To what extent have new media technologies
redefined the media landscape?
This essay will discuss the extent that different forms of new media technologies have revolutionized the media landscape. It will discuss this issue with particular reference to one industry. After considering the arguments between the old and new methods it will conclude whether it is democratic and more open.
According to Flew (2008) in the later part of the 20th century ‘new media’ is a term meant to encompass the emergence of products and services that provide information or entertainment using computers or the Internet, and not by traditional methods such as television and newspapers. Most technologies described as “new media” are digitally manipulative and can share information interactively.
There are some stimulating similarities between the creative changes enabled by technology in recent times and those enabled by the printing press in its early days. It would be fair to suggest that each of those defining technological advances represents an important breakthrough in the ability of consumers to communicate with each other; each enables important changes in how we preserve and update knowledge. The changes also affect how we distribute and retrieve knowledge while the ownership and acquisition of knowledge are also revolutionized.
The twenty-first century has brought about new digital revolution and in particular the monolithic rise of the internet has given everyone according to Matthew Doull (1997), the power to be a publisher. Technology has enabled us to produce our own newsletters, magazines, video documentaries and web sites. But more importantly A.J Liebling suggests that the power of the press belongs to those who own one, suddenly those of us who have computers and net connections all own one (Doull, 1997, p.23).
Liebling’s statement will not have gone unnoticed among traditional media owners whom for many years have had to adapt to different situations. The future course of the news, including the basic assumptions about how we consume news and information and make decisions in a democratic society are being altered by young people no longer committed to traditional news outlets or even accessing news in traditional ways.
The digital revolution has seen a rise of internet bloggers who do not only blog with written text but via video and Ian Quinn (2005) sees that huge companies are talking about the threat of blogs, sites which are often run by a single person. But it is important to add that along with this new prospect of blogs, there is room for abuse of a system that requires no pre-requisites for use. Doull (1997) talks about some of the dangers in assuming and abusing positions of power, he states “But just because you have a copy of Microsoft Word that doesn’t make you a writer. Knowing Quark Xpress doesn’t make you a designer. Knowing HTML, the formatting language of the worldwide web doesn’t make you an interactive designer. Technology is a tool: do not confuse it with talent or the will of the market” (p.273).
On the 13th of April, Rupert Murdoch in a speech about the new threat of the internet towards the American Society of Newspaper Editors, discussed ways to work alongside this new revolution as opposed to resisting its impact. He admitted to thinking that the revolution would be a passing phase but continued “Well it hasn’t …it won’t... And it’s a fast developing reality we should grasp as a huge opportunity to improve our journalism and expand our reach”. What they needed to realize was that the next generation of people accessing news and information whether from newspapers or from other outlets had different expectations about the kind of news they received including when and how they would get it, where and who they got it from (American Society of Newspaper Editors 2005).
Murdoch went on to add that young people don’t want to rely on the morning paper for up-to-date...