We hear the term media used quite a bit in referring to reporting of events to the public. We may have heard the term, but what is it, and where did it start? The media has had a long and distinguished history reporting events back to the public.

Where did the media begin?

When referring to the media, you are primarily talking about print, radio, and television. Newspapers and magazines constitute the print media and are the earliest media in America. The first newspaper in the British colonies was the Boston Public Occurrences, which first appeared in 1690. However, the British found out and quickly destroyed all newspapers and shut down the publication. The first successful newspaper was the Boston News-Letter which began in 1704. This led to other publications starting in New York and Philadelphia, which began to spread work about the British rule and sparked the talk of revolution. From early days, newspaper and other print publications were charged with reporting about the events of the day to the masses.

In 1920, station KDKA in Pittsburgh received the first federal license to broadcast over the radio airwaves. The addition of radio to the ranks of the media allowed broadcasters the ability to bring audio into the homes of listeners. This gave immediate access to the events of the day to the average person, and they would no longer have to wait until accounts of these events were published.

In 1927 Philo T. Farnsworth created the first electronic television. This led to the creation of broadcast outlets who could create programming that could be sent to television sets in the home. In the 1930’s outlets such as RCA and CBS began creating programming for the public. The advent of television became one of the best outlets to reach the public by broadcasting both sound and picture of events. Television quickly became a media that had the most profound impact on the world.

Social Media

Today, other media outlets have begun to be used to distribute information to the public. Popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others are used to regularly distribute information to the public. Now instead of waiting to have news and reports of events sent to your home television or radio, they can be received on your phone or portable electronic device wherever you may be.

The media has played a key role in reporting to the public about the current events in the world. While the ways this information has been delivered has changed, the message remains true to its origins.