Mass Media is the system of passing news and entertainment to the masses. One such way is through newspapers, which have been around since the invention of the printing press in 1450 in Germany. There are many different kinds of newspapers. For example, quality and serious newspapers are papers aimed at attracting the attention of educated people. They contain editorials, topics written by experts in their fields and literary and art reviews. Some such papers are the USA Today and the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times in the US, the Times and the Guardian in the UK, and Lidové Noviny and Mladá fronta in the Czech Republic. Tabloids are popular newspapers but they don’t really contain serious news. They contain mostly gossip and are printed on smaller sheets. Some tabloids are the Star Magazine and the Globe in the US, the Daily Mirror and the Sun in the UK, and Spy and Šťastný Jim in the Czech Republic.
Another for of mass media is the radio, which was invented in 1914 in the US. The first radio stations were created by the companies that built radios. They were without advertisements, but other stations had to have advertisements. Today, the only non-commercial nation-wide radio is NPR (National Public Radio). In the UK, public broadcasting was paid for yearly; a fee which was set by the owners of the radio. The money went to the British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC). Today Britain has some non-commercial stations (Radio One, Radio Two...) as well as commercial stations (Classic FM, Pirate FM, and some city stations).
A very well known form of mass media is the television. It became popular in the 40s. The US had national television by 1950. The stations were NBC, CBS and ABC. Cable TV came out in 1990 (CATV) as did the specialization of channels. For example, CNN is only for news and MTV is only for music. Some television channels are paid for by advertising. In the UK, BBC One and Two have to pay a license fee to be able to function as independent television. Channels Four and Five are commercial channels.
Probably the most used form of mass media today is the Internet. It has 10 billion different web pages as well as the possibility for everyone to have their own webpage. This creates the possibility to broadcast to the whole world.