Ronnie05's Blog

The hegemony of traditional media versus the disruption of new media

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on December 14, 2013

Google, Facebook, Wikis, Twitter and other such internet properties have upended traditional media and fundamentally altered media based interactions. Newspapers and print media estates are loosing out readership and advertising dollars to a pincer attack from the new media properties offering-

1. Hyper localized and personalized news relevant to the reader – thus creating a stronger ad-connect.
2. Media itself now means a bi-directional pipe of conversation – with the reader being an active creator of content, news and reviews.

The trust factor
In the wake of the Arab Spring – the Jasmine Revolution, the Lotus Revolution, the Pearl Revolution and various public outbursts / uprisings around governance in India (Anna’s Lokpal fasts, Baba Ramdev’s Anti-corruption tirade, the Nirbhaya outbursts or even the alternate media support to formation and coming to prominence of AAP), Web-based alternate forms of media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google have gathered credibility and threshold numbers. The parameters of freedom and space found in the mainstream media are directly or indirectly prescribed by the government. Such a media environment also brought about a worrying culture of self-censorship within the journalistic community. The new media gained popularity and acceptance because of the need to have freer information flow as the mainstream media is perceived to be controlled by the government.

An empowered reader
With the coming of the new media, people who have long been on the receiving end of one-way mass communication are now increasingly likely to become producers and transmitters. The distinction between information producers and consumers will become increasingly difficult to draw.As experiments with global citizenship go forward, the empowerment offered by distributed, networked digital communication may become shared more widely. This warrants an important adjustment to media hegemony theories.

Lite Business Models
Mass media news outlets are struggling with changing gate-keeping standards due to demands for interactive content produced by audiences themselves. Mainstream mass media are typically highly centralized, require significant investment and resources and can be heavily influenced by governments through various mechanisms and forms of control.The new or alternative media on the other hand have radically different characteristics. The new media such as the Internet can be used for both points to mass communications as well as point to point and mass to point message distribution. They are also extremely de-centralized, require very low investment, provide greater interactivity and public participation and are much more difficult to control

It is therefore not surprising for the new media to gain popularity and acceptance in civil society. People are now free, and have the opportunity to create their own news as well as to get the other side of the story by getting news from the Internet which is seen as free from control. But will the traditional media hegemony cease altogether or there could be other alternate models bringing forth a hybrid of the traditional and the new media.

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