New Media and it's Impact on Popular Culture and British Society

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New Media and its Impact on Popular Culture and British Society
Impact of the First Wave of New Media in the 1980s and 90s
Videos and Video Recorders
Increase in video recorders and cassettes in the 80s meant watch programmes when they
wanted rather than schedulers. Or more importantly, you could buy/rent film to watch at
Unlike films in the cinema, there was no legislation that censored films on video until the
1984 Video Act. Beforehand, people were concerned that children were able to get their
hands on cheap horror films such as Driller Killer (1979) and The Evil Dead (1982). This led
Mary Whitehouse to speak out about `video nasties'. The Director of Public Prosecution
(DPP) authorised the police to seize obscene material under the 1959 and 77 Obscenity
Acts. By 1982, video shops were just as pleased with the new legislation as Mrs
Whitehouse: after film classification, shops now knew what they could sell without the risk
of confiscation.
Sales of video cassettes rose throughout the 80s and 90s until they were overtaken by
DVDs in 2004 with videos being obsolete.
Since 2000, there has been a relaxation on censorship of videos with many banned by the
DPP been passed for release with a few cuts.
Satellite TV
The rise of satellite TV in the 1980s led to:
Increased number of channels available on British TV as more were available from
The rise of channels that were dedicated to just 1 genre of programme
The establishment of `pay-TV' in Britain
Transmission of real-time images of events from around the world
Along with the relaxation of regulations in the 1990 Broadcasting Act, these changes
affected the types of programme on offer to the increasing number of viewer hence an
important element of popular culture.
In February 1989, Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV began to broadcast to the UK from Luxembourg.
This made the government powerless from individuals buy satellites to receive Sky TV. It was
not just Sky; many immigrants could receive channels from their home country.
1992, Sky bought the rights to televise all Premiership football matches for 5 seasons for
£191M. 1997, it paid £670M for 4 seasons and £1B in 2004 for 3 seasons.
The money injected into the Premier League has had large impacts on the game, with huge
salaries attracting foreign talented players.
The number of channels available to British viewers greatly increased after the rise of digital
satellite and terrestrial broadcasting in 1998. This further increased the number of
programmes available to British audiences.
Satellite TV also meant that news events could be relayed in real time to audience. The 1991
Gulf War is said to be the first `real-time war'; people began to speak of a `CNN effect', the
impact of seeing events on the other side of the world as they took place. One of the most
notable events that unfolded on live TV was 9/11.
The Impact of the Second Wave of New Media Since 1998
Digital TV

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Digital signals require far less power to generate than analogue and take up less bandwidth;
the launch of terrestrial and satellite TV meant more channels could be broadcast. By 2008
12.3M+ homes in the UK could receive over 70 channels.
In 2012, the analogue transmissions will be stopped; all UK homes will have the choice of
Freeview, pay-tv via cable or satellite or to go without. The number of channels potentially
available via satellite runs into the thousands.…read more

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The large impacts of the Internet on British society and in popular culture have been the
result of recent changes in the way the Internet's used. While the technology has improved
physically i.e. fibre optic and not copper etc.…read more

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In November 2009, the BBC appointed its first Social Media editor; this is clearly a reflection
of the growing importance of citizen journalism. Citizen reporting has reduced the ability of a
few powerful individuals or organisations to control the information available to a wide
One of the most important examples of social media are blogs. In 2008, there were an
estimated 3M active blogs in the UK. The key question is the extent to which they are a
positive force for democratisation.…read more

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However, these proposals are being fought by a wide
range of organisations including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and eBay.
Web2.0 and TV
TV on the Internet looks set to further the trend that began with videos, accelerated with
satellite and digital TV, towards the fragmentation of televisual popular culture. The major
terrestrial channels have large selections of old programmes to download and watch on
services such as iPlayer and 4oD, further enhancing viewers' choice.…read more

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M Facebook users worldwide who each provide who each provide
information about themselves that helps companies to target their marketing through a
program called `Facebook Social Ads'.
Unit Summary
There have been 2 waves of new media since the 1980s. Both waves have affected mass
media, but their impact on popular culture and British society are less clear. New media have
led to greater choice and forced old media to compete for audience share.…read more


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