This essay will argue that the influence of new technologies are changing the relationship between the media and their audiences. This concept will be explored by examining the current media communication model and how new technologies influence it’s future. Future media possibilities are raised and the implications of them for the relative industries are discussed. This essay is molded around the idea that these new technologies are giving audiences the power to shape the future of media and it’s capabilities. The premise being discussed involves many participants and factors as it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate them due to technological and communication convergence. Basically this essay will demonstrate how new technologies are allowing consumers to have more control over where, when and how they receive information.
Communication and media are one and the same. As media is defined as ‘means of communication to the public; newspapers, TV and radio collectively, (Penguin, 1979). Media refers to the medium by which communication to a particular audience takes place. Traditionally information was communicated through these mediums via a system of centralized dissemination meaning from one source (or relatively few) to many receivers. This was the First (electronic) Media Age and it was due to technological advancements of the time that formed this communication model and introduced the concept of mass media. This remains the model dominating our societies communication today. However technological developments such as the internet and mobile phones are challenging this centralized communication system heralding in a Second Media Age characterized by distributed systems of decentralized interaction (Posters, 1995).
‘Mobile devices and the Internet have given consumers the power and capacity to select the type of information they receive, where and when they receive it, and how they contribute to it. Consumers are no longer just receptors to the information flow’, (American Press Institute, 2004).
This is the emerging social trend that many media and technological forecasters are predicting through futures research. Futures research being the ‘understanding about the future consequences of present developments and choices’, (Media Futures Archive, 2004). Future consequences of the present developments of new technologies is the shifting of power from media organizations to the audience, the consumer. ‘This progression will redefine everything we know about the way people consume media’, (Media Magazines Forecast 2005, 2004). This shift potentially has dire consequences for the media industry and related industries including marketing and advertising. These industries have relied on the mass media communication model to transmit their message to a passive audience. The future however is in the consumers hand as they now have the power to call the shots about what media they...