Medium which is the singular for MEDIA is referred to as communication pathways by which information such as messages, news, videos and other forms of data are passed from the sender to receiver.
As we all know, Information is dynamic and unique to its target audience therefore it may vary in different forms such as physical (newspapers, billboards etc.) and online forms.
Media is generally referred to as all means of communication and since our society thrives on disseminating of information to function efficiently thus everything ranging from a WhatsApp post to newspaper headlines all describes the diverse channels through which information moves.
Different types of media
Media can be divided in two primary groups:
- The Print.
- The Broadcast. (Including the internet)
Print Media is known as the oldest form of media. It consists of a wide range of different forms of prints such as papers, diaries, magazines, books and reports. It still remains the most established type of media enduring even the development of the internet as it is still the most accessible and widely utilized by a significant extent of the populace.
Broadcast Media refers to channels through which media is broadcast to the general public. They include the radio, television, internet, audio podcasts, and video etc. Broadcast media includes different media channels or broadcasters such as the television, internet, audio podcasts, video content, and others. It is commonly used for marketing and advertising to create a more significant impact on the public.
Broadcast media came into prominence in the late 20th century and has since become a preferred source by the public for dissemination of information even though specialists foresee that very soon online sources will dominate.
The internet which is also known as world wide web (www) is a large system of interconnected networks. The first network called ARPANET (Advanced Research Project Agency NETwork) was first launched in 1969 as a research project sponsored by the United States Department of Defense with the aim of creating an alternative means of communication apart from the telephone lines. In recent times the internet has emerged as a major source of information as a result of the popularity of smartphones and social media. Other internet media includes podcasts, websites, blogs and social media.
Social media can be referred to as programs, websites or networks that allow people to share information through an internet-based device such as smartphones, computers etc. It originated in 1977 with the launch of six degrees profile uploading service.
Other forms of social media began to gain popularity in the nineties these includes the Weblogs popularly known as blogs, Myspace and Google. Social media has continued to gain prominence in the advertising and marketing space as it has become a major tool for digital marketers and social media entrepreneurs.
Currently there are over 100 social media sites available for public use. The most prominent ones include Facebook, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and so much more
Media and Development
The role of the media in the society can never be overemphasized. Information, they say, is power. The Media can be a powerful tool to either make or mar a society. There are instances where remarkable changes occurred because of the media involvement.
The most current instance which I’m certain everyone can attest to. That is, the end SARS movement that occurred in 2020, here in Nigeria. That incident is a typical example of the impact of the media in a society. Because of the large publicity of that movement, the government had no other choice than to yield to the will of the people.
Another example, is the incident in Thi, a city in Vietnam. The city suffered from manufacturers who were constantly polluting the Thi Vai river. Because of the media involvement, the manufacturers were not only forced to stop polluting the river, they were also made to pay compensation to the affected businesses and residents. This shows how powerful an instrument of change, the media is.
Role of the Media in Development
It is the vital role of the media to publicize facts. This enables people to be better informed about happenings around them
The media is the mouthpiece of the people. As clearly stated in the two instances above, the media takes up the role of an intermediary between the people and the government.
The media provides criticism to ensure that information is thoroughly scrutinized.
The media puts power in check. Through investigation and examinations which holds decision makers accountable. These apply to all aspects of the media. It is through this information flow that ideas are formed, discussions and debates are raised. And these are crucial to the development of any society both politically, economically and socially.
Today, the media capacity have grown so big, it can not be overlooked. Especially with the influence of the social media, virtually anything is possible! The government should embrace the media and use it as a force for good. The media should be allowed to operate on it’s own. The government should put everything in place for the media to flourish, because through it comes, transparency, better government, improved standard of living and better living conditions. The media is the people and when the people are happy, the nation is better.
Negative Impact of the Media in the Society
The Media is an ocean of Information where different contents flows in and spread to various channels. Information of different sources, some verified and non-verified, some valid and invalid. This has misled various people whose major source of information is the Media.
The media and its negative influential effect on the masses have increased exponentially in the past five decades.
Everybody publishes whatever they want. Fake news websites are broadly common, publishing lies and fabricated news. While there are obviously many great benefits to the growth of the media, there are some undeniable and harsh disadvantages. Health, social and psychological issues arise from wrong use of the media.
Depression and low self-esteem
According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), 80% of women are unhappy with their appearance and approximately 45% are dieting on any given day, which is contributing to rise in eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression among women in the United State (NEDA).
Wrong use of the media is largely responsible for negative influence on people’s lives because it is developing dissatisfaction of body shapes and figures. What is constantly depicted as beautiful on social media is oftentimes wrong. Because people so model their lives based on social media, they start doing a lot of things to get that perfect figure.
In extreme cases, they suffer from anorexia and bulimia disorders.
Body Image is all about how you feel about your body. Stereotypes obsession formed by media that include hyper thin, tanned women particularly is damaging to society. Although negative impact of media has proven on women, but these images used to influence men also.
Men are also struggling with media influence to be bigger and more muscular and more aggressive. Showbiz Magazines and their online websites are also contributing to the negative body image problems.
The media, especially social media have been greatly abused. This abuse have lead to addiction among young people especially. And this have caused enormous harm on relationships with friends and family.
These problems caused by the media can be minimized when we minimized the way we attribute what we see on the media to our everyday lives.
Also let us ensure we only get our information from verified and reliable source not just random surfing of the internet. Lastly let’s not live our lives or give preferences based on what we see on media.