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New media and choice The new media have taken control of media content away from the owners and editors and placed it in the hands of the users. To what.

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Presentation on theme: "New media and choice The new media have taken control of media content away from the owners and editors and placed it in the hands of the users. To what."— Presentation transcript:

1 New media and choice The new media have taken control of media content away from the owners and editors and placed it in the hands of the users. To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? LI/LO: to evaluate how new media has influenced the way in which the media affects society. Prepare notes to answer a 33 mark question.


3 What is the definition of the New Media? In your groups list as many forms of new media as you can. What characterises this as different from other media? How does this compare to old media?

4 Characteristics of the new media. The term new media generally refers to two trends that have occurred over the past 30 years. The evolution of existing media delivery systems. The way media content is delivered has dramatically changed over the last 30 years. As recently as 2000 most people received television pictures through aerials and there were five terrestrial television channels that could be accessed. Digital, high definition, flat-screen televisions and subscriptions to hundreds of digitalised satellite and cable television channels are now the norm. The emergence of new delivery technologies – cheap personal computers and mobile-phone technology, and especially texting, are relatively novel forms of communication. However, the most innovative technology that has appeared in the last 20 years is probably the Internet or worldwide web. There are several characteristics of new media. Lister et al distinguished new media through five main concepts: 1.Digitality 2.Interactivity 3.Hypertextuality 4.Disperal 5.Virtuality

5 In what ways has the new media empowered the consumer? In your groups give as many examples as you can think of where the new media has given consumers more control. What does the speaker identify as a positive impact of the new media? How is this changing the way media consumers interact with the news? What is the impact of new media and citizen journalism on society?

6 How are editors and new organisations responding to new media Read this article. How has the rise of social media affected the way consumers interact with the BBC? Who is directing the news to whom? What are some of the draw backs that the writer highlights?

7 Does technology really empower people? What is the speakers major criticism of the role of technology in spreading democracy? In what ways does technology help build legitimacy? What is the reality of the majority of internet usage? What is the difference between a digital renegade and a digital captive?

8 How has the new media affected society? Curran and Seaton (2003) The neophiliac perspective. (positive) The cultural pessimist perspective. (negative)

9 Neophiliac perspective Increased consumer choice – there are now hundreds of choices available to people in the form of media outlets and delivery systems. It is argued that competition between media institutions results in more quality media output. More media user participation – a great deal of retail commerce is conducted on the Internet. Most major commercial companies now have their own websites. Revitalising democracy – new media technologies may offer opportunities for people to acquire the education and information required to play an active role in democratic societies and to make politicians more accountable to the people. Some media sociologists have suggested that the Internet can revitalise democracy because it gives a voice to those who would otherwise go unheard. It allows like- minded people to join together and take action which may lead to social change. Some neophiliacs who are part of the anti-global capitalism movement have used the Internet to challenge the power of international capitalism. McLuchan (1962) – argues that the new media creates a global village promoting cultural diversity and a greater understanding across communities.

10 The cultural pessimist perspective Cultural pessimists believe that the revolution in new media technology has been exaggerated by neophiliacs. Cornford and Robins (1999) argue that new media are not so new and that the media today is an accommodation between old and new because to use a game console, a television is required, while to connect to the Internet, a telephone line is still needed. They suggest, further, that interactivity is not something new because people have written to newspapers and phoned in to radio and television for many years. The only thing that is new about new media is its speed – information, news and entertainment can be accessed in real time. Cultural pessimists criticise the idea that new media are increasing the potential for ordinary people to participate more fully in the democratic process and cultural life. The Internet is actually dominated by a small number of media corporations. Over three-quarters of the 31 most visited news and entertainment websites are affiliated with the largest media corporations, according to Curran (2003). Hill and Hughes (1997) challenge the view that cyberspace is more likely to contain web content that supports alternative minority political issues or views – 78% of political opinions expressed on the American websites were mainstream.

11 Does the new media empower all? Some sociologists have suggested that there now exists a generational divide in terms of how people use new media. According to Ofcom, the 16–24-year-old age group spent more time online compared with the 25+ age-group. Up to 70% of this age group use sites such as MySpace and Bebo. It also sent more text messages and watches less television. However, 40% of adults use networking sites such as Facebook, whilst the average age of the on-line gamer is 33 years. The poor are excluded from the super-information highway because they lack the material resources to plug into this new media revolution, i.e. there is a digital divide who cannot afford to keep up with the middle class technological elite. Some 80% of the richest households in Britain have Internet access, against only 11% of the poorest. Li and Kirkup (2007) found that men were more likely than women to use or chat rooms. Men played more computer games than women. Men were more self- confident about their computer skills than women and were more likely to express the opinion that using computers was a male activity and skill.

12 Postmodernists and the new media Postmodernists argue that the new media, and the popular culture that it generates, shape our identities and lifestyles today much more than traditional influences such as family, community, social class, gender, nation or ethnicity. Post-modernists also argue that the media has also changed and shaped our consumption patterns by making us more aware of the diversity of choices that exist in the post-modern world, e.g. many people now feel that they no longer belong to real communities. Strinati (1995) emphasises the importance and power of the mass media in shaping consumer choices. The new media has given us so much choice that our sense of reality is now defined by the media. Criticism - This view assumes we have no prior experiences to reject this postmodern world. Have postmodernists over exaggerated the impact of the media on our lives?

13 Marxism and the New Media Marxists argue that globalisation restricts choice because transnational media companies and their owners have too much power. Marxists are particularly concerned that local media and cultures may be replaced by a western culture in a process known as cultural imperialism. Fenton (1999) highlights the big role of the new media in promoting western values across the globe. American companies dominate the media sphere. Kellner (1999) suggests that this global media culture is about sameness and that it erases individuality, specificity and difference. Criticism - Cohen and Kennedy (2000) suggest that cultural pessimists under-estimate the strength of local cultures – they note that people do not generally abandon their cultural traditions, family duties, religious beliefs and national identities because they listen to Madonna or watch a Disney film. Rather, they appropriate elements of global culture, and mix and match with elements of local culture, in much the same way as the citizens of the USA and Britain.

14 Pluralists and the new media Pluralists suggest there is no dominant ruling class, but many competing groups with different interests. What appears in the media is driven by the wish of consumers.

15 Essay The new media have taken control of media content away from the owners and editors and placed it in the hands of the users. To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? Success criteria 1.Use PEEE 2.Address concept of new media 3.In what ways is it empowering users? 4.Who is making this argument? 5.Who disagrees? What is their argument? 6.Conclusion – assessing the extent of the validity of the statement.

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