The term medium refers to one of the means or channels of communication, information or entertainment in society such as newspapers, books, cinema, Internet, radio or television etc. Whereas media, being the plural of medium, refers to all the aforementioned channels of communication available on mass.
With the growth of digital broadcasting along with the proliferation of Internet based platforms, the media has become an enormous industry with instant news available from all over the globe.
With the vast majority of the UK population having access to television either through scheduled transmissions or on-demand platforms like iPlayer the media has become an important source of information, entertainment or general leisure activity.
Therefore the importance of the media in contemporary society can’t be underestimated as most of our views, opinions and knowledge on the world around us comes to us second-hand through a variety of media platforms. The extent of such power generates two main questions for sociologists:
- do the media deliver this knowledge objectively or is their a bias in media reporting?
- do the media stereotype certain social groups, thus stratifying one social group over another?