Analysis on New Media
Google defines new media as a means of mass communication using digital technologies such as the Internet. With the advancement of web-related technology ranging from WordPress to Podcasts, the evolution of new media is truly a work of art still in progress.
In my personal terms new media has a deeper meaning than just a digital form of communication. It is uniting societies across the globe by the usage of interactive digital mediums, such as blogs to online social networks, where platforms are personalized to serve the purpose of common human interest and connection.
Allow me to breakdown the components of new media in my terms and give you some insight in what I believe to be the new stage where the news media is heading. Let me begin simply by analyzing how human connection ties into the functioning mind and how crucial it is for new media.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average human attention span in 2015 was recorded at 8.25 seconds, dropping by about a third from 2000 to 2015. Due to the dropping rate in the human attention span over the recent years, drawing an interest or a personal connection, is more critical than ever.
Personal connection means connecting on a personal level to any form of work. Instead of restating the storyline or objectively stating the work’s genre, the reader connects to some aspect within the work and ties it in his/her own life.
Online social media platforms to blogging software all cater to the individuality of the user. Many of these sites provide an endless amount of web layouts for the user. The user then has the freedom to express personal thoughts and the ability to upload any form of content, making such sites personable.
Almost all sites have an open discussion forum at the bottom of each article for the readers to leave feedback on the material or personal opinions on the topic at hand. Creating this open dialogue for the audience gives birth to common human interest and connection. That is how the new media works.
Not only are normal day-to-day people like you and I joining the new revolutionized online world, so are seasoned news publications and networks.
Take The Wall Street Journal, one of the nation’s earliest newspaper publications, for example. The Wall Street Journal has integrated digitalized news as a part of their brand towards the new digital era.
In this engaging interactive video from The Wall Street Journal, it guides the audience with a step-to-step tutorial on how this new interactive technology functions.
The ability to control and navigate the news provides a sense of empowerment, which simply cannot be reproduced on newspaper. Having a new platform with wide variety of video selection also helps target a broader audience, since not every human has the same interest.
In the recent years newspaper is declining in numbers when it comes to traffic and revenue.
This strategic tactic in creating interactive material online for the viewing public has capitulated the news media to another dimension by keeping the continuity of traditional media and showcasing the news in a contemporary and modernized way.
A recent integration of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with TV broadcasts has been trending in the recent years.
Many on air shows from local and regional news, to late night shows such as Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon are using likes or hashtags to bring in traffic from online to TV and vice versa.
Incorporating online material in traditional forms of media such as TV broadcast to radio helps attract the new generation that is online based with out jeopardizing the loyalty and interest of the older generations.
By effectively combining the two mediums, numbers for cable news and public broadcasting have been able to maintain or show a growth. Take a look at the following research studies done by Pew Research Center that showcase traffic data.
NPR Station’s Digital Traffic
Since the news media is emphasizing presence in the World Wide Web, the news world is slowly making a transition to a new form of media known as multimedia.
In a multimedia news story, texts acts as the bonding adhesive to integrate viewing content that is just as informative as written material such as video, audio, photos and animation.
The use of audio podcasts, video interviews (shot with professional cameras or mobile phones), photos (that can be enhanced with the use of Photoshop), to infographics with data revealing information, are all components to showcase a visually aesthetic multimedia news piece.
Take The New York Times, Snow Fall The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek By John Branch for a prime example of a lengthy multimedia news story.
I believe even with the new transition of multimedia, the ultimate goal is to get rid of text and have everything in video content.
News networks are offering now live streaming news that can be accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Take the BBC News for instance; they have a division that is dedicated to produce news 24 hours of the day.
Video servicings site such as YouTube also provides news material around the clock such as Vice news,that released a news story on China just yesterday.
Not only are news networks focusing on this visual podium so are social networks. Instagram to Snapchat all focus on the sharing of photos and minimal text to communicate with followers and friends. According to Mintel’s 2013 survey, 31% of US adults who use social networks capture video or images specifically so they can share that content online. Emphasizing that pictures really are worth a thousands words in this era.
Facebook and Twitter now allow sharing video content on timelines and tweets. Since the ability to upload video material on Twitter, MIT Technology Review reported, the average length of global tweets declined between 2009 and 2012. Check out this article written by Mintel where Bryant Harland also anticipated this extinction of text back in 2014.
Furthermore, the news world is still progressing into a digitalized era. It will be quite interesting to see the development of the news media over the upcoming years.