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Today, media has undergone many changes, which can be attributed to the globalization and emergence of the modern technology. With the development of technology, virtually every sector has changed tremendously. Nowadays, the role of any media journalist has transformed and revolutionized. The few years ago before the appearance of technology and internet they were under the incorporation, news reporting and other programs confined to just few items and selective television programs (Jenkins, H 2006). However, with the emergence of technology, internet and cable television, the media and the society have interacted in the very broad perspectives. This has revolutionized television programs, news, and sports coverage as well. In addition, the audience gets engaged much more, and its participation has become evident in various media platforms.
How are the media brands constituted through the levelness and audience participation? Any media providing the opportunities for the audience to participate in and interact directly with its programs offers itself a chance to grow and expand. By airing live programs that allow viewers to be active, the media is capable of attracting more clients, and, hence, of growing. Such programs as America Idles, Oprah Winfrey’s show, and Tyra Banks Live Television Program (these are just the few ones from a long list) give the audience an opportunity to participate in them. Others such as the television opinion polls (common in most news program) enable viewers participate in them actively (Deuze, M 2006). Any media brand that provides so many opportunities guarantees its growth and expansion.
In what ways has the digital media changed its way in which we are engaged into the television?
The emergence of technology has brought many changes to different areas. The media has not been left behind either; and it has been in the forefront utilizing the modern technology (Deuze, M 2006). First of all, the digital media has enabled the audience’s participation in a more active manner. The emergence of modern technology has given the audience much more power; it has made everybody active. In fact, the today’s audience is able to control media in many ways. Digital media provides the audience with a wide variety and many options. If the television station does not provide the programs as more appealing to the public, people tend to avoid them and opt for other media brands. This, therefore, shapes and dictates what these television stations should provide us with. This is the form of control that the audience is imposing.
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Secondly, digital media has enabled the audience to express its ideas and provide its perspective on different topics. The emergence of technology has given every citizen an opportunity to comment on the government, different topics, and other current issues. Such opportunity has enabled the public to influence on the decision making process in various fields. This has also enabled citizens to exercise their democratic rights openly.
Thirdly, the digital media has enabled the audience to become as the media eye (Jenkins, H 2006). This means that the audience is also able to report on the news and other events happening, and, hence, acts as a journalist itself. For instance, a number out of the audience is able to report on different events while sitting at home. Using your phone, one can easily make a call to any media and report on an accident that has just occurred in his or her neighborhood. This enables the media to broadcast the actual happenings even in the absence of their journalists (Jenkins, H 2006). This makes the media be in a constant contact with the society.
Do We now Interact with the Media more than Watch the TV?
The modern technology has enabled viewers to have direct interactions with media. Unlike in the past, when people were only watching the television, the today’s people are able to watch television and participate actively in discussions; hence, they have an influence on one or two issues (Deuze, M 2006). An individual can be able to participate in any television program being at any point in the world. For instance, an expert may have a marriage counselor or a lawyer watching Oprah Winfrey’s Show about marriage from home being able to participate in terms of ideas and to help solving a situation. This, therefore, clearly shows that the digital media gives a viewer the power to participate in, hence, becoming as the active viewers. This is not similar as it has been before when the audience could only watch the television without interacting with it.
How Does this Interaction Take Place via Different Media Platforms?
As stated above, digital media has made it easier for all people to participate in and interact with the television. This does not matter if this is the news, sports chronicles, or any other programs. One more media platform the viewers are able to interact with the television is blogs. There are a lot of blogs associated with different media and using them one is able to interact with any television program directly.
The second media platform that is available nowadays is with the help of which the viewers are able to interact with television is the social media. Social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter among others, have provided the good platform, where individuals are able to share with their views and provide the comments on varied topics. Due to different kinds of television, they get the sufficient connections with such media types to enable the constant interaction with viewers (Deuze, M 2006).
