It is an irrefutable fact that the media that is used for communication have undergone myriads of changes and its ability in improvement never tends to end. The world has witnessed drastic changes in the development of media over the years. According to these drastic changes, the media can be categorized as traditional and new media. Traditional media also refers to the old media that incorporates linear model of communication. Even though this media is meant for a mass audience, it leaves less chance for interaction and feedback. New media are the ones that try to fix the drawbacks of traditional media.
Digital media, online media, social media are some of the terms that are associated with New media. Basically these are the channels that uses internet to disseminate information and ideas. Digital media comprises of photos, videos, audios, text, graphs, charts, pictographs, animations, and links. Thus it can also be referred as ‘multimedia’. This wide variety of tools help in essential and effective communication. It began to establish when the text were put on to the internet instead of piled on paper as it was previously. Images were also taking its place soon after the text. Thus, the growth of new media happened in a short period of time. Today, it provides everything that a person needs to know. The information is transmitted virtually in these media. It seems magical to realize that the new media needs no physical effort to pass or transmit the information from one place to another. Everything is possible through the virtual world. It also incorporates multidimensional flow of communication. Unlike television or radio, new media not only provides required information but also give the users a chance to respond. New media provides free flow of information where a person is free to express his opinions or ideas. The only thing he/she needs is accessibility to internet. But there is a slight difference between digital and new media when it is observed deeply. Even though all these terms are similar in nature, the definition of new media can be explained in a different way. New media refers to the digital media where any individual has the freedom to access and edit the content. Thus new media can be called as an extension of digital media where any person can act as creator or a part of the content. Wikipedia can be considered as an example for new media. It is a famous website which is edited by common internet users.
New media thus give the opportunity to not just access information digitally but also to actively participate in the content. It allows anyone, irrespective of their levels of education, to be the creator of digital content. Many social media such as youTube, Instagram, Facebook etc. can be considered as new media because they give the power to create content and edit the already existing content. New media do not include television programs, films, or paper based publications until they contain technologies that enable digital interactivity. One of the main benefits of new media is that, it is very much cost effective. Unlike traditional media, it doesn’t require much time and money for the production. Media like television radio and newspaper includes production, distribution, circulation which all are expensive. But in new media everything is done virtually. Another advantage of new media is the immediacy. With the improvement in technologies, people don’t have to wait to access the information he/she requires. It also help the people to find the data easily without any delay. The users can simply type the keywords about the topic that he/she wants to read. Unlike television and radio, the new media provides links and hyperlinks which help the users to know more about that particular content. Thus finding related articles has been way too simple in new media.
It is true that new media has changed the way a person receives the information. In the past decades, television, radio, newspapers were the only media used for receiving content. The number of channels were limited. Sharing information was also considered as a difficult task. Only the people who were experts in the media field were the main source of information. People do not participate in the creation of the programs. But today, the whole concept has been changed. With the arrival of new media, everyone became worthy to create and share information and ideas. People don’t even need to be educated about the topic. They are free to create content and share information on internet whether it is true or not. This freedom has badly affected the credibility of people on new media. Information perceived from new media are less likely to believe by the users compared to the traditional media since there is no control in the flow of communication in new media.