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What Is Media?

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Basics on the topic 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. Find out more about media with this video!

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 look at or watch? 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 films and programmes. 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. Maybe there was a festival at your school. Let's use this as an example to think about how events can be reported in different ways. Each medium reports about it differently. On the radio, you may hear an interview with your head teacher. In the newspaper, you see a photo of a runaway goat that ate all of 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!

What Is Media? exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video What Is Media?.
  • Can you find all of the forms of media?

    Hints

    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.

    Some forms of media are electronic devices, some are not.

    Solution

    There are many types of media:

    • the telephone
    • the smartphone
    • the radio
    • letters
    • the Internet
    • the newspaper
    • the television
  • How can we use media?

    Hints

    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 use in or borrow from a library?

    Solution

    Each type of media is used for different things.
    Books can be used for fiction and non-fiction reading and research.
    Smartphones can be used to send messages, access the Internet and take pictures.
    The radio can be used for listening to weather forecasts and news reports.

  • Understanding media.

    Hints

    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?

    Solution

    Media is a means of communication. Through media we get information and then we can form our own opinion on a subject.

    Media that is aimed at a large number of people is called mass media. Examples of this type of media are television or newspaper.

    Personal devices are another form of media. You can use smartphones and tablets to listen, watch and participate in media.

  • Staying informed with media.

    Hints

    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?

    Solution

    True:

    1. Consume a variety of media from different sources and of different forms, like print, digital or radio.
    2. Ask questions 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.
    False:
    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 Internet and social media.

  • What is mass media?

    Hints

    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.

    Solution

    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.

    Hints

    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?

    Solution

    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.