Media is the plural of medium, which is defined as a means through which things are communicated or expressed. In the broadest sense of the term, forms of media include writing, music, broadcast television, graphic design, and more.
In the modern era, “the media” has come to refer more specifically to mass communication, and especially the coverage of current events in the news media. The media in this sense is an essential institution, serving as a check on politicians and other powerful interests, a means of keeping the public informed, and a guide to navigating our fast-changing world. It is also a powerful institution, and journalism has a code of ethics covering aspects of their work including sourcing, fact-checking, and fairness in order to ensure that this power is used in the public interest.
The 21st century has also seen the rise of social media, which is the spread of information through social networks and websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. These internet giants have made it possible for individuals to share news with each other and the world, eliminating the need for the media establishment to serve as an intermediary. While this development has enabled important new voices and opinions to reach the broader public, the absence of traditional ethical safeguards has also led to concerns about the rapid dissemination of misinformation, propaganda, and conspiracy theories through social media.
Understanding how today’s interconnected media world works is essential for any career in communications. Whether you’re a digital marketing manager creating engaging multimedia content and tracking its performance across various social networks or a public relations professional responsible for shaping the narrative of a business or public figure, you need to be able to leverage all media channels to get your message out into the world effectively.
With all the changes wrought by new forms of mass media and social media, the work of journalists, reporters, and news analysts is more important than ever. These correspondents for newspapers, television and radio stations, and internet outlets serve a vital purpose in helping the public make sense of the barrage of information in today’s media-saturated environment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts earned a median annual salary of $46,270 in 2019, and typically have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications.
Yes! Whether you aspire to work in the traditional mass media or build your expertise in digital media for a career in marketing or communications, Coursera offers courses and Specializations spanning multiple courses to meet your needs. You can get a truly global perspective on today’s media landscape by learning remotely from top-ranked universities from around the world such as University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Michigan State University, University of Amsterdam, and University of New South Wales Sydney, all at a lower tuition cost than on-campus students.
The skills and experience you need to already have before starting to learn media is likely to be a mix of good oral and written communication skills, a pleasing personality, and technical acumen to manage the requirements of audio, video, and written communications. In years past, a four-year journalism degree and a background working in small U.S. markets may have been the experience you needed to learn about media. But in today’s online world, learning media is as easy as flipping over to YouTube or clicking on Twitter. If you have skills and experience doing your own podcasts, videos, and article writing, you are already learning how media work. Preparing to learn about media may include staying in touch with what’s trending on social media, reading online news sites, and experimenting on your own with a podcast, video, or blog that you create.
The kind of people best suited for roles in media may be driven, articulate people who have confidence and ambition, coupled with a pleasing look and a gentle warmth. But others may come to a role in media with a chip on their shoulder, a fire in their belly, and a point of view to share. As the role of media has grown to be an always-on activity, the kind of person who is best suited for a role in media is often someone who is highly charged and passionate about the state of our city and country from a news perspective. They might follow their dream to work in media, with a passion for the topics they cover. Many media jobs are in America’s big cities, but there are also roles for people in mid-size and small town markets as well.
Learning media might be right for you if you are the kind of person who loves news, who loves being at the epicenter of what’s happening in business, technology, politics, culture, and sports. Maybe you wrote for your high school or college website or blog, and love getting inside of a story that’s worth telling. Or you are always on YouTube, creating new videos where you share your opinion on current events, politics, music, or sports. If you have that passion and fire, then learning media might be a great fit.
The types of places that hire people with a background in media are usually media outlets in the form of newspapers and magazines, news websites, or business industry sites. Many younger media enthusiasts might find a role at a tech news website, work there for a while and graduate up to a larger site or over to the major media on cable TV or Web TV. When you gain a background and experience in media, you are better equipped to work with people, as you have become skilled to become a good communicator, smart thinker, and accessible person.
This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.