Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Implications of New Media on Old Media/ Mass Communication profession

Written by
Obanua Ada sonia
Introduction
New media technology is rapidly evolving the media industry and the practices of mass communications thus giving the previous media the tag “old media”. Old media technology refers to telegraph, telephone, radio, and television. Apart from the telegraph, all of these in bid to stay en vogue continue to evolve with computer technology. Traditional, non-digital communication, such as print, is also influenced by new media technology. The final product is paper, but the production processes use some combination of digital graphics and photographs, computer databases, and so on. New media technology is the application of digital (computer) technology to mass communications. In a few short years, some factors associated with the technology such as the internet, satellite and cable data transmission, computer assisted research, multimedia publishing, and even word processing have changed the media landscape. These technologies have changed the way all media are produced, distributed, displayed, and stored. The technology changes how the stories are told and increases the breadth of information. New media technology blurs time and space, geographic and cultural distances, and it pushes us into a global communication environment. This in turn changes societies, economics, and the audience of mass media, which further reveals that the new media has obvious implications on the old media and journalism as a profession/discipline. These implications are discussed in subsequent paragraphs

I. From the positive end, the new media and its operating software such adobe premiere 2.0, Corel draw, window XP, Microsoft word etc has greatly improved on the production, presentation and packaging of the media product itself. It makes the production process in the media houses faster. Production involves a series of processes: acquiring, processing, distributing, and storing information. Digital technology is currently used in each of these processes regardless of the media of the finished product.
II. Since digital technology has become an integral part of media production and distribution. It has also established itself as a communication medium rivalling print and broadcast. As such the new media has motivated and kept the old media on their toes of improving daily in order not to be phased out of existence
It also breaks down the barriers of time and space, and it changes the balance of power in mass media by allowing both large and small entities the more equitable opportunities to communicate. Thus, news timeliness is more sophisticated such that today we have media cliché like breaking news meaning news worthy event or scenario taking place in some part of the globe and the same time being transmitted. Another example is the supposed live transmission of events. Recently in china, coverage was real-time and available through multiple media. Lacking production delays of the past, the content was even less controlled or edited. Coverage was utilized by the public and governmental and international relief organizations, to promote the government’s position, to inform the citizenry, and to move people to contribute to humanitarian aid for the victims so graphically portrayed on television. On top of this, new media is developing at lightning speed. The current technology is truly unique compared to prior waves of media development.
New media has made journalism and other professions a mobile business since each individual can go about business outside the work place since they have internet connectivity and mobile phones to access any information they need from the office.
Digital technology provides interactivity, non-linear communication, and a new economy in the mediums it brings forth. It causes an evolution of traditional media as characteristics of the technology are incorporated that change use and format in response to the new mediums
VI. New media technology is also changing time scale on the introduction of new developments. In contrast to the 300 years it took the printing press to start mass-producing (Purves, 1998, p. 13), the World Wide Web entered the consciousness of the masses in 1994 (Pavlik, 1998, p. 38), within a few decades of the invention of computing. In this short time, computer technology has changed the model of mass communications.
VII. New media is gradually phasing out or better still improving the already existing visual and audio receivers. For example VHS has almost gone off the scene for CDs, LCDs, and DVDs etc.
VIII. In addition, new media technology has changed the flow of communication from a linear to a three dimensional form of information. The roots of this philosophy lie in hypertext, which is a method of organizing and presenting information on a computer in an order at least partially determined by electronic links (hyperlinks) the user chooses to follow (Bolter & Grusin, 1999, p. 272). Thus, mass media grows from one way communication to incorporate interactive communication. Interactivity allows feedback to enter the system as every stage of the communication process, from acquiring and processing to storing and distributing. "As our ways of storing manipulating, and retrieving information change, so too do our perceptions of the world (Purves, 1998, p. 214)." Much of our perception of the world is determined by our access to information.
IX. Similar to overall culture changes, the media profession changes as it is influenced by technology. The technology once handled by specialists and consultants is becoming part of all media professionals’ jobs. Magazines, television programs, and newspapers are publishing on the Internet in an attempt to "cross benefit" by having two media products (Beam, 1997). Media professionals must therefore understand some practical theory of new media technology. As an example, print and broadcast journalism are changing as length of story becomes less of an issue due to the incorporation of hyperlinking (Isaacs, 1994).
The new media has changed the role of the audience as reflected by the term "user." Unlike before were the audience understands the content from the producer’s point of view, interactivity allows the user to have controls over how and what content is viewed and how he perceives it.
From a negative perspective it is the tripling down the effect and reputation of the journalism profession. New media is also taking off the ego and pride of being called a professional journalist since anybody can That is, the fact that today anybody can write and disseminate information from any part of the world to other parts, makes the stress of striving to become a professional worthless. This will also affect the choice of the future generation in choosing media studies as a course of study in high school/ university. On the other hand it is becoming increasingly important for mass communications students to understand new media technology and the changes it brings to the media industry. Thus the need to upgrade the academic curriculum for mass communication students
Information on blog sites care little about the chaos the information being disposed may cause in the society. It is becoming quite obvious that libellous /slanderous comments and postings cannot be punished due the anonymity that the new media gives to its users. This shows that the ethical standard of the media is gearing towards worthlessness
XIII. Advertising has blossomed with new media technology. It fills the pages of search engine and portal Web sites. It is delivered through email. The Internet has created an environment where advertisers can access highly targeted markets through data collected by Internet and email service provider registration, personalized Web sites (i.e. My Yahoo or My Excite), and the frequently unnoticed cookies that a site stores on the user’s computer. In these cases, advertisements have only a small space on a content laden page to attract the attention of the user. However, the ads often draw criticism as a form of spam, which is by definition unwanted and intrusive. The advent of e-commerce also holds changes for advertising as the markets become global and competition increases.
XIV. Public relations face different, less obvious changes than advertising and journalism. Most commercial Web sites offer multiple public relations messages including investor relations, hiring information, and variety of other information about the company and its policies. The person who looks for this content on the Web is most likely different from the person who requests the material be forwarded through the mail or looks for it in the newspaper. In other words, Web content targets a different audience than other media. This means a large amount of content, purposed for different media outlets and different audiences must be produced quickly and be kept up to date. The importance of crisis communication also increases since public relations efforts can be publicly attacked by users and other entities on the Internet.
While the new media seem to eliminate the essence of a socially responsible press, it promotes the libertarian theory/ free philosophy that people cannot govern themselves in democratic society without the necessary information they need to be governed. (Hanson, 2008). This philosophy was drawn from john Milton (1644) who said that free flow of information of trade during public discourse will allow truth to emerge; truth will emerge in public discourse because humans are rational and good. Alongside the above the new media promotes the democratic participant theory, we media, and citizen journalism position.
The World Wide Web may terminate the need for a press that is guided by the developmental theory; since most bloggers see the blog sites as war turf rather than a plat form for developmental ideas.
Apart from a few recognized sites for information dissemination, information on the new media especially the internet lacks credibility and reliability. This may cause confusion in the society especially in situations were false information is hiked on just one site. E.g. wrong information on the popular yahoo.com earpiece can turn the world upside down.
New media technology hardware offers limitless channels of distribution that come without centralized control. .Due to this inability of any organized body to determine what goes into world wide web, the new media has increased the porosity of most youth due to the unrestricted access they have to obscene sites as well as the pop ups. These technological changes initiate new culture.
XIX. Some media professionals who would not rely more and more heavily on experience in and knowledge of practical uses of technology (technical literacy) in producing both traditional and new media can expect to be relieved of their duties soon.
XX. Additionally, new media poses issues of public safety and privacy rights.


