Media – Definition

Was looking for a good defintion for ‘medium’ in English and along the way have found my new go-to definition for media:

MEDIA as a word derives from the plural of Latin medium,  meaning ‘middle’ or ‘between’ (hence ‘mediator’ as a ‘go-between’, also medieval, coined in the nineteenth century to label the age between the classical period and the Renaissance).  From the early twentieth century, however, it has become increasingly common to talk of ‘the media’ (definite article and plural).  The media thus understood mean two interrelated yet distinct things:

  • those specifically modern technologies and modes of COMMUNICATION which enable people to communicate at a distance, characteristically through print (especially newspapers and magazines); the various telecommunications (‘tele-‘ comes from the Greek word for ‘far’, hence telegraph/’far-writing’, telephone/’far-sound’, television/’far-sight’), as well as film, video, cable, satellite and the Internet;
  • by extension, the institutions which own and control these technologies as well as= the people who work for them (e.g, newspaper proprietors, TV and film companies, advertising agencies and governments, as well as reporters, camera operators, editors, producers, presenters, etc.).

Pope, R. (2002) The English Studies Book: An introduction to Language, Literature and Culture (2nd edition)Routledge, London. p.68

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