Topic 2 - New media, globalization and popular culture

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Topic 2: New media, globalization and popular culture:
Defining the new media:
The term new media refers to 2 trends that have occurred over the past 30 years:
1. The evolution of existing media delivery systems ­ a decade ago most people
received TV pictures through aerials and analogue-signal TV sets whilst now
people are increasingly buying digital, high-definition TV and subscribing to
digitalized satellite and cable TV that offer a choice of hundreds of TV and radio
2. The emergence of new delivery technologies ­ the internet/worldwide web
The characteristics of new media:
The new media share a number of important characteristics in which they differ
enormously from the media delivery systems that dominated 20 years ago.
The digital revolution and convergence:
The development of digitalization led to the translation of all information, regardless of
format into a universal computer language. The new media all share this common digital
Digitalization resulted in the realization that different ways of presenting a variety of
types of information could all be combined into a single delivery system or media, known
as convergence.
Boyle notes that digitalization allows information to be delivered across a range of media
platforms, what were once separate and unconnected technologies are now part of a
converging media landscape that blurs the lines about how we use these technologies.
The technological convergence has also produced economic and social convergence.
This cross-fertilization of ideas and resources underpinned by digitalization produced
new forms of multimedia or converged media delivery systems.
Jenkins argues that convergence involves both a change in the way media are produced
and a change in the way media is consumed. He argues that convergence is both a
top-down corporate-driven process and a bottom-up consumer-driven process.

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The internet epitomizes the interactive media because it lets users select the stories
that they want to watch, in the order that they want to watch them.
Jenkins argues that interactivity has been brought about by convergence. The media
audiences today will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment
experiences they want.…read more

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However, he points out that we must be careful not to exaggerate these generational
differences. An Ofcom survey indicates that patters of media consumption are
changing. The 16-24 year group spend more time online compared with the 25+ group,
but 40% of adults use networking sites such as Facebook, and the average age of the
online gamer is 33 years.
A class divide?
The poor are excluded from the super information highway because they lack the
material resources to plug into this new media revolution.…read more

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In 2004, less than 3/100 Africans used the internet, compared with an average of ½
inhabitants of the G8 countries. The G8 countries have almost 50% of the world's total
internet users. On the whole, the USA and Western Europe generate most of the
content of the worldwide web. This dominance is reinforced by an estimated 85% of the
web is written in English despite less than 10% of the world's population speaking that
language.…read more

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Revitalizing democracy:
It is argued that new media technologies offer opportunities for people to acquire the
education and information required to play an active role in democratic societies and to
make politicians more accountable to the people. The internet is a means of
communicating information that the giant corporations who own and control the world's
traditional media are unlikely to want to report. The internet is a public sphere that
anybody can access.…read more

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Cultural pessimists criticize the idea that new media are increasing the potential for
ordinary people to participate more fully in the democratic process and cultural life.
Jenkins notes that new media developed as a result of investment by the big media
corporations. He argues that the cross-media ownership that began in the 80s was the
first phrase of media concentration and technological convergence.…read more

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In conclusion, as the media corporations successfully colonized most of the net with their
news, entertainment, business and sport sites, minority political views and civic discourse
were shifted to the margins.
Decline in quality of popular culture:
Cultural pessimists argue that increased choice of media delivery systems, particularly
the digitalization of TV, has led to a decline in the quality of popular culture.…read more

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Postmodernist sociologists have argued that the rapid expansion in media technologies
in the last decade has led to postmodern societies becoming `media saturated'.
As a result, the media, and the popular culture that they generate, now shape our
identities and lifestyles much more than traditional influences such as family, community,
social class, gender, nation or ethnicity.
The media has also changed and shaped our consumption patterns by making us more
aware of the diversity of choices that exist in the postmodern world.…read more

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Entertainment ­ it has become globalized via satellite television, global marketing
and advertising, and the internet.
Possible consequences of globalization:
Supporters of globalization, as postmodernists, suggest that it brings about more choice
with regard to identities and lifestyles. They see the global media as a positive influence
in that they can inject the developing world with modern ideas and therefore kick-start
economic and cultural ideas and behaviour that will develop those societies.…read more



Thanks for this!


very helpful :)


thank you :)

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