Thirdly, the use of various websites is another medium with the help of which the individuals are able to interact with media. One may participate in a live regime in different television programs, as long as one is connected due to particular television websites.
What Does this Suggest for Television Production and Consumption?
Once the media provides the opportunities for the audience to participate in and interact constantly with enables the media to grow. This, therefore, means more clients (viewers) for such television. This can mean the high production and high consumption of such media, since the viewers already feel that they are not being assumed, but considered as the essential stakeholders.
Media convergence is the intersection point between different media forms and the audience. Convergence is the tendency of different technologies to evolve towards performing the same function (Jenkins, H 2006). The word ‘convergence’ also refers to the use of different technologies altogether, and how they have been used initially. For instance, the use of telephone in the early years has separated the voice and image (Jenkins, H 2006). However, in this century, it is possible to combine the voice and image in the one means of communication. With the evolution in technology, it is possible to video call someone and to have an interactive discussion as if they are being together physically. In addition, through the use of the current technology, individuals are able to share with the data, videos and pictures. The evolution of technology in the 20th century has made it possible for individuals and media organizations to send the information made of video, audio with the help of the same media of communication.
Over the years, the technology has evolved so fast to match the growing demand in the sophisticated modes of delivering messages. The growing transformation of the technology has changed the way people create, receive, learn, and interact with each other. Therefore, the convergence can be defined as the linking of computing, information technology, and communication networks. Due to the changes in technology and the use of internet, individuals are able to have the virtual offices and business at their homes. It is currently possible to have the online market where one can sell and purchase any products. The digital media space has led to the evolution of the social interaction, education, and health among others. It is argued that many people carry out their business online and spend more than half of their time in various social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and My Space among others. Therefore, the convergence of the mobile media can be defined as the ability to interlink with mobile services. For instance, the evolution of mobile media has occurred starting from sending and receiving simple messages to processing the sophisticated messages. The 21st century has brought the evolution to the phones that can be able to function like computers. Smart phones have enabled people to use phones in the instances where only computers could be used. In addition, there is the emergence of mobile marketing and mobile banking. It is possible to watch videos, read novels and listen to music among other things with the help of the phone. These types of phones have replaced the old-fashioned phones that allowed people to send, receive, and make calls only.
The convergence in media has led to both positive and negative impacts on the society. Due to the media convergence, it has become possible for people to compare the information that they have with the information the other people have in different parts of the world. The use of phones to surf through the internet and obtain the information found in the internet about health and education among others ensures that people have everything they need. Secondly, through the social media, which is accessible with the help of hand sets, individuals can participate in what other people are doing, share with their feelings and interpretations. However, the convergence of media has its own challenges. Firstly, there is the erosion of culture because individuals have the ability to interact with people who have different moral positions. The use of social networks helps people to travel across the world without being there physically. Secondly, the evolution of media has led to the evolution in the modes of entertainment. The urge to know what happens in the movie and television programs has led to the survival of different media brands.
The media convergence effectiveness depends on the participation of the targeted audience. This process encourages the audience to seek the information that they need from different kinds of medium across the world. However, because there is more information than what individuals can be able to consume they are forced to discuss what they have got with other people. This leads to the collective intelligence.
It is argued; that individuals cannot survive alone; we all need to bring the small pieces of information that we have together for our common success. The act of bringing all the information that we have altogether becomes the collective intelligence. Through social networks, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and My Space, it is easy for consumers to exchange with their ideas and opinions on the information that they have received. In addition, individuals are able to share with pictures and videos for long distances. The ability to share the information in social networks has led to the evolution of technology because the companies are forced to change in order to meet the growing demands in communication devices (Spigel 2006; Olsson 2006). When individuals have more information, they seek to share that information with other people to get different opinions. In addition, it is easy for individuals having the high access to information to circulate it to the people who have the low access. This brings joined efforts in understanding this information. It is also possible for someone to circulate the information in the internet while being physically in his own room. Therefore, in the current world, people are able to influence on others sharing with their views than they have been able before.
