The Effects of new media on conventional Media use
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1.1 Background to the study
Conventional media originated from culture and myth but not only limited to radio, television and newspapers but also includes magazines. Conventional media was discovered with the invention of printing press by Johannes Guttenberg in 1440s. Before the advent of radio, television and newspapers, distribution of information was narrow and slow.
This notwithstanding is attributed to the Socio-Economic structure of the society. Even after the advent of conventional media, its use remained economically driven and motivated. As technology grew to a strong level, Conventional media access became cheap, which among others, speed-up news publishing processes, while technology and its advancement has been a backbone to social media platforms.
New media is referred to as an on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, and on a digital device such as smart phones, computers among others. Before the inception of new media, only conventional media like television, radio and newspapers were available for use. In fact, advertisements were concentrated on conventional media since there were no other alternatives. However, with the increase of new media in the fields, advertisers have also switched to new media platforms.
This gives the impression that the conventional media is gradually losing its popularity as observed by (Bell & Garret 1998). According to C. Shirky (2008), it is becoming norms for an individual with a camera or Keyboard, to befitting a non-profit of self-publishing. According to New Strait Times newspaper dated 6th June 2017, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are preferred top three applications by both public and private universities, for searching, reading and sharing news, including viral of breaking or current news, due to its ability to spread news faster than broadcast or print media.
Over a decade, almost 90% of daily newspapers in US have been actively using technologies to search articles and most of them also create their own news websites to reach new markets (Garrison, 2011). In the past, the first newspaper that existed in Cameroon at the time was Cameroon tribune which was a government newspaper used to pass government degrees or important information concerning the state. Some of the world’s newspapers at the time were the Seattle times which appeared to be epitome of conventional media with its news still published in printed form just as it was in 1897 when presses first ran. The New Media and its evolution The print media which was always a one way communication has given way for the new media to flourish which allows the people to act both as transmitters and producers. The new media in this study refers to the different social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and twitter.
The new media seems to be giving solutions to every need possible. Right from the very beginning till present, the new media is been a vast preference for the flexible features it provide. This new media has made flexibility of content possible as it has the ample amount of information and news that meet audience needs. The new media is said to be more reliable than conventional media. New media paradigms has flourished in the past few years due to its competence to satisfy its users. One can news, using news aggregators and smartphones, getting back to the same information was not within the reach of the common man.
The age has changed so much that the dynamic newspapers have become less important. Over the years, with the increased number of smartphone users in the world, they realized that internet can be used in any place and anywhere. Over a decade, over 90% of daily population seem to be redundant as the processed newspapers in the U.S have been actively using online, but circulation of newspapers has been on a decline over the past ten years.
There has been opportunities to personalize news consumption due the number of internet users since 1995; Affordable news updates several times a day say hour after hour and interesting Journals and articles online pushed audiences mobile phones to a rate unlimited. The aspect of feedback that enriches content makes the new media unique. Late 1990s and early 2000s powered the internet to the user’s experience. Internet with its social media platform has empowered skills of individuals and made the world a global village.
With the coming of internet, social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram, has changed given people’s view of conventional media. The Conventional Media and its evolution Conventional media refers to those methods indicative of print based newspapers and televisions. They include electronics, the print and narrowcast media with tremendous achievements over decades.
The advent of conventional media especially television, offered both video and visual, created a creative background for advertisers to explore. At the time, the advent became more real and interesting to the masses since it made it possible for them to see human action. So, more attention was given mostly to television until the advent of the new media. Of note, in recent times, the advent of new media has posed a challenge to conventional media use. In order words, conventional media aided people like advertisers to present their products to a heterogeneous audience as well as allowing people see what was being presented to them on screen.
Hence, the need to integrate social media and allow readers get access to information on time and anywhere. Conventional media turn to limit access to information as some huge devices are needed before readers can get access to information, the difference is that, the new media is accessible at anytime. The print and radio listenership flourished during the pre-internet era where instant access to news, using smartphones and online news aggregates, was not within the reach of the common man. The dynamics of information has significantly changed over the years, due to the increasing number of smartphone users.
The interactive nature of new media has pulled a great number of university of Buea students to its usage. Print circulation and radio listenership has been declining over the past few years. The breadth of information available online and the opportunity to personalize news consumption according to individual interest, with being able to get news updated several times a day pushed audiences online for their news. Furthermore, considering the interactive nature of social media platforms, it allows users to provide feedback, which in turn is used to enrich user’s experience. All these has threatened the existence of conventional media in recent years till date.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The advancement of technology especially information communication technology (ICT), started with printing machines, telegraphs, radio, newspaper, magazine television and now the internet and social media has highly influenced society in consuming news. Smartphones and computers for instance, converge all platforms to facilitate access to information in multimedia forms. People now access information from Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and twitter. Unlike those days when people had to listen to radio and read newspapers to access information, radio and newspapers are becoming minorities.
Today’s evolution of inter-based technologies has taken over conventional media, with speed in disseminating news and information. Comparatively, printed newspapers deliver information daily, radio and television did it over a period of time daily, while new media does it at real- time. Conventional media has been known to its limited coverage and hefty setting with regard to cost compared to social media which are cheaper and has no boundaries.
Unlike conventional media, internet allows two-way communication, eases accessing information and enables users to control what information to be exposed to (Amichai-Hamburger 2008; Kirat 2007; Ayish 2005). Internet allows users to converse with others within a group or individually using any combination of text, audio and video channels (Amiel & Sargent 2004). These unique characteristics of new media has posed a problem for conventional media.
Conventional media faces challenges such low readership habits, low listenership and a decrease in credibility in news delivery due to heavy influence by government through different mechanisms and forms of control (Banerjee, 2008). There is a decrease pattern in circulation of newspapers around the world. While new media industry has witnessed significant development in the last few decades, few studies have been conducted on student pattern of using new media in the University of Buea. This study examines the use of Social media platforms in comparison to mainstream media among university of Buea students.
1.3 Research questions
Here are the major research questions to be answered.
To what extend are students exposed to conventional and new media?
Has your use of new media affected the way you use conventional media and why?
Between new media and conventional media which do you depend on for academic matters and why?
1.4 Objectives of the study
To find out what activities students carryout on new media channels.
To find out if use of new media channels affect the way students use conventional media