In the last 50 years the media influence has grown exponentially with the advance of technology. First there was the telegraph, then came the radio, the newspaper, magazines, television and now the Internet. The Internet has certainly transformed the work for journalists. Digital tools have made it easier for news gathering, communication, editing and production is now a lot more portable, inexpensive and powerful. This has also resulted to many online users assuming the roles of ‘journalists’ by creating news-related weblogs.
In the era of mobile digital technology, we now have a mobile connection to the web through a smart phone, the tablet or any other handheld devices that has been invented. Mobile users are not just checking headlines for the latest news updates on their own devices now, they are also reading longer, in-depth articles regularly. And for many people, mobile devices are adding how much news they consume now as compared to the traditional newspapers.
The new media has improved the interactivity amongst its users, allowing them to share and upload information anytime and anywhere. It has made a lot of the media information we process more user generated than ever before. Now, the Internet continues to evolve into a major news source. It is made possible for practically anyone to create, modify and share content with others by using really simple techniques with little to no expense. Citizens have the potential to observe and report more immediately than traditional media outlets do. Social media often break the news before the mainstream media. There is no doubt that those who have traditionally consumed news are increasingly ready and willing to produce content online, which is otherwise known as ‘citizen journalism’. Swarms of amateur online journalists are now putting the digital technology to use by creating publishing sites and countless weblogs. Bloggers and other amateur journalists are scooping out information from the mainstream news outlets and some are even pointing out errors in mainstream articles. People who have been made subjects of news articles are now responding online, posting their own information from their own views by providing their own perspective and counterpoints. The public is progressively turning to online sources more for news, reflecting growing trust in alternative media. However, professional news media are also providing opportunities for news consumers to participate. For instance, OhmyNews.com, a South Korean online newspaper, has more than 37,000 registered contributors, and is expanding into the English and Japanese language markets.
While new media is a powerful influencer by distributing messages abruptly in the urban development through the latest gadgets, the rural areas of the world are far behind. How people access and consume information depends largely on the type of community they live in. For instance, India has 830 million of its people residing in rural areas out of the country’s 1.2 billion population. Even though India’s development over the past two decades has been significantly rapid, it will still take a few more decades before the country becomes predominantly urban. Rural areas in India have scarce infrastructure and facilities, high illiteracy levels and low Internet penetration. While the urban Indians are more likely to rely on mobile and online sources to gather news or information, the rural Indians are more inclined to word of mouth sources. With limited access to the broadband Internet, it causes the rural residents to be more tied to traditional forms of media such as print, broadcast and radio. Print newspapers are considered most popular for following community events, local government, and arts and culture. For breaking news, broadcast is preferred over print and digital.
With the difference the two communities consume their information, the information read by the villagers of India through print might often differ from...
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