Old and New Media

Old and New Media

There are various approaches to media history and scholars have different understanding of it, some traces media back to pre-literate history of humans, who communicated andwere socially active but couldn’t write. People could convey news through drawings on clay tablets. Furthermore, another understanding of old media supports the public sphere that was theorized by Jürgen Habermas, where he recognizes the organizations enabling an appropriate atmosphere for the public opinion and he emphasis on the coffee houses and newspaper.  From this perspective academics assess old media as newspaper, radio and television. (Stuart, 2008)



Old media and Downtown Community

Television (DCTV)

A new form of television was aired in 1975; the produces were independent video artists who captured the essence of the community of Lower East Side of New York.  This was an overcrowded neighborhood with immigrants from different part of the world, with various issues of adapting to what was for many a new society, norms and tradition. The unemployment rates were high and it paved the way for criminality, discriminations and exploitations of new arrivals of immigrants. The founders of DCTV are Jon Albert and his wife Keiko Tsuno documented the conditions in which people lived in, and they spread information and brought awareness to the community. DCTV was the first media that captured real life events of a place which was neglected by the authorities, however DCTV’s struggle for social change lead to improvements for the community. The DCTV is distinctive due to the duration production. The work of Albert and Tsuno didn’t solitary contribute to social change but also paved the way for progression of democracy, as they educated people in the independent production of video (camera recording). (Howley, 2005, 133-184)

“Despite dramatic changes in the neighborhood and in television technology, one constant remains: DCTV’s unflinching commitment to communicative democracy”(Howley,2005,150-151)

New Media

New media which is mostly internet based communication includes new trend of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, You tube, news agencies online and various sites etc. . New media is a form of mass communication whereas it reaches out to a large amount of people and it also paves the way for globalization, as it can gather people from different parts of the world at one place. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become a part of our daily lives, though there are many critiques of ICT’s development it still has impacted governments and institutions to use digital services. (Carpentier, 2007)  (Pieterse, 2010)


New media and Vicnet

Victoria’s Network (Vicnet, Australian network), is a community based network which allows the people of Victoria to share, publish and find information both locally and globally. In this case ICT’s development work as a facilitating means of the daily life of the community. Furthermore the site also attracts tourist which indeed is beneficial for the economy of Victoria’s community. The government does not only publicize information but they also profit from the expanding of the network. (Howley, 2005, 226-258)

As ICT develop and progressively turning governments to e-governance and e-democracy.  Carpentier argues with e-governance we can enable e-democracy, and the advantages for the citizens are

1. “may have access to relevant information”

2. “At the consultation level governments interact with citizens, adopting mechanism, such as online forums, web-based platforms, and e-mail newsgroups, through which public debates and deliberation can inform decision- making process”.

3. “A third level is defined as active participation, stressing the potentialities (and challenges) for active engagement in partnership and policy-making process”. (Carpentier, 2007, 34)

Pietrse argues, the continues progress of the digital world in fact creates greater issue it does not create  “bridging a digital divide” as many indicates but it further increases the gap between the developed countries and the developing countries. Moreover it funds “growing inequality within and between societies since 1980’s is growing skill differentials and IT and digital literacy is a major part of this growing gap (Nederveen Pieterse 2004:ch.5;Cornia 1999)” (Pietrese 2010: 167-168)

The development of new media may not always serve for the best but when it involves community media ICT serves for the improvement of equality, a sustainable participation in democratic progress. (Carpentier, 2007

By: Nian Babker


SMS Frontline for Healthcare for All

This clip was good example of how a community uses new technological forms of reaching out the important messages as Health Care. They communicate through text sms in order to reach a wider range of people, example for those who done not have a TV or electricity. Every community has its own way of communicating with its residents, and this small community in Armenia has chosen this way.






Cammaerts, B. and Carpentier, N. (eds) (2007) Reclaiming the media: communication rights and democratic media roles. Intellect: Bristol, UK. (An up-to-date coverage on media, democracy and civil rights. Chapter 9: Activism and the Media, pg. 217-224, Chapter 11: Civil Society Media at the WSIS, pg. 243-264.
Available as electronic resource at Malmö University Library Catalogue

Howley, Kevin. Community Media – People, Places, and Communication Technologies. Cambridge Univ. Press 2005.
Pieterse, Jan Nederveen (2009) Development Theory – deconstructions/reconstructions. 2nd edition. London: Sage

Stuart Allen, Media History.2008 . DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x. Subject: History
Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies Media System » Media History,  International Encyclopedia  of Comunication , http://www.communicationencyclopedia.com.proxy.mah.se/subscriber/uid=772/tocnode?id=g9781405131995_chunk_g978140513199518_ss38-1




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2 Responses to Old and New Media

  1. Riikka Suhonen says:

    Hi Nian, why did you choose this video to illustrate the new and old media in community media? Do you know the project yourself?

  2. Nian Babker says:

    Hi Riikka

    I choose this video to show an example of how new technology is used in communication, especially for healtcare purposes it is essential that a community can reach out to all its residents.

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