Advantages Of Media
Advantages Of Media Convergence
The advantages of media of different kinds, once very distinctive, are becoming somewhat blurred as the different types of media are beginning to converge. Some forms of media are better at presenting current events than others, still others excel in advertising and other business-related features, where other media falls short. With the exception of the movies, the different kinds of media generally perform quite well as far as presenting political views is concerned. And the list goes on.
The Movies - We'll first take a look at the advantages of media convergence from the perspective of the movies. The movies rank lowest in this regard aside from their entertainment value. While some movies are made with the idea of setting forth a political position, this seldom is very effective. The movies played a greater role in the media a number of decades ago when the newsreels gave us the opportunity to actually view newsworthy events, even if the news was a week or two old at the time shown. Today we don't normally watch a movie with the idea of acquiring information, although some movies can be educational.
Books, Newspapers And Magazines - The advantages of media convergence from the perspective of the printed word and photographs are quite a different story. The printing press has been with us for hundreds of years. In spite of the difficulties the newspaper industry has faced lately, with several flagship newspapers shutting down, and many smaller ones going out of business as well, printed media is still thriving, especially in the magazine trade. E-books have caught on more slowly than many had predicted, and most people still find reading a book or newspaper more comfortable than viewing information on a screen. Books and newspapers also have the advantage of providing a permanent record if one wishes to save books or articles. There are of course disadvantages as well when comparing printed material to the Internet or television, but books, newspapers, and magazines are likely to be with us for a good long time.
Television - One of the biggest media advantages from the perspective of television is the opportunity to view news and sporting events as they happen. We also have access to instant analysis of news events. The analyses admittedly run the gamut from brilliant to garbage, but we usually have a choice as to which channel or news station to watch. A disadvantage of television is that one you view something, it is then often gone forever (an exception being the unending string of replays during a sporting event), though the advent of the VCR and digital recorder have allowed us to retain information of particular interest. We should not forget radio of course, which has held sway for several generations as the primary media for disseminating information. Radio may be losing ground to the Internet at the present time, but is still a powerful media form and probably always will be. We don't have to "watch" everything to stay informed.
The Internet - A newer kid on the block is of course the Internet, which is rapidly becoming our major source for information, if it is not already. The advantages of media convergence from the perspective of the Internet are many. We can rapidly, almost instantly, access information on nearly any subject. We can use the Internet as a substitute for print, especially since most major newspapers have their online versions. We still may be more comfortable reading a conventional newspaper, but an online newspaper usually contains most of the information the paper version does. Since we tend to scan the computer screen, we may not read quite as thoroughly as we once did, and the hyper links, which allow us to travel from one information source to another at the speed of light, while powerful, can also be a distraction.
The Advantages Of Media Convergence - The online newspaper is one example of where the various forms of media are beginning to converge, at least as far as the printed word, television, and the Internet are concerned. TV news programs have their own web sites, where one can go for additional information, or cast a vote or make a comment on a topic of current interest.
New technology, especially that associated with the hand-held personal digital devices, are taking us down a brand new media path, where we can enjoy the various advantages of media once divided among the different kinds of media, in the palm of our hand. We can receive messages and mail, send messages and photographs, even send short video clips. We can access the Internet, and have paths to various radio and TV programs where we can share our views. All this and having our grocery list available at the push of a button.