called theirs Availability.

Availability encompasses more than the technical equipment. Language also plays a role, as does geographic location and income class. For example, a radio broadcast in Spanish is only available to those who speak Spanish. Likewise, print media is only available to those who can read and cable television is only available to those who can afford the monthly fee.

Under Media access one understands the extent to which the members of a society can themselves use a medium for sending their own statements. In relation to this, print media are more accessible than radio or television. For example, anyone who can write can print and distribute a flyer or newsletter at relatively low cost. Access to television and radio, on the other hand, is strictly regulated by the state. While there is the option, as with public cable television, making a video is still much more difficult and costly than printing text.

Newspapers and magazines typically provide public access through headings such as "Letter to the Editor" or "Reader Feedback". TV and radio news usually don't. Recently, however, radio and television shows with listeners or viewers have become popular, which gives a large number of people access to these media.

Access and availability have become increasingly important with the advent of cable television and the advent of new media traveling over computer networks. One could argue that our society's decision to make school compulsory for children has the effect that the important documents of our society will also affect them available be made. Similarly, our society's insistence that everyone learns to write and our belief in "freedom of the press" encourage citizens to do so Access to really look for and make use of the print media.

Given the trend that electronic media have begun to replace print media as the primary channel for public information, critics question whether this general availability and accessibility will continue to be guaranteed. State control of radio and television limits access to these media, and cable television is only available to those who can afford the relatively high connection fees.