Merits and demerits of the New Media, By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

Posted by News Express | 7 September 2020 | 1,279 times

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•Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu


The new media are referred to as contents that are available on demand. Such contents are most commonly channelled through the Internet but accessible on any digital device, usually containing interactive user feedback and creative participation. The new media include websites such as online newspapers, blogs, wikis, video games and social media. The basic distinguishing characteristic of the new media from other traditional media of mass communication is dialogue. While the new media transmit content through connection and conversation, it enables people around the world to share, comment on, and discuss a wide variety of topics.

Before the ’80s, the trend was that the media relied primarily upon print and analogue broadcast models, such as those of television and radio. For some decades now, there has been a rapid transformation in the media world, and this is predicated upon the use of digital technologies, such as the Internet and video games.

The list of the merits of the new media is inexhaustible. The new media have broken the monopoly initially enjoyed by the traditional media, which conferred on them the dictatorial role of determining what constitutes news and in what form it is disseminated. Also, because of the speed with which the online media break news, the traditional media no longer enjoy what was initially tagged “exclusive”. Another major edge the online media have over the traditional media is their ability to transmit data online, which can be accessed both by sight and sound.

The explosion of online readers and viewers has forced traditional media organisations to go online. Radio and television stations can now be accessed through the Internet, by logging onto their websites. Traditional newspapers are fast losing their advert revenue. And this has forced them to display their stories online. The idea is to catch advert revenue online.

The online newspapers have a wider reach. They are boundless and do not need physical transport to get to their readers as required by the traditional newspapers. The online newspapers ensure a speedy feedback from readers. They offer readers opportunity to react to stories swiftly as well consult other sites for more information on the subject.

The new media have also played a pivotal role in making the world a global village, enhancing public opinion while creating awareness for economic development as they have afforded millions of users worldwide an opportunity to make a living. The compression of time and space, due to the convergence of new media and globalisation, has shrunk the world into a much smaller interactive field, and the new media allow people to communicate and engage with information that is quickly accessible on the Internet.

On the reverse, it is argued that the new media are faced with serious professional issues, such as gate-keeping, scanty consideration on worthiness or unworthiness of news to publish, little concern for ethics, such as objectivity, fairness and accuracy in news gathering and information dissemination.

•Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu, a public policy analyst, writes from Aba, via

Source: News Express

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