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Introduction to Mass Communication

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New Media is a term that describes traditional forms of media that have been transformed by
advancements in digital technology and digital computing.
The distinction between "New Media" and Old media is sometimes perceived to be a difficult one to make,
because new media does not so much represent an entirely new creation, but the re-conceptualization of a
current, an most likely popular source of information in a newly digital format. This relationship of old to
new media is concerned with transformations of the apparatus (social machine) of language, from more
basic forms of oral communication to the establishment of literacy, and from literacy to the digital
adaptation of speech. New Media must therefore be understood within the context of not only established
institutional practices, but also within the processes by which institutions establish their public and private
identities as well.

What is classed as New Media?

Web Sites including Blogs
Electronic kiosks
Virtual worlds
Interactive Television
Internet Telephony
Hypertext Fiction

Technology forcing changes

Newspapers were settled in their own way of communication by the start of the 20th century. When
came radio, and people were able to get news quicker than print media, the newspapers turned more
interpretative. When TV tried to outplay radio by showing images of distant event, radio started working
hard on new formats of music, light discussion and telling jokes (FM style). Now, to compete with internet
TV is going for high-definition technology to display things in digital formats at the same time.

On-line communication

Since the Internet was transformed into a mass medium, around the mid-90s, journalists and media
theoreticians have tried to define what online journalism is. One thing is for sure; internet is the new media
of modern times.
Unlike other media, which are greatly defined by their form (paper, sound, picture), online media are not
clear about their form. Very conditionally we can say that their form is limited by the computer screen or
speakers, since they also have a category of speed, unknown to the old media which extend in real time and
space. This means that the instrument we use to receive information considerably affects how it is imparted.

From end users’ perspective

A television program is the same regardless of the size of your TV screen, just as a radio program
does not change depending on whether you are listening to it on a transistor radio or an expensive stereo.
Newspapers are defined in the printing house and are such regardless of who reads them and where. But an
Internet site must take into account both those who access it through a high density network with screens 15 inches and larger,
as well as those who view it on the screens of their mobile phones with a modest access speed of 9,600 bps.
The fact that more and more people are using mobile phones (how many people do you know that do not
have them and for what reason do they not have them) means that the information market is moving to this
side and that it is only a question of technological and social compromise how quickly these devices will
surpass short text messages in favor of audio/video contents broadcast in real time.

Blogs are not formal media

Internet blogs are not journalism since they do not require any journalistic knowledge or experience
to write (create) them. Even the fact that behind the blogs stand a journalist does not mean that the product
of his observations posted on the Internet is journalism. Journalism is not a profession that can be done in
the privacy of one’s room; it requires a newsroom. Experience teaches us that no good result comes out of
something which, with the exception of the author, is not read/seen/heard before it is published/broadcast
by anyone else, or at least no one with the power to stop or delay it being published/broadcast if necessary.
The new media, unfortunately, offer this possibility. With the wholehearted help of legislation, or lack of it,
new media cultivate this jungle.

Is it really new?

An article taken from a newspaper must take into account printing technology, which means that it
cannot be transformed, without major editorial changes, into a form acceptable, for example, for the
Internet. This would entail significant shortening of the article, emphasizing key words, breaking it up into
sections connected with hyperlinks (which would not have to be written all over if they already exist on the
net). Therefore, this is a task for which there is usually not enough time or people or resources. The result is
that what we see on the net and what we call online journalism is actually only a projection of the old media,
with the only contribution being a technological one. Now we can read our favorite newspapers at the other
end of the world, at almost no charge, simultaneously with readers in the city they are published in. The
content is the same.

Old wine in new bottle

Any form of transfer of information can be used to distribute news reports. After all, at the
beginning of the 90s major media outlets had their own Tele-fax editions, for subscribers living far away
who had no patience for air distribution. Tele-faxes were replaced several years ago by e-mail since they are
much more suitable and rather less expensive.
These changes in distribution have not been accompanied sufficiently by changes in journalistic expression.
Mostly because the limitations of new technologies have not been restraining. A long newsletter that you
receive by electronic mail is not “comfortable” to read, but nothing prevents the author from creating it that
way and sending it out. Quite the opposite, in contrast to the old media, the new media practically have no
spatial or time limitations, except the mentioned transfer speed. This, instead of being an advantage,
becomes their disadvantage.

Disadvantages in the Use of New Media

While most advertising and marketing agencies have cited the use of New Media as a positive force
in reaching new and old customers alike, a prevalent concern amongst companies that wish to remain
competitive in today's digital markets is the rapid rate at which new media changes, and can be changed
from any number of sources. While the new level of communication between customers and those
providing any kind of service is generally beneficial, it also allows for more methods by which unhappy
consumers may disproportionately voice their concerns, in relation to their actual overall sampling size
amongst consumers as a whole.
Another negative result of the implementation of new media advertising and marketing is generally regarded
as being cost-related. As New Media forms are almost exclusively digital in nature, the cost of initial
establishment and then the upkeep of the equipment, resources, and manpower needed may pose a
significant problem for smaller businesses. It has been said that in this way, the worldwide trend towards
reliance on New Media for such means may very well be a move towards further corporate globalization,
and the downfall of smaller businesses that can't compete with such new technological means.

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