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Posts tagged ‘current news’

What are current media?

By Joe Hronek

So what is the current state of news media?  To a certain extent we are all aware of the situation because this is the era in which we live.  It is common knowledge that twitter and blogging are popular, that print news and of 6:30pm broadcasts are in decline, and that these companies are scrambling to remain relevant.  This is supported by research: Twitter averages 1 Billion Tweets per week [1]; here we can see the decline in newspaper usage: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/638/whoreadsnewspaper.jpg/ ; and here we can see the decline in broadcast viewership: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/714/eveningnewsaudiencecont.png/ .

I do not think traditional media will be disappearing anytime soon.  So far newspaper outlets have been able to adapt somewhat by transporting their content online: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/adrevenues.jpg/ .  Cable news has worked out its own niche in the market, but broadcast news viewers still vastly outnumber that of cable outlets by millions [2].

It is clear that we currently consume news in a hybrid form; we use both traditional and new sources.  I think what helps inform our predictions for the future is very recent trends in the developing or non-Western world.  The Arab Spring and unrest in the Middle East is a perfect example of this.  Also, the structure of our media speaks volumes of our culture, and this can better inform how we act going forward. If non-traditional news media fosters democratic participation in our society, we might want to increase its use for that end.


Media are at a crossroads

By Joe Hronek

As a political science major, I am inclined to see news media through the politics lens, but it has other functions in today’s society.  Analyzing the current state of news media tells us things about our culture and what we value as a society.  What do I mean?  Well, we can make inferences about what our society values based on why and how people consume media.  We all know that on Twitter, the most popular accounts are those of celebrities.  Likewise, the growth of online and mobile media demonstrates our desire for quick, accessible information.  This could be contrasted with the past, where the most articles are newspaper columns written by professional journalists.   One couldn’t learn of a sports team’s progress via Twitter; one could only catch up with the latest news via newspaper recaps the following day.  Despite the frequent use of Twitter and blogs as personal diaries and not a source of information, they do play an important role in the news world.

We stand at a crossroads.  There is still a living legacy of old media.  Yet at the same time we are accommodating new media: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8&t=00m45s (30 seconds).  The critical point of the video is that even though traditional news corporations are adapting, there is vastly more content being put out online by new websites and user-generated content.