The media is for mass consumption and they have been split into five major categories. Each type or category has strong roots or reasons for being what they are and it is often that they are all intertwined among the five each. What essentially defines media as such is the reach that it has towards the masses or the consuming class. They are used to gather information as well as disseminate information.
This could be the first mass media outlet and it goes without saying that this is one of the most efficient ones around too. Here what makes the medium so popular and attractive is the relative low cost structure that they have managed to build around themselves. It is possible to reach out to the most people at so little cost to the originators that often people wonder if it is possible to have such a reach at such a low cost structure.
Newspapers are what have been traditionally seen as mass media as it often has a reach unsurpassed by the later entrants to the field. In many ways the newspapers of the times are more or less record keepers to happenings that took place years ago.
There is really little difference between the newspapers and the magazines. If ever there were something so different, then it has to be the periodicity of publications. The newspapers are more of a daily affair and the magazines more of periodicals than otherwise.
Presentation wise, since the periods between the publication of the magazines are much larger, they tend to be much more elaborate affair than most other newspapers. Another feature of the magazine is that they can be targeted towards a particular audience as compared to the general population that is the newspaper readers. For instance you want to target the Tree Service audience then most likely you have to feature the most reliable one for this niche.
The radio is a mass consumption element but of the auditory kind. It has the advantage that it is a live medium as compared to the earlier newspapers and magazines. It is possible to have interactions in real time when speaking of the radio where as the newspapers are more of a static material most of the time.
For all practical purposes, the television is but an extension of the radio but as a visual medium most of the time. It is currently also a means of entertainment as well. What strikes people to the use of the television is the range of options that the viewer has over the medium. In fact the restrictions are mainly due to lack of sufficient programming to cater to the full range of the market.
This could well be the communication medium of the century. Although, this is the youngest of the medium, it has been possible to cater to a wide range of services and audiences as well. In fact, the medium is so fast evolving that it takes a real effort to keep pace with what has been taking place on a monthly basis.