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Media Literacy: What is Media?

Media literacy encompasses the practices that allow people to access, critically evaluate, and create or manipulate media.

Media and "The Media"

Media is a term for communication outlets used to deliver information.  They can be books, films, paintings, songs, TV shows, poems, video games, magazines, podcasts, music videos, newspapers, web forums, email newsletters, tweets, Snapchat stories, street art, protest signs, photos, Facebook posts, pamphlets, etc. The plural of media is medium. 

"The Media" collectively refers to Mass Media.  It's an umbrella term for newspapers, magazines, TV, websites, radio, and social media. 

Information Timeline-When Media is Created


Mass Media

Top media companies:

  • Disney (ABC, radio, cable networks)
  • Comcast  (NBC, cable networks)
  • AT&T (TNT, TBS, CNN, Warner Bros., HBO, Time Warner)
  • Sony 
  • ViaComCBS
  • Fox

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