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Introduction to Mass Communication

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Every time a new technology is introduced in the sphere of mass media and a new media organ is
created, there appears a situation where new form of mass communication gets its source material from the
media organs already in vogue.
The mediated communication which is always based on certain technology also needs contents which must
be made the main area of mass communication. Hardly there has been a situation when a new technology
has also brought altogether new topics to be talked about with the help of new science. Here we will see
how the advent of various technologies has led to media combination.

From Print to Electronic Amalgamation

Print media had been enjoying a unique distinction in the society for almost four hundred years
when in the first quarter of the 20th century radio was introduced on the basis of electromagnetic waves
technology. It was first time that the people experienced a wireless communication at massive scale.
Radio brought with it listening pleasure – music, talks and news etc. But the nature of contents in news, talk
shows, discussions, educational programmes and comments was not new. More or less it was dealing with
the same content people had been familiar with over the years because of print media. The only change was
the new technology. Contents were the same. So one can say that radio was a mergence of print and
electronic media as far content were concerned.

Radio, TV mergence

Although TV was also based on radio wave technology, the carrying of images through
electromagnetic waves gave it a unique distinction and in the eyes of common people TV has been a
different entity.
But on the content side, TV picked many ideas from radio formats like group discussions, musical
programmes, and commentary on sporting events, and presentation of news. The changes were only due to
presence of images.

TV and computer getting one - IPT (Internet protocol TV)

In the third quarter of the 20th century scientists were successful in using the digital technology for
carrying contents which were earlier carried only through analog techniques. This led to a marriage between
the analog and digital technologies and it is here that the subject of mergence of media has emerged.
This new combination is exclusive in the sense that it not only brings the contents of sound and images
together and all the formats of programme remain intact, it at the same time brings the two technologies at
one point.
In coming years you would be able to use your computer as TV and if you desire, TV set could also be used
as computer because most TV sets manufactured after 2006, or so, would carry a chip which would enable
decoding of messages transmitted through digital technology.
So, when we say that the media will converge, we mean that current television shows will merge into a
hybrid with World Wide Web style content. Television shows will have other types of media like text
merged into them, and World Wide Web pages will begin to be temporal entities that tell a story. Another
way of looking at this is that both your television and your computer will be running a similar super browser
which will allow the same content to be viewed on both devices. Also, to say that the two converge it is not
enough to say that you will be able to watch television on your computer-- that merely means that television
content is a sub-set of computer content and is already possible today. For the two to truly converge the
content that can be received by both devices should be the same.
When we say that the media will not converge, we mean that television shows and world wide web content
will remain distinct media forms, and that you will use your television for watching television shows, and
your computer to view and browse web content. While both media types may have evolved, they will
remain different from one another.

People will cease distinguishing between computers and televisions:

The second topic for the debate will be that the computers and televisions as devices will merge. In
this case the argument is that sometime in the future there won't be "televisions" and "computers", but
some new device that encapsulates the behavior of both. This "viewer" will come in different sizes and
shapes, but will be thought of as one item, just like little TVs and big TVs in people's minds are considered
one type of device. While you may be more inclined to use the "viewer" on your desk to browse the web,
and the "viewer" in the home theater to watch movies, you would be willing to do either task on either
device. In other words, if you were at your desk working on a "viewer" and a friend called up telling you to
check out a show, you would just switch the "viewer" to that show, rather than going into another room to
find a "TV viewer".
Non-convergence in this case is the argument that, while TVs may take on some computer-like functionality
and vice versa, fundamentally the two will be thought of as different devices. Doing research and browsing
the web will be done on a computer, and watching shows and movies will be done on a television.
Finally, it is important to make one final point on the debate framework. There are always extreme points
in the adoption of technology. Since there is no technical reason why a television can't have the same
functionality as a computer, or vice versa, it is quite likely that both computer powered TVs and computers
that can display television will be around in the future.

Nature of program remains a question

On account of this, the debate will center on what functionality the majority of televisions and
computers will have, and what types of media will be broadcast for a majority of broadcast hours. The
main question we consider is whether televisions and computers will come to be more similar on average as
time goes on, or whether they will evolve along mostly independent paths.

Economic reasons

Media convergence is an economic strategy in which communications companies seek financial
benefit by making the various media properties they own work together. The strategy is a product of three
elements: 1) corporate concentration, whereby fewer large companies own more and more media
properties; 2) digitization, whereby media content produced in a universal computer language can be easily
adapted for use in any medium; and 3) government deregulation, which has increasingly allowed media
conglomerates to own different kinds of media (e.g., television and radio stations and newspapers) in the
same markets, and which has permitted content carriage companies (e.g., cable TV suppliers) to own
content producers (e.g., specialty TV channels). The strategy allows companies to reduce labour,
administrative and material costs, to use the same media content across several media outlets, to attract
increased advertising by providing advertisers with package deals and one-stop shopping for a number of
media platforms, and to increase brand recognition and brand loyalty among audiences through crosspromotion
and cross-selling. At the same time, it raises significantly the barriers to newcomers seeking to
enter media markets, thus limiting competition for converged companies.

Digital Cinemas

People have become increasingly interested in studying new aesthetic forms that have emerged in response
to the potentials of digital media. One such area of interest is digital cinema. Digital cinema can refer to
many different things, ranging from the use of digital cameras in film production or digital projection in film
exhibition to the use of the web as a delivery system for films. The Digital Cinema conference explored
many different aspects of this topic.


Standard digital television


High definition television

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