A Communication Blog.

mass media versus the new media!

Posted on: October 23, 2010

          With the emergence of technology and hence the new media, the power of the mass media is getting eroded, albeit slowly. While a decade or so back the media agenda was largely set by those in power – media owners, producers, advertisers and political groups, it appears that even the average Joe gets to say his piece to the world. The advent of blogs and immensely popular social networking websites like Twitter means that everyone has a platform to announce his or her views.

          This has many repercussions on the mass media, or rather the print media. The demise of several newspapers can be partially blamed on the new media; many people have turned to the cheaper alternative of reading news online. You get to read news that you want to read, rather than have a newspaper which has news that may or may not pertain to you. With more people choosing to go online for their daily dosage of information, the new media is definitely gaining more power. While it is still untrue (and this might always be the case) to say that the new media is an equal representative of the views of everyone in the world, we have an increased power to access and post different kinds of information, because of the new media.

          According to this article, the trouble now is that we might face an overload of information. How do you achieve what you are truly looking for? Which information is most relevant to you? In order to battle fatigue (from having to sift through so much information to get what you need), there are search engines like Google and Yahoo! which allow you to read articles only with the keywords you seek.

an example!

          There are also online communities such as Tumblr, famous for their websites with specific interests. For example, if you are a fan of the sit-com How I Met Your Mother, you would be extremely pleased to discover that there is a site specially dedicated to the show, with several screenshots of memorable moments as well as humorous quotes from the characters. The owners of such blogs are known as the new gatekeepers of the media or more plausibly, “curators”. They “filter the most relevant information and add context through their commentary and insight, like the explanations on the gallery walls of an art exhibition”. Although the ownership of a blog rests on an individual or maybe a small group of individuals, what is different this time is that ownership can belong to anyone from a chief executive of a Forbes 500 company to a schooling eighteen year old. Ownership of the new media is far from elite.

          I guess this is an interesting concept, because it means the media is getting increasingly split among the masses. No longer is the power to influence the people concentrated in a certain elite group, nor is the minority silenced by the majority’s views. The spiral of silence, which is Elisabeth Noelle-Neuman’s theory that people have a tendency to refrain from expressing unpopular ideas for fear of isolation, does not apply as much to the new media as it is now easy to associate yourself with a like minded group of people online.

(Images from Google Images)

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9 Responses to "mass media versus the new media!"

I think another good point of the new media is that apart from the fact that the spiral of silence do not exactly apply is that people can freely post whatever opinion they have in response to the differing views. This is in contrast to say writing in to the newspaper forum as it will still have to go through several filters and unpopular views will most likely not be published. However, the sad thing is not everyone is capable of being their own gatekeepers.

True.. but at least people who are not elite have a higher chance than in the past (when the internet didnt exist etc) to be a gatekeeper. i would still take care in what i write though. not having others censor you kinda means you have to censor yourself i think… i wouldnt want to be sent to jail for ahem inciting racial hatred or something.

Hello Jolyn!

Although I agree that the New Media is an easier alternative, I still feel that the power of influence lies in the Mass Media. For example, like HIMYM or Greys or Friends, these shows first appeared on our television screens, generating a huge fanbase. It is only after that we turn to the New Media to voice our opinions and feelings. I assume that if these shows were not telecast on TV or played up by the Media, we wouldn’t even realise their existence in the New Media due to the millions/billions of videos online.

So yeah, I feel that the Mass Media sorta triggers us to turn into New Media because we want more than what the televisions and magazines can provide us.

i agree, with the advancement and the ease of technology, there are so many channels for us to get our infomation from and we are, in fact, one of those who can express a certain opinion and there is a chance that it will be known. what a change from the past where we only had one source of information and that was it.

However, what about the negative effects of citizens being able to contribute to the real news too? like STOMP, we have no training whatsoever, neither do we have any ethical principles to guide us, and yet we are still able to contribute and show almost useless happenings in singapore.

Although the new media is catching up, mass media itself will not go out of service. What i meant is that anything in print will still exists and new media is just a lazy man way to connect to the media. New media lets one be anything they want to be in cyberspace but they are also harming you in another big way. Now you have cyber-bullying and Pedophiles online terrorizing kids. As new media is emerging to prominence, will it die down in a few years time?

i think that new media is just a natural progression or evolution of mass media; in keeping up with our changing liberal views. With a more liberal outlook on life in our present times, we need aveunes whereby we are able to voice out our different opinions and at the same time, be aware of other perspectives from other people. At the end of the day, it really just depends on how liberal or conservative you are.

Well, besides the moderators being gatekeepers, other forms of filters can also be like those checkboxes at the side at ebay.com where you can choose what you want to search for. Therefore, I guess we, the audience, can also become gatekeepers. Singapore, to me, has quite a high level of censorship and needs to open itself up more, so that we can have a greater understanding of the world.

I think the new media has its own unique way of disseminating its news and info to the audience/readers. Its really inevitable in this modern day of ours..since new media is constantly so on the go and convenient as compared to mass media in terms of newspaper publishing. Maybe even one day, we will have only electronic newspaper and not real ones anymore, its good though! Save the EARTH!!!:D

I think that the use of mass media and new media technologies actually constitute a generation gap. The older generation, most of whom are unaccustomed to using new media technologies like the internet, still continue to rely on mass media methods to get news. The younger generation, however, having grown up on a diet of internet exposure, are generally more open to the notion of internet use, having no qualms about posting their lives on websites and social networking sites for all to see.

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