What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Mass Media?

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/CC-BY 2.0

The main advantage of mass media is its ability to reach a large population across many demographics, while the high cost to utilize it for messaging is a disadvantage. Millions of people receive news and entertainment from some form of mass media including television, radio and newspapers.

Mass media has a strong presence in modern-day life. More recently, the Internet has been integrated into mass media presentations.

Mass media connects people together in ways not otherwise possible by spreading information and entertainment far and wide. For instance, up-to-the-minute live coverage of a breaking news event is seen by millions who tune in to find out the latest details. The same news story is covered from different angles via radio, TV and newspapers. When it comes to entertainment, mass media provides programs with a wide-viewing audience. Companies gain fast attention for products and services through advertising.

Mass media comes with its own list of downfalls. The messages and images received via mass media are often limited to a particular viewpoint or angle. The high costs associated with various mediums restricts access mainly to those with large sums of money. Some view mass media as spreading low quality shows and news programming to a mass audience, and programming that tries to appeal to the masses may lack sophistication.