New media. Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the since the 90’s you’ve probably heard this term before. It basically refers to any media that’s existence is a result of the world-Wide Web. Since the 80’s ordinary people have had access to the technology needed to produce media, with the rise of handheld cameras and home computers and with the invention of the World-Wide Web came an explosion of self-produced media content. Mandiberg, M. (2012). Madiberg explains that self-generated content is now the purpose of existence for many large media companies. This concept is known as media convergence; the coming together of information to the point where most people absorb media from a single source. Jenkins, H. (2008) argued that convergence allows the same pieces of information to reach viewers through many different forms of media thus allowing for extreme alteration by the time an audience receives said information.
So with so many people using social media and almost everyone and their dog blogging. What does this mean for you the audience? If you look at this rather fancy looking diagram I made you can see two models about the way media works. If you go home watch the news and take it as gospel, then you are receiving information from one source in a unidirectional manner; the arrows represent information. Now with the emergence of new media this means that the public, that’s you and I, can share information with one another meaning the days of unidirectional information are numbered.
So you might be thinking new media sounds great: what a ground breaking, mind freeing, hegemony obliterating age we live in! Unfortunately, that isn’t the absolute truth. McNair (2012) informs us that political actors use new media to push their political views. This very concept is a wrecking ball to the wall of objectivity.
In a world where new media is corner stone of public life, where we spend more time on our phones than any other device. Where does that leave journalism? You could argue that new media spells the end of journalism; that news as we know it is a dried up as the LA river. Not necessarily, journalism doesn’t have to go quietly into the night. The Darwinian nature of media is a constant, journalism must adapt; it must evolve to survive. With new technology journalism, can be reborn, for example the use of 360 video is an interesting technological frontier.
This is a video from the Houses of Parliament after the events of Wednesday the 22nd of March.
Scene of London attack in Westminster (360 video), RT Documentary. (2017), Youtube.
As you can see this form of video allows you to look around 360 degrees at a moving image. Imagine of you went online to watch the news like this. Instead of just having a small frame with a reporter talking at you; you could look around like you were there. To look around and see the information first hand. Journalism as we know it is dead. Yes. However, we still need objective journalism now more than ever and with new technology it could be right around the bend.
Jenkins, H. (2008) Convergence culture: where old and new media collide: New York; London: New York University Press, (3-10)
Mandiberg, M. (2012) The Social Media Reader: New-York University Press. (1-4)
McNair, b. (2011) An Introduction To Political Communication: Routledge (10-11)
Scene of London attack in Westminster (360 video), RT Documentary. (2017), Youtube.d