News media refers to the means of transmitting news from an information source to the public. We live in a society where news is available from a number of sources, each with their own merits.
Television is perhaps the most accessible form of news media. Those who are not partial to reading are more likely to watch news on television. The images shown on screen make the news more realistic and easier to consume in comparison to large chunks of print. Many people have a habit of sitting down to watch the 6 o'clock news every single day without fail.
Today there are a lot more options. The invention of cable and digital television has brought with it multiple 24 hour news stations, which provide constant headlines and breaking news. Along with stories being reported in studio and footage of events happening around the world, there is a banner of headlines running along the bottom of the screen, so it is possible to get more than one news story at a time.
However this constant news content is often repetitive and focuses on the same stories. Considering the fact that there are 24 hours of space to fill, one wonders why they do not focus on a wider range of news stories.
There are also different channels dedicated to sports news and entertainment, such as Sky Sports and E. These also provide 24 hour coverage on these topics.
Newspapers are the original news media, and come in different forms. There are dailies, weeklies, Sunday editions, local, national and regional newspapers. They all report on different types of news, depending on their target audience. These are then further divided into tabloid and broadsheet. Traditionally tabloids are seen as the more sensational and biased form of newspaper, whereas broadsheets are more respected and impartial. This of course does not mean broadsheets are entirely unbiased.
This traditional from of news media has not died out with the invention of the internet, as feared by many. They have however had to adapt to changes in society, and have on-line editions of the newspaper, which give the same stories as found in the paper. In 1992, The Chicago Tribune launched the first online edition of a newspaper. Online editions provide people with constant news, where ever they are. Archives of past articles are also available online. Some newspapers such as the Irish Times, require a subscription fee to view the full articles.
A 2006 study by McKinsky showed that only 1% of participants chose magazines as a preferred channel of news media. News can be obtained quicker from other sources. As magazines tend to come out weekly or fortnightly, their news content would not be the most up to the minute. They can however provide a more in-depth analysis of current affairs.
News agencies, or wire services such as Reuters or Associated Press are large news organisations which many news mediums depend on for news from around the world. They gather news and redistribute it to newspapers, who then modify the story and print it. They make money from sharing stories, and newspapers benefit form access to multiple news stories they otherwise would not have the resources to cover.
When we go online, there are a multitude of news sites we can go to. Aside from those based in our own country, it is also possible to discover the goings on around the world with the click of a mouse. Instead of buying one newspaper a day, it is now possible to get the latest news from any country and a number of different articles on the same event, giving a greater amount of information about each topic.
Blogging is also another form of news media to be found online. An abbreviation of the words web log, these are web pages written by individuals who provide opinion and analysis that would not ordinarily be found in mainstream media. Many journalists also have blogs, where they write in addition to their traditional articles, and also post previous work on the blog.
Radio is another form of news media, which gets the news across more than we realise. People tend to have the radio on whilst driving, or many work places have a radio on in the background. Almost every radio show, especially those which are on during the day, contains a news segment where headlines are read out.
Aside from the traditional magazine style radio show, there are numerous analytical shows which discuss current affairs. Presenters give their opinions and listeners call in with their views on the topic.
Pod casting is another form of audio news media. This refers to downloadable audio files which are distributed on the internet. People can make their own pod casts, and news channels and radio stations have pod casts available. This is good as it allows listeners to download the files and listen at their own leisure.
In the current market we are spoiled for choice. News is more accessible than ever, and the variety available means that we can become better informed, by obtaining different angles on an individual news story.