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    Study Reminders

    Dear participants, in this module, we would be discussing certain developments in the field of media as well as media studies in the 21st century. The 21st century is also considered as an information era. (Refer Slide Time: 00:46) We as human beings have an unparalleled approach towards media. We also have an unparalleled reliance upon media, internet and all other devices which are linked with it. Sometimes this epoch is also known as the Third Industrial Revolution. If the second industrial revolution had been initiated with the use of computers and software we find that the third industrial revolution has been generated by this combination and interconnectivity of internet media and other link devices. Because of these interlinks or we find that the boundaries between information and commerce as well as among other fields have become permeable. They are not stratified classifications in terms of activities so we find that on the one hand we are using internet technology for online money transactions, for sales as well as for advertisements. We are also using the same media platforms for recruiting people, for providing a leadership role and skills to people. We are also using it for entertainment, we are also using it for enhancing connectivity among people and at the same time with the help of various apps we are also using the same technology for completing some household chores. So we find that technology now has become a part of human existence in such a way that has been unprecedented and at the same time we find that basically the change has been brought about by the way we interact with each other, we communicate with each other. (Refer Slide Time: 02:36) The media forms in the 21st century are different from the previous traditional media forms. We find that in our days that traditional media forms are steadily declining. Whether they are in the shape and form of print media the radio or the television and steadily also we find that there is a shift towards the new media. The new media is based on internet technology it is also termed as a child of technological developments. And advancements in various fields of computer based technology, information technology as well as communications technology. So we can say that the new media or the media in the 21st century is a product of Internet revolution and at the same time it is also a product of a steady rise in the internet culture. New media landscape is networked it is interconnected and open source. It is pertinent at this point to refer to a very interesting book by Lev Manovich the title of this book is The Language of New Media. Published in the year 2001 we find that Manovich book has been a path breaking study in terms of looking at the ways the new media is developing and at the same time we find that it has provided us with the terminology which was very much needed at this stage. Manovich work defines the field of software studies and at the same time it assesses the implications of the first generation of Internet culture. (Refer Slide Time: 02:42) An interesting aspect of this work is that it suggests that what we consider to be new media is in fact often rooted in transformation and rediscovery of “Utopian energies of the past”. So he describes the history of the new media and he also tries to systematically provide a context for it. He places the contemporary media within the visual and media culture of the past few centuries. He also appreciates the creative possibilities of the new media forms and also acknowledges the transformation these new media forms have brought about in our culture. But at the same time he claims that there is definitely a history behind the development of what we consider as the new media. In order to provide a theoretical grounding to his arguments he has used concepts from various fields including computer science, art history, film theory as well as literary theory. Taking help from these little fields he has been able to develop new theoretical constructs. A particular problem which we come across when we look at the concept of the new media is to define it properly. The categories which are commonly discussed under this umbrella heading are internet , websites (Refer Slide Time: 06:02) Computer multimedia, computer games, CD ROMs DVD as well as virtual reality. So Manovich asks this question is this all new media is? So he looks at the television programs which are shot on digital video and which have been edited using computer work stations. He also looks at the feature films with use 3D animation and digital compositing. So do we count these forms which are an intermingling of the previous media forms with the newer technology as new media or not? If we look at these experiments and these developments is it part of the new media then how do we look at the images and text images compositions including photographs, illustrations layouts, advertisements which are also created on computers and then may be printed on a paper later on. So where do we stop in our attempt to define the boundaries of what should be included within this umbrella heading of the new media. (Refer Slide Time: 07:14) If you look at the previously listed examples and the questions which Manovich has asked then we find that the popular definition of new media identifies it with the use of computer for distribution as well as for exhibition rather than with production. In a way we can roughly suggest that the text which are distributed on a computer can be considered as a new media. So the text which are distributed using a computer, for example, the websites electronic books at sector should be a part of the new media. And on the other hand the text which are circulated and distributed on paper are not a part of the new media. Similarly, it can be suggested that photographs which are put on a CD Rom and require a computer to view them should be considered as a part of the new media. Whereas the same photographs if they are printed in the form of books on a piece of paper, should not be considered as a part of the new media. So this is a rough definition with which Manovich starts working further and immediately he is also able to identify the limitations inbuilt in this definition. (Refer Slide Time: 08:35) Manovich suggest that today we are in the middle of a new media revolution and at the same time he says that there is a considerable shift in our culture. Because now we are looking at different forms of production, distribution and communication which are mediated by computers. And he compares this shift, this fundamental shift in our culture because now we are doing everything with the help of a computer software. So he compares this fundamental shift with certain other previous cultural shifts which have taken place in human history. He compares them namely with two interesting developments the development of the printing press and the