New media is taking the world by storm, changing the way that people access information – journalists and citizens alike. It is, however, difficult to concretely define as it is continually evolving (Socha & Eber-Schmid, 2012). New media encompasses digital-based content that is readily available at any time. Examples include the Internet, social media networks, blogs, mobile phones and video games (Wikimedia Foundation Inc., 2013).
New media has increasingly been used since the mid-1990s to disseminate information, resulting in a media revolution. As more and more individuals gain first-hand access to information and audiovisual recording equipment, it is widely believed that the future of journalism will be digital and include a greater number of independent journalists (Gasher, Skinner, & Lorimer, 2012). While it is believed that this will lead to more journalistic independence, the movement also has its critiques. It is thought, for example, that journalists will struggle to keep up with the high speeds of new media, confining them to their desks and preventing story development (Gasher, Skinner, & Lorimer, 2012).
This instantaneous movement of information was predicted and accurately described by twentieth century scholar Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan coined the term global village to describe “the possibility of instant communication between any two points on the globe” (Gasher, Skinner, & Lorimer, 2012) approximately thirty years before the commercialization of the Internet and the introduction of new media as we know it today (Wikimedia Foundation Inc., 2013). McLuhan strongly felt that with the global village would come an increased sense of social and political awareness and responsibility among individuals. McLuhan’s theory can evidently be seen today in the way that people use new media in their everyday lives. The fact that individuals constantly have technology and information at their fingertips has played an important role in contemporary culture, particularly in the way that they perceive the world or construct their reality. No two people see the world the same way, and today’s technologies that make up new media have led to an even further divide.
It has been argued that many of new media’s characteristics can be compared to the features of 19th century media. Ryan Holiday, the director of marketing for clothing retailer American Apparel and self-proclaimed media manipulator, discusses this in his book titled “Trust Me, I’m Lying”.
In one section of the book, Holiday talks about the yellow papers of the 19th century. He discusses Benjamin Day, a businessman of the period that wanted to get away from the subscription-based political party newspapers. Day created the New York Sun in 1833 with the underlying belief that newspapers should be sold one copy at a time. This led to what Holiday refers to as the “one-off problem”, a problem stemming from the fact that every issue had to be sold every day. Holiday states that “[the...