Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Could it be the End?!

A week ago today in my Blogging class we watched a three part mini-series about how new media is affecting more traditional media. I think this topic has been fairly widespread in recent news, classes, and even discussions (at least for me- then again, I am in MTP). The End aired on CBC (you can watch it online though), and discusses radio, TV, and print. Since watching I have been left with several questions to ask myself, especially since I participate in several of the media that have raised this issue (ie: blogging, watching TV online, downloading, research online, etc.). Over the past week I have monitored my mediaviour (haha get it?! media behaviour?! Clever, I know) to come to some kind of a conclusion.
Over the past week I have:
1. WATCHED ON TV- DVD of Wickerman (another Nick Cage MASTERPIECE haha), an episode of Oprah on cell regeneration (I'm not a big fan but this was actually fascinating, and a roommate was watching it), The Rick Mercer Report twice (because I love it), and of course, The Office (but it was recorded on our PVR).
WATCHED ON THE INTERNET- Scrubs, Some Youtube videos.
2. READ IN PRINT- 3 issues of the Gazette, Print Magazine, and Watchmen.
READ ON INTERNET- Several Webcomics, electronic sources for essays (normally I do books but not for this essay), COUNTLESS blogs, articles on things I think are fascinating.

3. LISTENED TO RADIO- Every morning I wake up and listen to about an hour of most beloved CHRW.
NOT ON RADIO- A podcast for a paper, music from cd's (dark was the night, and OH! compilation on heavy rotation right now), myspace songs (Fantasies by Metric available for streaming!), and downloaded music.
So now I come to the part where I discuss my views, opinions, and theories on the matter at hand in conjunction with the mini-series. I don't think any of these media are at risk of dying out provided they have supplement themselves with more accessible content. I know this can pose a problem for some smaller companies, they have to PAY for streaming. Who knew?! It's a fast paced world out there, everyone is looking for a way to be more efficient, they want things that are convenient, and these new forms of media (blogging, youtube, streaming, online news, etc.) are providing it. They are also acting as an alternative to main stream media, it's refreshing to hear new opinions and ideas. That being said, sometimes there is nothing nicer than sitting down with a cup of tea and the Globe and Mail, a good book, or watching Scrubs on TV, or waking up in the morning to the radio, not knowing what you'll get.
I like the system of new media supplementing more traditional media. Here are some reasons:
1. I think it's easier to hold onto an idea, or get attached to something more tangible, the internet is always changing, always evolving, always updating, it can be hard to keep up to date on things or even remember what you have or have not read (fun fact... every new site you go to there is a 2/3 chance you've already been there courtesy Spark podcast #28). I find it easier to remember or get into a song I stumble upon on the radio (I'll immediately go look it up), or a book I can hold and read (easier on the eyes too).
2. I feel like blogging and alternative news sources have too many opinions, I like that I can read news from papers (even though I can't read it right now as a poor student), and then read articles on the internet about the same thing to hear other opinions, but there are so many on the internet it's overwhelming.
3. Media, and communication technologies are ALWAYS being replaced by new and better ones. People think this is the first time it's happening, but it's not. Think of how much has changed over time: there used to be people that memorized stories and re-told them, then people wrote them by hand, then the printing press happened. It's just the fact that we are progressing so quickly now that is making people see this transfer.
So there you have it, my ideas based on observations from my life. I think if anything, these mediums will have to re-invent themselves, much like radio did with the advent of TV (a shift from stories and variety hours to news, music, and talk). Maybe they should become more publicly owned and operated with more independent programming (I would love more stations like CHRW). Look at the issues and the facts, what do you think? Do any of you think that print, tv, and radio are dying? What do your mediaviours tell you?


  1. hmm after reading about your "mediaviours" i must say, I'm very proud of you! unfortunately, i can't say i agree with you based on my own experiences with new media. i pretty much never watch TV anymore because its way more convenient for me to stream my fave shows online, and the only time i listen to the radio is while driving (i.e. never, because i dont have a car.) i also read most of my news online. i do like curling up with a good book though! too much reading off a screen hurts my eyes...
    but yea, really if most people are like me, tv, radio, and print media are DOOMED!!

  2. I don't think that these traditional forms will disappear entirely. There will just be forms of them that are more specified for surprisingly narrow target markets. Take the stylepress for example, in the face of technology, print media seemed doomed to die out completely because of a combination of new technologies, and the switchover to digital formats. Instead of magazines going under, there is now a wave of magazines and publications (dotdotdot, gum, arkitip) targeted at specific audiences. Instead of aiming for distribution, these magazines provide specific content, most of it a personal investigation stemming from the editor's interests.

    Radio has also gone this way, satellite radio has a number of specified channels that harbour specific content. Of course, the platform for it sucks, and the channels are terrible, but the idea is there.

    none of these traditional forms of media will ever see the bottom of a grave. They will just be pushed into a new territory as individuals use them to explore the world around them and as that exploration appeals others.

  3. Anonymous, I totally agree with you. That is why I said perhaps older media will reinvent themselves, this would most likely (in my opinion) be a shift from larger to smaller companies, or at least more specialized content. I think because of new technologies it is also more possible to make or use your own media, it's so easy to make a Zine, or have time on a public access channel. I think in order to take full advantage of this shift communities need to band together and see that this shift happens the way they want it to. Hopefully in the near future we'll have a lot more variety and customization in our media that is still accesible.
    This being said, Gaby, I fully see your point. Convenience does outweigh tradition and tangibility, it's a fast-paced world, you have to do what you can to get by.
    I really do think the future is less dependent on companies, and more dependent on us, the people. How we will use this shift.