Timeline of the Evolution of MASS MEDIA


As a layperson, you may ask what is Mass media and communication and many people like you are wondering the same. In simple words, mass media are various ways of communication that rely chiefly on technology. The purpose of such media is to convey entertainment, information or a particular message to an audience.

However, the mass media platforms and channels that we see today were not always the same. It has gone through several stages of evolution from ancient communication and writing system, oral storytelling, invention of print media, radio broadcasting, newspapers and magazines to that of modern-day social media networks and digital media.

Let’s take a quick look at each of them, succinct and precise!

Ancient Communication and Writing System

People of the ancient era relied on cave paintings, symbols and rock art to convey their messages to one another. Also, Sumerians from Mesopotamia created cuneiform, the first ever writing system that came into the limelight of the mass.

Oral Storytelling and Typography

Oral storytelling is one of the most ancient forms of communication even before written communication came into being. People of the prehistoric age used gestures, voices and facial expressions to convey their messages to one another.

As a result, humans started to understand the various aspects of societal norms, education and the basic skills and knowledge in order to survive in their daily living. Coming to typography, it sprung much later, making people’s lives quite easy and simple in terms of communicating with each other through writing.

Invention of Print Media

With the increasing need for education and advancement in technology, the need for mass communication and its constant evolution also started to skyrocket. Hence, mass media took a leap, from being just printed books and materials to that of newspapers, making people more aware about all the latest happenings and events around the world.

Thanks to Gutenberg who brought the concept of printing books and other informative stuff on the table, paving the way for mass media and communication to reach the pinnacle of its progress. As a result, the number of employment opportunities have also increased over time, rewarding tens and thousands of people with the careers of their dream.

Magazines, Brochures and Pamphlets

As soon as magazines, brochures and pamphlets came into being, the entire concept of publication changed in the world of mass media. Information became more concise and to-the-point, giving the mass a clearer and better idea about their individual comprehensive topics.

Fast forward now, digital brochures and pamphlets are trending in the market these days. So, no matter the data you need, you can now get it in a snap of a finger. Not only that, but this advancement has also made it easy and simple for B2B and B2C companies to convey information to each other related to their products, services and brands.

In short, flyers and magazines have proven to be the most power-packed means of communication ever since its inception in the 19th Century and even today in this digital age.

Radio and Podcasts

With the onset of radio, mass media and communication found yet another way to keep people entertained and informed through audio newscasts, storytelling and musical renditions. And the first ever lyrical signals and voice that the mass could hear through radio waves took place from Brant Rock, Massachusetts in December 1906.

Eventually, radio became one of the most in-demand channels of communication, chiefly due to the availability of earphones and loudspeakers that made the sounds of radio seem even more magical and pleasing to the ears.

Later on, radio became more advanced and smaller in sizes, making it the greatest and the most popular platform of entertainment and communication of all times. To add on to the convenience, podcasts are trending in the world of mass media nowadays, a channel that perfectly blends audios and videos to convey a particular message or information to their target audiences. In this regard, it is pertinent to say that a podcaster can cover a single story or theme over an episode or couple of episodes that must be engaging, interesting and informative at the same time.


The mass media platform that came right after magazines and newspapers was television. And as soon as this visual transition in mass communication came, it became widely popular in every part of the world.

The main purpose was to reach a wide audience through visual materials and images in a short period of time. And as people were able to watch these things with sound created on the TV screen, they could get the actual idea about the information or news being displayed.

Coming to its chief objectives, Television aimed at keeping the mass informed, entertained as well as educated related to various topics and happenings around the world. As a result, the demand for Television kept increasing over time, and, nowadays, almost everyone watches television irrespective of age, gender, communal background as well as social status.

Social Media Networks and Digital Media

In the later part of the 20th Century, a rise in the age of digital media came, thanks to the emergence of internet. As a result, various digital media platforms such as online videos, websites and social media started to gain an increasing popularity with each passing day.

For example, social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are in immense demand these days. Almost everyone is using these platforms in the present time, trying to reap the maximum of their benefits.

A Blend of Modern and Traditional Media

Gone are the days, when traditional media such as Television, Radio and Newspapers were the convention, all due to the emergence of digital platforms that have made communication amongst the mass way easier and smarter than before.

But, a certain section of the society still relies upon the age-old means of communication to keep themselves updated about the current events and incidents around us. To make things easier for all, a combination of traditional and modern-day media should be the mantra.

This way, companies and news forums would be able to reach a wider audience, that too in the shortest time possible.

Final Words!

So, that was it, mass media and communication has undergone a plethora of alternations and evolutionary phases, benefitting the mass in their day-to-day lives in various amazing ways. Hopefully, this development is not going to stop any time soon, and the world is yet to witness some of the most startling evolutions in this sphere down the road.

Good Luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three evolutionary ages in mass media?

Pre-Industrial Age, Industrial Age and Electronic Age are the three main evolutionary stages in the sphere of mass media and communication.

What is the chronological development of mass media?

Starting from ancient writing and storytelling, invention of print media such as newspapers, magazines and pamphlets, evolution of radio and Television to that of digital media and social media networks, the evolution of mass media has been immense and rapid.

What is the oldest form of mass media?

The first ever form of mass media was the invention of print media. Johannes Gutenberg in Germany first discovered this concept in the late 15th Century that led to the distribution of concise yet informative books to the masses. And in return, the society witnessed a sharp social and cultural transition all over the world.


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