Newspapers, radio, magazines, the Internet, and television are all examples of mass media. Mass media can be divided into three broad categories: commercial, non-commercial, and educational.
Commercial mass media include newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV. These are all profit making organizations that seek to attract readers, viewers, and listeners by offering them products or services they want or need. Some companies make money by selling advertising space while others make money by charging subscription fees or selling merchandise.
Non-commercial mass media include scientific journals, academic books, and research reports. They are usually funded by governments, charitable organizations, or private individuals. Their main purpose is to spread knowledge and understanding about topics that are important to society as a whole rather than appeal to consumer interest alone.
Educational mass media include movies, music albums, and plays. They can also be referred to as art forms because they aim to inspire people by using visual or aural elements. Although they may not be considered "real media," they have the potential to influence public opinion just like newspapers, radio, and television.
Mass media can also be defined as a group of technologies that allow for the transmission of information and ideas from one place to another.
Traditional and modern media are the two categories of mass media. Newspapers, magazines, television, literature, radio, and film are examples of these. This is "digital" media, or any type of material that can be accessed electronically. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are also forms of digital media.
Newspapers are still widely read throughout the world, and there are many different kinds including international newspapers which cover news from all over the globe. Daily newspapers print an edition at around noon and evening editions sometimes called "midday papers" because they are printed before most people have eaten breakfast. Weekly newspapers publish on a weekly basis and monthly newspapers include information about events for each month of the year. Newspapers are available everywhere in some form, even in developing countries where people often read them online.
Magazines are published regularly and contain articles on various topics. Some magazines are general interest while others focus more specifically on sports, music, or fashion. Women's magazines usually feature articles on how to live a successful life, with food, home decorating, and beauty products featured prominently. Men's magazines tend to focus more on sports and entertainment.
TV is by far the most popular form of digital media. Worldwide, nearly everyone has access to TV channels with programs designed to entertain or inform.
Television, radio, film, newspapers, magazines, and web sites are all examples of mass media in the United States. American media companies are often worldwide leaders, producing significant revenues while facing stiff competition in many regions of the world.
The U.S. government has a long history of involvement in mass media. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was created in 1914 to protect consumers against fraud and unfair business practices in the marketing of products ranging from soap to stocks. In 1978, the FTC issued its first television regulation, requiring that television advertisements for weight-loss programs include information on nutrition and health issues related to obesity. Since then, the commission has issued additional regulations governing advertising during television, radio, online, and mobile phone services.
In addition to enforcing federal trade law, the FTC conducts investigations to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to file suit against any company it believes may have violated it. If so, it seeks to obtain restitution for victims and order changes to prevent future violations.
Federal agencies also engage in mass media production. The Department of Defense (DOD) produces numerous films and educational videos about its activities for distribution to military bases and schools around the world. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) publishes books and journals for distribution to news organizations, universities, and individuals with interests in CIA activities.