Media Then & Now

This topic gives students an overview of media and its vast influence on all aspects of our society and our personal lives.   First, students should have a basic understanding of mass media’s evolution by briefly reviewing the histories of different forms of media.  Then, class discussions should examine media in the present day.  With the advent of the personal computer, the increasingly widespread availability of the internet and more affordable mobile devices, media now can be viewed, experienced and globally consumed like never before.  Comparisons should be made between media then and now.

Students should understand the basic differences between mass media and corporate media. Students should also understand how social media has become vitally important  to both, while being a unique category unto itself.

Whereas mass media and corporate media provide content, created by producers, to be passively viewed by consumers, social media allows consumers to produce, distribute and interact with the media they themselves create.  This interactivity has radically changed the way people not only view media but it has empowered people to instantaneously communicate and exchange information with others around the world.   This empowerment has radically influenced traditional media, forcing media companies to change the way media is produced, marketed, and distributed.

Discussions of social media’s impact on other forms of media should happen throughout this course, with closer examination during the week the Social Media Topic is assigned.


Key concepts / terms

Mass Media ♦ Corporate Media ♦ Social Media