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Evolution of 'new' media.

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Introduction

The advancement of technology has transformed dramatically in the 21st centaury and affects every aspect of our everyday lives. With the comparison of a South African example of 'traditional' and 'new' media products, in the form of the print and the on-line news providers of the 'Mail & Guardian' news product, this essay seeks to evaluate the implications of the development of 'new' media, and its affects on the likes of 'traditional' news products. Before delving into the issue of the impact that 'new' media has on 'traditional' media, it is important to define these two terms. 'Traditional ' media is commonly seen in the form of radio, television and print (newspapers). Each are separate entities and are independent of each other. They do not rely on each other for existence and do not influence each other in any way. As the term, 'traditional' media, is an incredibly broad term, it is difficult to give a precise definition for it. Rather, it is in contrast to the concept of 'new' media that a fitting definition for the term 'traditional' media is formed. Print media, in the form of the "Mail & Guardian" newspaper, is a South African example of 'traditional' media. The term 'new' media refers to the forms of media content that "combine and integrate data, text, sound and images of all kinds"(Flew, 2003: 10). ...read more.

Middle

Here again the advantages of 'new' media are highlighted. The likes of 'traditional' print media are also limited by space, resulting in the actual content to be limited. Thus in 'traditional' print media, only selected articles feature in the news. On the other hand, 'new' media, in the form of on-line articles, tend to contain more in-depth articles, as well as provide additional information on related topics in the form of "layered journalism" (Dessaucer, 2004: 125). This idea of "layered journalism", utilizes the feature of "hyperlinks" (Flew, 2003: 15). As explained earlier, "hyperlinks" provide the reader with "links to other related information, including past stories, multimedia features and links to other websites that offer primary source information" on a specific subject (Dessaucer, 2004: 124). The advantage of this is that the reader is provided insight into specific topics, without much effort and without actively having to search for it. Limitations to 'traditional' media are found in the area of interactivity. Person-to-person interactivity in 'traditional' media is extremely limited in comparison to that of 'new' media forms, which both facilitates and stimulates interactivity on all levels. "Internet usage involves person-to-person communications, group communication...through electronic mail (email), news groups, chat rooms, mailing lists and the World Wide Web" (Flew, 2003: 12). This increased interactivity, stimulated by 'new' media, allows the reader to assume a more active role rather than a passive one. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that the reader is partaking in various activities at once highlights the fact that "the focus of attention has the tendency to move at an alarming rate" (Steemers, 1999: 233). Conclusion: As technology continues to advance and 'new' media continues to assume an ever-increasing influence in the media industry, it seems inevitable that 'traditional' media will slowly be phased out of existence and in fact evolves into what is known as 'new' media. However, in as much as 'new' media is seemingly the way of the future and provides seemingly endless opportunities for its users, it only focuses on a niche market, leaving behind the poorer third world communities. Until such a time that access, infrastructure and education about 'new' media are made affordable and available to these poorer communities worldwide, print media and 'traditional' media, it seems, will continue to exist. Rather than suffocating it into extinction, it is likely that 'traditional' media and 'new' media will exist side by side for a long time to come. . REFERENCE LIST * Dessaucer, C. 2004. New Media, Internet News and News Habit. In Howard, P and Jones, S (ed), Society Online, London: Sage, 121-136. * Flew, T.2003. New Media: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. * Steemers, J. 1999. Broadcasting is dead. Long live digital choice. In Mackay, H and O'Sullivan, T (ed), The Media Reader. London: Sage, 231-249. ...read more.

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