The degree of convergence distinguishes old media and new media. Convergence is the combination of computing and other information of technologies, media content and communication networks that were given rise to by the introduction and growth in importance of the internet as well as the activities, products and services that have emerged in the digital media space ( Poor:2006). In the past “Television and radio signals were carried over the airwaves; telephony was carried across single-form networks and exchange; and computers either took a form of stand-alone mainframes or battery-operated forms such as pocket calculators” (Flew: 2005). Due to this it was impossible to have phones which are Web enabled and have radio or television within them which enables one to access emails, internet and watch television.
attributed to the convergence of new media “We are witnessing the evolution of a universal interconnected network of audio, video, and electronic text communications that will blur the distinction between interpersonal and mass communication and between public and private communication” (Neumann cited in Croteau and Hoynes 2003: 322). New media offers access to text, videos, images and audio from one device without having to rotate but only clicking or pressing buttons on the same device, due to new media the internet can be accessed through a phone, IPOD or PSP unlike in the past wherein it could only be accessed through a computer only. Television is no longer non-portable cable device which cannot be carried around like in the past, nowadays it can be on a phone or personal computer just as much as a computer does not have to be a big desktop but it can be a small portable laptop.
Interactivity is also important distinguisher between old and new media any individual with the appropriate technology can now produce his or her online media and include images, text, and sound about whatever he or she chooses. The new media radically shapes the ways we interact and communicate with one another. Interactivity is central to new media, interactivity include radio and television talk shows, letters to the editor, listener participation in such programs, and computer and technological programming. In the old media interactivity was less as newspapers, television and radios did not consider the opinions and preferences of individuals because communication was a way conversation, a one- to- many. Thus people were given what the media thought is right for them but nowadays the degree of interactivity ha increased even though it does not necessarily mean that it every new media has some interactivity elements but mostly do as it is indicated by computers which can talk back these days, phones which comprise of handwriting recognition and so forth.
(2005) argues that "the global interactive games industry is large and growing, and is at the forefront of many of the most significant innovations in new media" (Flew 2005: 101). Interactivity is prominent in the new media, developments of new media enables users to establish relationships and experience a sense of belonging, despite temporal and spatial boundaries. New media can be used as an escape or to act out a desired life by means of online games which offers a higher degree of interactivity.
The degree of new media’s global reach also distinguishes new media to old media. In the past radio and television as the popular media mediums broadcasted virtually only local news because of the difficulty in acquiring international news and censorship but at the same time it can be attributed to the slowness in development of better n quicker networks. Newspaper and magazines could only be sold as far because of the costs and rules associated with printing in some countries, by the time one reads about something it could be old news already which meant not all people could access or know what is going on around the world without going there.
As a result of new media it is simple for everyone to know what is going on in Africa within a minute after it happened while he\she is in Asia and better than reading one is able to see by means of videos and images what really transpired for example within much time after the death Michael Jackson virtually everyone who has access to the internet already knew about it. In the same day YouTube (a website) reported that it received millions of condolences messages from users to the family and fans.
Furthermore the global reach degree is indicated by the ever-increasing number of what (2000) describes as "" formed on the internet by people from different countries. He further argues that “these globalised societies are self-defined networks, which resemble what we do in real life. People in virtual communities use words on screens to exchange pleasantries and argue, engage in intellectual discourse, conduct commerce, make plans, brainstorm, gossip, feud, fall in love, create a little high art and a lot of idle talk" (Rheingold cited in Slevin 2000: 91).
In light of the comparisons and differentiation arguments stated above it is discernible that new media to a certain degree is not much different to old media but what distinguish the two is the betterment or advancement of the old media by the new media, notable differences are the options offered to users by the new media unlike the old media. The consumption of new media does not completely replace old media as indicated by the example of television.
Name : Hope Munyai
Students no. : 418083
Level : Media Studies 1004
Course : Broadcast and New Media (SLLS 1004)
Lecturer : Prof. Tawana Kupe
Tutor : Lehlohonolo Phatudi
Word Count : 896
Date Due : 30 September 2009
ESSAY TOPIC : ‘ New media has had a significant impact on existing or ‘old’ media forms of broadcasting.’ Making reference to properties of convergence, interactivity, networking, global reach, explore the difference between ‘old’ and ‘new’ media.
We constantly hear terms like ‘new’ media and ‘old’ media, what exactly is ‘new’ media and ‘old’ media and what are the features which distinguish between the two, in exploration and discussion of the two it becomes clear and discernible that the new one is just the betterment of another one by giving more options to the user which was not given by the old one but as different as they are the new one does not completely replace the old one.
I hereby declare that this is my original work, and that it has not copied or cited without relevant referencing.
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Castells, Manuel, (1996) Rise of the Network Society, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture volume 1, Massachusetts, Blackwell Publishing
Convergence: the International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.
Croteau, David & Hoynes, William (2003) Media Society: Industries, Images and Audiences (third edition), Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks.
Flew, Terry and Humphreys, Sal (2005) "Games: Technology, Industry, Culture" in Terry Flew, New Media: an Introduction (second edition), Oxford University Press: South Melbourne.
Holmes (2005) "Telecommunity" in Communication Theory: Media, Technology and Society, Cambridge: Polity.
Slevin, James: New Media & Society. http://nms.sagepub.com