instantaneous image transmission

Scaling a Changing Curve: Traditional Media Development and the New Media

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 15, 2009
Scaling a Changing Curve: Traditional Media Development and the New Media data sheet 3468 Views
Sullivan, Marguerite H.
Publication Date: 
Mar 2008
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Across the world, journalists and traditional news media organizations have come to realize that new media—including blogs, social networking sites, cell phone messaging, and other relatively new technology applications—are having a profound impact on their work. A recent survey of U.S. journalists noted that for a majority of respondents, the new media have had a significant impact on the speed, tone, and editorial direction of their reporting.1 Yet the field of independent media development has been slow to fully realize the potential of new information and communication technology (ICT). Although new technologies have fundamentally altered the traditional media landscape, many media-development donors, practitioners, and scholars have only recently begun to consider ICT seriously and systematically in their traditional models of media development. Many who do utilize ICT tend to do so in the background, rather than making new technologies the major feature of programming. To complicate matters further, new technologies are not simply being incorporated into the rules of the media game; they are changing them completely. New trends like citizen-based journalism, spontaneous mass organization prompted by new media communication, instantaneous image transmission, and ubiquitous computing have totally reshaped the way people and institutions gather and process information. During the recent presidential primary contests in the United States, for example, viewers were able to submit questions via video networking sites such as YouTube, and discuss candidates’ debate performances on social networking sites such as Facebook. The trend is not limited to developed countries; from the Philippines to Kenya to Korea, new information technologies are transforming the modern news media. To be sure, incorporating and anticipating new media technologies in traditional independent media-development models may be a more complicated process than it appears. Particularly because use of these technologies can be spontaneous, user-driven, and relatively low-cost, it would appear that making creative use of them would be relatively easy for donors and practitioners working on independent media development. Nevertheless, there are additional factors that must be considered, including questions of access; patterns of use; the “non-organic” quality of top-down, donor-driven programs; technical literacy; and other similar factors. Through an examination of the use of ICT in independent media development, this paper seeks to shed light on the state of current practice with respect to media development and new technologies. It will also place these developments within the context of a rapidly changing global information industry, one that is evolving faster than traditional media programs have been able to adapt. Finally, it will offer several recommendations on how independent media-development programs can take advantage of, and keep abreast of, these new global trends.