New Media: the effects of technology on communication and media

One of the biggest problems in estimating the value of new technologies is to accurately predict their chance to transform into a system of mass communication. The technological innovation itself does not guarantee that based on it can be created a new communication system. Some innovations, which were destined to become the perfect communication systems, quickly found the wide recognition, while some stopped their development at the stage of experimentation. After the invention of television there were many communication technologies, based on which were made attempts to create new systems of mass media. It is clear that only some of them actually became the means of mass communication: for example, cable and satellite TV and computer communication are developed enough to be considered a new media, while teletext and videotext lost their relevance at an early stage. (Lister et al., 2003)

Nowadays it can be felt the influence of the new media on the nature of communication, giving way to a new process of sharing information through interactive new media. This interactivity means that instead of more standardized content of print and broadcast communication, now is transmitted more diverse content. Under the impact of new communication technologies appear not only new theoretical models of communication, but also the alternative media. (O’Donovan 1998)

The developers of new technologies and alternative media want to create such new systems that not only would inform and entertain the audience, but would do it better than traditional media. To succeed, the new system of mass media should offer such a combination of content, convenience, cost and accessibility, which would be better than already existing television, radio, movies, stereo, newspapers, books and magazines. (Lister et al., 2003)

Computer Communication
Undoubtedly, computers have become the cornerstone of new means of communication. The formation and spread of the Internet and related networks at the end of the 20th and the early 21 century have determined the structure of the new media: it is in the network architecture, the culture of users, the actual structures of communication. Network architecture is technically open, giving public access to the wide range of information. Internet should be considered in the unity of all its parts and aspects: its hardware and software, information transmitted through it, people and their organizations, who use the Internet for their own purposes. (Lister et al., 2003)

Computer communication is constantly expanding, and now covers a significant proportion of the population in developed countries. In general, assessing the effects of computer communication, it must be taken into account that computer communication does not replace other media, and do not create new networks, but strengthen and complement existing ones (like telephone communications), allowing them to interact more actively and independently. This new communications technology (the Internet) is forcing researchers to rethink the definitions and categories in the existing media theories. Once the Internet is conceptualized as a means of mass communication, it becomes clear that neither the concept of “mass” or the concept of “communication tool” can not give a precise definition to it. Internet is a multifaceted mean of mass communication, it includes a variety of different configurations of communication.

In conclusion it is necessary to point that the emergence of new technologies allowing to combine interpersonal communication and mass media, have not only changed the nature and characteristics of notions of media and communication, but it throws a challenge to the existing theories of communication.

Flew T. (2002). New Media: An Introduction. Oxford University Press, UK

Lister M., Dovey J., Giddings S., Grant I., Kieran K. (2003). New Media: A Critical Introduction. London, Routledge
O’Donovan T. (1998). “The impact of information technology on internal communication”. Education and Information Technologies, 3(1).


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