Consider Your Media

Learn how to be more creative about the effective use of media.

Media can refer to how meaning is conveyed. For example, people speak of TV and radio as a kind of media–the mass media. They refer to printed documents distributed by newspapers, magazines, and books as print media. Texts such as databases or multimedia published on the Internet are called online media. The term media is broadly defined, yet two definitions are particularly popular:

Print Media: Paper essays and reports, magazines, books, hypertext
Mass Media: Radio, TV, magazines, newspapers
Digital Media: Works produced and distributed via the Internet
Spoken Media: Talk, speeches
Visual Media: Paintings, clip art, animations, interactive media
Databases, response forums
Artistic Media: Paintings, sculpture, music, movies
Video Conferencing Media: NetMeeting, SeeUSeeMe

New technologies are creating new ways of conveying meaning and blurring distinctions across media. The computer is slowly becoming the printing press, the TV, the game console, and the music.

Media Analysis Questions

  1. Does the text employ multiple media? What is the ratio of visuals to words?
  2. Would an alternative medium be more appropriate for the text’s purpose and audience?
  3. What additional media could be used to enhance the message?