Media Audience Problems
Over the years, the media has been used as a tool of transformation in the society. Most people depend on the media for their entertainment, education, and enlightenment. Through magazines and television among other forms of media, individuals and companies are able to pass the information to a wide number of audiences. From the political news, sport and economic chronicles, the media has been able to influence on the way people make the personal decisions. It is argued that through media, individuals are able to sell their ideologies and products. Politicians and production companies use the media platform to guarantee that they are able to capture the wide audience. However, the media has also been used to spread rumors and propaganda about certain individuals and products. Through the use of Photoshop and other technologies, it is easy for people to develop a picture and information about different things. This has enabled the media to deceive its audience by giving the false information (Siapera, E 2004).
Politicians have also taken the media as a platform to tarnish the image of their opponents. This is because it is possible to create the false information about people and circulate that information through the media. On the other hand, most people have used media to rob innocent people. Some media advertisements are aimed at robbing its audience of fake advertisements. Some products that are displayed in the media do not offer positive results as expected by the audience. Therefore, it is correct to say that media is used to spread propaganda; and it is applied for commercial purposes. Most media houses are more concerned with maintaining their profit margins than giving the right information. Hence, instead of giving the audience the right information, the media spreads the news that will ensure that they stay in business.
Due to the influence of media on the audience, it is said that whatever happens in the media, it is finally brought to real life. For instance, it is argued that people that watch programs show violence, and they are most likely to develop the aggressive behavior. This is because the hypodermic needle theory of mass media argues of the audience receiving and interpreting the message as the media it is providing it. Therefore, it is assumed that individuals take everything given by the media without any questions (Deuze, M 2006).
It is important to note that the audience is not passive and has its needs that it would like the media to meet with. Because of this fact, there was the development of the need gratification theory that argues on the audience not to take everything offered by the media (Deuze, M 2006). Nevertheless, human beings seek actively for the information that will allow them to meet their needs. The part of the satisfaction that people seek from the media includes the emotional gratification, education, and entertainment (Deuze, M 2006). Therefore, people actively seek the media that will be able to enhance their wellbeing in the spheres of life. The members of audience take a very active position in interpreting and integrating media into their lives (Deuze, M 2006). Therefore, it is believed that individuals have the full control over the information that they have consumed from the media (Liebes 1986; Katz 1986). Hence, it is correct to say that to some point the active audience is applying media more than how the media is using the audience.
In addition, individuals have the control and liberty to choose what to get engaged into making it possible for the audience to maximize the desired information (Abercrombie 1998; Longhurst 1998). At some point, the media may not be able to meet the needs and desires of its audience, because different people seek the information to answer to their questions. In addition, people have different life experiences that they use to decide on what kind of information they can be able to integrate into their lives (Deuze, M 2006).
Two people receiving the same information can end up deriving different meanings. The individual experience, tradition, and interests may lead to different interpretations of the same message (Abercrombie 1998; Longhurst 1998). Therefore, there are possibilities that two people may have the same message emerging with different meanings. In addition, different expectations from different audiences can lead to the dissimilar interpretation of the same message (Abercrombie 1998; Longhurst 1998).
The evolution of technology over the years has led to the transformation in the way we are receiving and consuming the information. In addition, the media brands have changed to accommodate to the changing needs of their consumers. Initially, it was thought that the media audience is passive and consumes the information the way it is being delivered by media brands. However, the change in technology has enabled consumers to be as the active audience. With the use of internet and mobile phones, individuals can contribute and question on the information given to them. In addition, the change in media technology has led to the state of convergences. The evolution of mobile phones and other devices allows them to have more functions than they have had before. Nevertheless, the change in technology has also led to many problems to consumers. The people are able to put up the propaganda and circulate the information in the internet. However, despite this, there are major benefits that consumers want to receive from the media. Those interests include education and entertainment. Therefore, in some cases, the audience is using the media than the media is using the audience.
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