The news media are components found in mass media structured to deliver news to the target group or general public and may include broadcast news (television and radio), print media (magazines and newspapers) and even the more current medium of internet (news blogs, online newspapers) (Gitelman&Pingree, 2003). The evolution of the news media within the United States has been of drastic turn as the advancement in technology have taken a twist of every aspect of communication.
The “news media” has been into existed as a separate commercial entity for relatively a short period in the historical terms. The evolution of the news media has inextricably leaned on the development of the commercial printing press in the 17th and 18th centuries. The advancement in technologies has made it all faster and cheaper, it has been easy to disseminate information to the mass markets.
The growth of the earliest newspapers in America has been felt in the advancement of the content from the conversations in pubs and coffee houses to contain a blend of factual information, for example political argument and gossips, and shipping news among others (Skinner, 2005).
The early flexing of the muscle by the newspaper proprietors had been reinforced by the increasing level of profitability of their trade to dramatic growth in the revenues from advertising during the early mid-1800s.
The American newspaper which happen to pioneer this new economic model became the New York Sun which got launched in 1833. It targeted mass audience with famous fusion of stories of human interest and crime and was sold for a single penny. It became successful thereby building great circulation making newspaper to be a daily commodity.
Functions of news media
The printing press has been the basis of providing a means of amplifying and concentrating a single speech in a manner that was accessible to the ordinary citizens for the very first time in human history. As argued by Skinner (2005) there has been rising public opinion and new political force as a result of mass newspaper circulation together with their broadcast media equivalents-making a profound impact on the functioning of governments and the evolution of democratic institutions over the last 170 years.
The newspaper further has offered a platform of its proprietors to begin achieving a measure of real independence separate from the political system by getting free from the legal constraints on free speech that was beginning to be realized by the power of the press.
The press carries this function effectively in the manner that it reach is wide across communities and regions. Provision of information to the public is an element of press that gives the ordinary citizens a basis to be informed.