There is a huge problem of audience fragmentation when it comes to mass media where audiences are able to get their news from numerous different sources. Even if you somehow receive exposure to audiences through one kind of media, you will most certainly be left out of another.
There was a time when just simply getting onto the newspapers would have catapulted you into instant nationwide fame. However nowadays their are hundreds of channels on both radio and cable television. Almost every newspaper in the worlds is accessible online, and not all the same news is in broadcast at the same time on the same kind of media. This means that if you are to achieve any sort of success and exposure, you need to get exposure not to just one kind of audience, but to the audience of other media as well such as newspapers, television, radio and online.
Right now, the most dominant form of media is television, having the most viewers who tune into listen to the evening news. This can represent a significant portion of viewers, however not all can be reached at the same time though. There is also a significant audience that you will be missing out on, such as those who get their news fix from other sources, such as newspapers and blogs. On a typical day, most people will have had access to several different kinds of media just for the news alone. 78 percent of the audience will have been captured by local television, while cable television accounts for just 73%. The internet (at 61%) has grown and is ahead of local newspapers (50%) when it comes to accessing the news from local print and national print (17%). Social media is another area with which there is a huge switch in audiences, with so many people twittering and facebooking about particular stories on the headlines.
Being able to reach the masses is the entire philosophy that drives mass media. Whether you would dominate newspapers or or radio and still miss half of the entire listening population, and while TV would simply look like the most attractive option being able to reach 8 out of ten consumers. However trying to reach the same number of people can be difficult. There has to be a multi-pronged attack in addressing all but the simplest of issues across multiple platforms. And it isn’t just as simple as providing accurate content for the entire audience. All the bases should be covered and accounted for. One of the best approaches that you can possibly take is to cover all the bases and address the needs of each media format.
The overlooked online and mobile element of mass media is interesting, very interesting in fact. Neither is considered mass media but mobile probably has the most penetration into population groups around the world and as a device is becoming increasingly capable of more than just SMS and MMS. Combine that with the power, reach and measurability of online – maybe the old notion of mass media needs a paradigm shift?