An industry is a category of business. In the case of the media industry, the term refers to the collection of businesses that allows information to be shared. This includes operations such as radio broadcasts, websites, and newspapers. Jobs that are commonly available in media include positions for journalists, photographers, and producers.
Businesses within the industry can often be sub-categorized by their mediums. There are newspapers, magazines, and television stations. There are also radio stations, website, and podcasts. Each of these are unique forms of media, although they may all be used to share the same type of information.
The media industry employs vast numbers of people in varied roles. Print media, for example, is a segment of this industry wherein people can employ their skills to be journalists, editors, and publishers. The demand for visual material provides employment opportunities for photographers and videographers. Radio affords people the opportunity to be creative directors, disc jockeys, and radio personalities.
In many places, the media industry relies heavily on protection provided in national constitutions, which often grant and protect free speech. Generally, the countries with the strongest democratic systems have the largest and most varied industries. In many countries around the globe, censorship is a major problem. When this is the case, participants in this industry are often at risk of persecution if they attempt to disseminate information that their governments do not find favorable. Some countries even go so far as to limit the access that people in their nation have to international media.
The media industry is considered to be a powerful tool if properly used. It can be used to influence masses of people. For this reason, the media industry is one toward which people commonly have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is generally understood that the media serves some very useful and essential functions. Some of the businesses in this category inform people of important information, such as when the radio is used to announce threatening weather or the newspaper is used to display public notices.
On the contrary, the media industry is also commonly criticized for destroying values or providing a platform for extremism. Examples of this may include instances when obscene behavior is flaunted on talk shows or racists are allowed to distribute newsletters. In some cases, the media is even accused of threatening public safety, such as when the details of classified government documents are exposed on the Internet.