A few years ago, on hearing the word media the picture of newspapers, magazines, radio, TV reporter and the camera used to revolve around in the mind. These were the traditional means of media. Time and emergence of modern technology have given birth to another media, which came to known by the name of New Media. New media includes those medium which run on digital technology. In fact, this word called New Media has absorbed all the medium in itself. It has completely changed the medium of expression that has been going on over the years. Whenever we mention the name New Media, it is clearly understood that we are talking about internet enabled media or New Age Medium.
It can also be said that New Media has become the most powerful media of the 21st century. Now whether we talk about public life or private life, no one can imagine it without new media. New media has made tremendous changes in the field of journalism. Along with it news media has made a deep hold in every field like science and technology, banking, private and Government offices, medical science, agriculture, environment etc.
New media has extended its strong hold and reach from the common medium to mobile phones. The wonder of new media is that now a vast store of information has come at just one click. New media has become a medium through which all the three mediums of communication can be operated i.e. text, audio and video. In other words, any such content which has been prepared with the help of audio-video or graphics is called new media. Today, more than half of the world’s population is active users of this new media and this number is increasing continuously. According to one figure, around 4.5 billion people in the world were using social media in October 2021. If we talk about India, by the end of 2020 there were about 400 million active users, whose number is increasing continuously.
New media includes different mediums of social media sites like- Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and websites. All these mediums have became very popular among the youth. Its craze and usefulness can be seen well in older people too. In fact, after electronic and print media, now is the era of new media. Its effect can be seen on more than 60 percent of the country’s population. The reason for this is that through new media, information reaches very fast from one person or place to another person or place. People can know anything by sitting at their place. You can give your feedback and instantaneous reaction, as well as share it with others. Talking about journalism or journalists, earlier new media means social networking, social networking sites, blogs, citizen journalists or journalism etc but now it’s the time when the role of new media in journalism has increased a lot. Now it has become mandatory to use new media for good and successful journalism or to become a journalist.
New media has changed the pace and methods of communication. Now in the blink of an eye, any information can be easily sent anywhere in the country and abroad. Talking about new media, it includes text matter, or any content that has been prepared with the help of audio-video or graphics. All these content can be sent to anyone through Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, Blog etc. The biggest feature of whatever content is shared through these mediums of new media is that it is a two-way dialogue. In this, the reader, who is also called the user or reader, gives his response immediately. That is, getting immediate feedback on that content also starts. This portability of new media makes it popular among the masses. Also these medium of new media can be used anywhere on the go. The power of new media can be gauged from the fact that now news reaches people first by social media and then by any other medium. It takes some time to be broadcasted on TV or published in newspaper or magazine. By then the time users and readers of New Media would have already shared it with others.
Now the situation is that many news which initially could not found place in newspapers or TV now find prominent place in new media. The importance and usefulness of new media is to that extent that every newspaper and TV channel has its own news websites, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. They give as much prominence to their news on these platforms as in newspapers and on TV. In fact, the new media has changed the boundaries, definitions and presentation of news from the traditional media. Now, news is being made based on the choice and interest of the readers. Social media sites are completely based on Reader’s Choice. New media is best understood as media using digital technology and the Internet. Digital technology and easy availability of the Internet have fueled the popularity of new media.
New media is such platform, with the help of which any information can be easily transferred from one place to another. There are various mediums of new media to promote social communication. With the help of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and email one can connect the whole world.
Advantages of New Media-
With the expansion of new media, many benefits had come to be noticed. Due to these advantages, the acceptance of new media is also increasing. Before going into detail, if we talk directly about its benefits, then some points come to the fore.
Ease and Simplicity-
The best thing about New Media is that it is very easy to use. The use of new media for journalism is increasing because news websites, Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc. can all be used easily by people of any age.
The portability of new media is one of the main reasons for its popularity. That is, it can be used from any place. It does not require any special place or office. Be it journalists or youth, due to this quality of new media, it is being used easily.
Reader’s Choice means the choice of readers/viewers
The biggest feature of new media is the right to decide the angle or subject of the news. Now this does not lie directly with the editorial department or editor. Because for new media the news is prepared according to the choice of the readers. Making news a trending topics on social media becomes a compulsion.
Readers Connect means communication with readers-
Traditional media i.e. newspaper, TV or radio used to have the system that it took time to get the reactions of readers, viewers or listeners. But in new media, the feedback or response of the readers or viewers is found immediately. The plus point of using new media is two-way communication.
Challenges before new media
No one can deny the fact that new media has provided bigger and newer platforms of expression to the society. New dimensions have been given to journalism. Journalism has been given new form and dimension. Now any conscious person can fulfill the religion and duty of being a journalist or doing journalism by expressing his opinion through the medium of new media. Concepts such as Citizen Journalist in newspapers, TV and digital media reflect this expansion of journalism. The pace of journalism has accelerated. But along with this, many challenges have also come before the new media. The trend of fake news has become the biggest challenge. Many people, political parties and anti-social elements often spread false and violent news in the name of freedom of expression which become a cause of tension in the society. In common parlance, such news are called Fake News going viral. They spread only through online media. Therefore, the challenge before the news media is to stop the spread of fake or false messages and news through WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Messenger etc.
New media is a new growing medium. Its advantages, possibilities and scope are immense. For journalism, this medium has brought a new gift. You just need to use it properly. The Government of India is also emphasizing on the Digital India campaign. Proper use of technology will surely prove to be very helpful to its users as well as provide huge profits to online business.
Author :Dr. Deepika Verma (Assistant Professor) MUIT, Noida