Years back, the media was not a very famous tool. There was a deficiency in the sector and most people were ignorant concerning it. The media was surrounded by a lot of controversy due to the stereotype that the media gives misleading information. With the development and evolution in the technology, many people have changed their perceptions on the media and embraced it. The term media is defined in various ways, but generally, it refers to the ways of communicating information. Another definition is, a channel of communication, which serves various different purposes, such as entertaining the public, keeping people updated on the news and current affairs, or in advertisements. According to this definition, media includes television, radio, newspapers and most recently the internet, which is the most widely used in this age. Despite the success of the media industry, it has come from far. This paper highlights the evolution of the media, and how it has developed to the current position.
The invention of computer technology brought a very significant change in the communication industry. Computers are the most widely used medium of communication, which is with the internet. This has enhanced transfer of information around the globe. Mobile phone devices are also included in the definition of media. This is because; they are the most common communication devices. This has become famous with the invention of satellite technology. It is now possible to communicate information across the continents in seconds. This is just but an example since the term media refers to a wide range of communication tools. This includes the facsimiles and posted letter, though not commonly used today.
The media has evolved from an era that was characterized by newspapers as the only form of media to the current stage where we have many forms and more coming up each day. The printed form of media (newspaper) was used as a means of spreading information for a long time. This begun at around 59 B.C. when the Roman ruler (Julius Caesar) communicated information concerning politics and the social occurrence on large white boards. These were displayed in public places. In China, the newspaper was first written in the 8th century. This included hand written information concerning the country’s affairs. The modern newspaper however was first invented by Johann Gutenberg in 1447. He invented a printing press. This enabled free exchange of ideas. In the 17th century, the regular publications were established, though the press was highly suppressed by the authorities. The telegraph was invented in 1844 and this made it possible for news to be transferred from one place to another in a shorter time span. By the 19th Century, newspapers were the main source of news.
In the year 1920, the radio broadcast was invented and the newspapers had to adjust to this. The newspaper editors had to expand their scope of news coverage, since they were facing stiff competition from the radio broadcast. Before they were fully recovered, they were again hit by the invention of the television. This reduced drastically the newspaper’s market share. This however did not stop the newspaper from bring produced. They evolved so fit into the advancing technology. The evolution experienced in technology created new challenges for the “traditional media” which has bee forced to adapt to fit into the system.
The videocassette recorder came in the year 1956. Only the television broadcast houses were able to own these gadgets. Philips came up with the EL3400 1″ helical scan recorder, which was fit for domestic use and affordable enough to be owned by individuals. It was during this time also that cinemas were invented. The moving pictures aspect of cinemas was introduced by the “Edison company.” the film industry grew rapidly and color was introduced as it continued to evolve. “This industry has experienced tremendous changes, and the most recent one is the change from film imaging to digital imaging. The images are now produced through computer devices” (Niemi 2006). This makes them clearer and more accurate compared to the ones obtained from films.
Media comes in various kinds. This can be classified broadly into two categories. The first type is the visual media and the second one is the auditory media. Visual media is the type that is able to display images on a screen. This includes computers, televisions and projectors. Most of them are usually in a position to produce sound. However, it is also possible to get the information by reading it on the screen. This makes it the best form of media as it favors even the physically impaired. Auditory media on the other hand only has the audio part. One gets the information by listening. This is not so widely used compared to the visual media. Examples of such media include radios, Mp3 players and iPods. For a person who has a problem with hearing, auditory media is impossible to use.
The media comes with its advantages and disadvantages. One of the major advantages of the media is its educational value. A lot of information is available in the media. A good example is the internet. It takes a click of the mouse to get whatever information one needs from the internet. It is the most widely used tool in research. This is because of the convenience that it comes with. Of the disadvantages, the outstanding one is the harm that the media causes on health. The rays that are emitted from the screens are harmful to the eyes and the body cells in general. Research has it that the frequent use of media in this generation has led to the growth of cancer patients by a significant percentage. Most people spending a lot of time behind computers suffer from eye disorders, and frequent migraine.
The impacts of the Media on the society are diverse. The world we live in today is highly dependent on the media for everything. It is to blame for the violence being experienced in most families. Most people live by the standards that they get from the media. Little do they know that most of what they watch is just mere drama. “This has led to the suffering of relationships where everyone expects everyone else to be like the TV stars” (University of Queensland 1998). It has also led to the development of aggressive personalities. Most children programs nowadays are characterized by a lot of fighting. This makes children to develop the mindset of violence. Once a child develops this mindset, it grows in them as they grow. It leads to the coming up of a generation that only knows how to fight. This clearly explains the society that we live in today.
Our culture is also greatly affected by the media. “The media has facilitated the diffusion of cultures” (Burtina 2010). This is in relation to dressing habits, eating habits and general lifestyles of individuals. It is not possible to tell a person’s culture by just considering their way of life. This is because people have adopted other cultures that they learnt from the internet. This has brought about negative cultural practices especially as concerns families and relationships. “The personalities of most people, especially adolescents are shaped by the media” (Bens 2007). Most of these people have role models in the media industry that they want to emulate. This has led to a lot of conflict in behavior and personalities, and a lack in originality.
The other area that has been impacted by the media is politics. Politics is nowadays every body’s business, thanks to the media. The politics of the whole world are highlighted in the media, and this gives people the information of the happenings in the whole world. “Media provides powerful information in politics; it also covers agenda setting and message production” (Wheeler 1997). This has led to the promotion of democracy in most governments, since everything taking place in the countries is known to the whole world. This however also leads to negative outcomes such as misinformation or sending out misleading information to people through the media. This has been known for perpetrating most skirmishes between and within countries.
It is therefore clear that the media plays a very important role in our lives today. Lack of media devices means lack of information. In today’s world, information is everything. The type of information one receives from the media is what determines who they are. As we have seen, this has both negative and positive impacts in our lives. However, if utilized in the correct manner, the media is a necessity for human existence. It determines the direction that our lives are headed to. The media should therefore not be despised for its negative impacts. It has more positive impacts only that people abuse it and use it for wrong reasons. In conclusion, I would recommend that people should embrace the media. It is a valuable tool in the world today, governing almost everything. The fact that it aides education gives it all the credit. Education is the source of all the civilization in the world. Information is a very powerful aspect in the human life, without which, many mistakes are due.
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