CONCLUSION AND RECCOMMENDATION
Media professionals can do more than react to the changing media landscape. They are in the position to help determine its future. How does one become an active player? Media professionals can become involved by building an understanding of how different types of communication are both utilizing and being influenced by new media technology. For this reason, the course discusses new media technology as used in the disciplines of journalism, advertising, public relations, broadcast, and mass communications in general.
Whether a media professional wants to specialize in new technology or not, possessing skills to assess its use is important. There are some great and some terrible examples of new media technology put to use for different communication purposes. As explained previously, new technology does not assure quality communication.
The effectiveness of mass communications, for any of the disciplines, relies on appropriate use of media. This means using the right medium to communicate to the selected audience, utilizing the most effective characteristics of the chosen medium. In short, new media technology brings possibilities to all of the disciplines: journalism, advertising, public relations, broadcast, and mass communications.
Each discipline also faces its own challenges and opportunities related to new media technology. Journalism has changed as the rate information transmission has increased. People are no longer willing to wait even a single day for a story to break. Besides incorporating technical skills (i.e. computer assisted reporting), journalists must deal with ethical questions brought on by the standards of fact checking and source corroboration being weighed against speed of coverage. Journalism has also changed as the Internet presents new, more multi-dimensional ways of telling stories.
What's clear for newsrooms everywhere is that journalism faces a bleak future unless media managers wake up to the need to invest in their most important assets: their journalists.

2 comments:

UEL BUSINESS SCHOOL INTERACTIVE WEB said...

Ada edit your profile, your age and stuff, and don't put your research work on the internet like that, it can be easily copied. Cheers

UEL BUSINESS SCHOOL INTERACTIVE WEB said...

Edit your profile. Cheers