Mass media is any form of communication which is designed to reach a large audience. The term wasn’t coined until the advent of radio networks in the 1920s. However, forms of mass media have been around for centuries such as web magazine, books and newspapers.
Even though printed material is now a form of mass media, it didn’t become one until the printing press was invented. That is because books were too expensive and time-consuming to produce to ever reach a large audience. With the printing press and other technologies to duplicate media, mass production became possible at a cost low enough for huge audiences to consume.
The technologies of radio, television, film, and audio reproduction really took mass media to new levels. Mass media became a tool for news, information sharing, advertising and entertainment. Even though mass media forms were reaching almost all areas of the world, including remote areas, it was still generally limited to large companies or groups with the means to produce mass media.
A huge change in mass media came about with the internet. Suddenly, people were able to reach a much larger audience but didn’t need to rely upon expensive means in order to do this. Blogging is a great example of potential mass media which is accessible for little or no cost. Now, everything is accessible by the internet rather than being reliant on a physical medium.