This article shows the different kinds of approaches to the mass media from the sociolinguistics, and the meaning of these studies for the society itself. A variety of points of view and topics studied by authors throughout the world conform the sociolinguistic works on mass media. Several topics are discussed about press, radio and television: sociolinguistic prestige, linguistic uses in the media, production, product, reception, linguistic interaction, standardization, interaction between media and audience, media manipulation, didactic applications of the media, etc. The author presents a wide review of the works published in the last years on this issue. The article is accompanied by a long, comprehensive bibliographic chapter which indicates the studies of the sociolinguistics of mass media.