Media are supposed to report the news, not be the news. But every once in a while you find yourself writing about them anyway. When you do, a question is likely to arise about whether media is singular or plural. In other words, for example, do you write “media is” or “media are” when you’re writing about media?
The answer is pretty simple, actually. The word media is plural because it encompasses a variety of mediums, including television, newspapers, magazines, and radio.
For example, The media are resisting attempts to ban access to the courtroom.
If you’re uncertain about whether you’re using media correctly, insert another plural word. My “go to” group word is Protestants. If the sentence doesn’t read correctly with Protestants inserted where media goes, you’re probably trying to use a singular verb with the plural noun.
Now that you understand how to use media, let’s take this topic one step further.
This rule also should apply to the use of the words social media. The words social media are plural because they, like the word media, encompass a variety of social mediums, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
So, for example, Social media are vital tools for today’s communication.
The Protestant trick also will work here to avoid a mistake many people make.
Now go forth and use words correctly!