development of the photography. So when he looks at the printing press which was developed in the 14th century he suggests that it affected only one stage of cultural communication and that is the distribution of media. So we can also say that the print media had revolutionized the way people shared their information through newspapers and magazines. The other comparison he has drawn is with the development of photography in the 19th century. And Manovich further suggests that as print media had affected only one aspect of cultural communication that is a distribution of media, in the same way he says that the photography also affects nd is linked with only one aspect of cultural communication and that is the aspect of producing still images. However if we look at these two previous cultural shifts, the computer media revolution has affected all the stages of communication which includes acquisition of an information, manipulation of this information, storing this information as well as distributing this information. So whereas the previous cultural shifts had affected only one aspect of our cultural communication, New Media Revolution has affected all facets of cultural communication. At the same time, we find that the use of computers technology also affects other types of media. Text, still images moving images, sound and spatial constructions are also taking the form of digitalization. Manovich has looked at the cultural history which lies behind the development of the idea of the new media. (Refer Slide Time: 11:27) And he suggests that it represents a convergence of two separate historical trajectories and that is computing and media technologies. Both these had started in the 1830s with two major scientific discoveries—the analytical engine of Babbage and daguerreotype of Daguerre. Eventually it is during the middle of the 20th century that the modern digital computer is developed and simultaneously we find that there is a rise in media technologies. Which allowed the storage of images in a sequence, sounds and text using different material forms. For example, it could be a photographic plate, it could be a film stock, it could be a gramophone record etc. So we find that the new media emerges when these two different developments are synthesized together. It resulted in a translation of all existing media into numerical data which could be accessed with the help of computers. So we find that now we have a new media which includes graphics, moving images, sounds, shapes, spaces and text which are computable which in fact is translatable as another set of computer data. So according to Manovich we find that it is the convergence of two separate historical trajectories which has resulted into the new media technologies. The idea that every technology is rooted in a particular historical time is pertinent even in the context of the new media. The earlier media has also been rooted in a particular period which had a particular condition of production and dissemination of knowledge. (Refer Slide Time: 13:29) These conditions definitely were very different from today. Internet came across as a subversive medium. It revolutionized the media as well as its transformation into a spectacular playground in recent years. So, the revolutionary impulse of the first phase of web culture resulted in a breaking down of hierarchies and we find that everything started shifting towards a digital space. It also ushered in new ways of looking at the world. We can also say that it is a product of the intellectual community which is devoted to the assessment and a critique of new media discussed on online forms like net time. It is reviewed prior to publication on for example Rhizome which is an early email list. (Refer Slide Time: 14:23) Alexander Galloway comments in this context that the language of new media was written for within and against the new internet culture of the late 1990s. Manovich book has been held by various theorists as being a path breaking presentation and analysis of new media forms. It is interesting to refer to Galloway again here who says that the new media may be defined by a reference to a foundational language or a set of formal and poetic qualities identified across all sorts of new media objects and indeed across historical and social context. We are required to think critically and historically because the digital is so structural, so abstract and so synchronic. So we find that Manovich also looks at the digital technologies as poetic and aesthetic objects. He elaborates on the features, techniques and the nature of the new technology in this book. (Refer Slide Time: 15:28) In a particular section of the book which has the title principles of new media with a question mark Manovich offers five principles of digital media and they are numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability and cultural transcoding which include properties of data. And the ways in which information is produced is stored and is made intelligible to different audience. He also forms in number of his statements that are now common in the discourse on digital media. A logic of selection, the importance of compositing, the way in which the database itself is a medium, the emphasis on navigation through a space, the reversal of the relationship between syntagm and paradigm, the central city of games and play, the waning of temporal montage and the rise of his spatial montage are some of the critical perspectives which have been introduced by Manovich in this book. (Refer Slide Time: 16:33) Manovich also described the new media as being cinematic. He also says that the visual culture of the computer age is cinematographic in its appearance digital on the level of its material and computational in its logic. So this definition also incorporates the interconnectivity between various specializations of human knowledge. He also argues that the new media is fundamentally cinematic. And to understand its emergence he advises that we should look back to different kinds of media that had proceeded this particular new media. So his new media follows the structure of what can be called as the mise-en-abime an outside that leads to an inside, which again leads to another inside and on and on. So we find that it is a very complex way of putting it across. But I think this is one of the best definitions of the new media. He also suggests that the new media follows an inherently historical methodology. It is also a fundamental change in the media landscape after the invention of cybernetics in the late 1940s. So, in our time we have to look at media not as indexical not as something pointing from here to there but rather it has emerged as a synecdoche a part for the whole as well as a part of the whole. Different media critics have looked at the new media this particular phenomenon in different ways. Manovich has looked at the new media in terms of essentially software applications. (Refer Slide Time: 18:27) Unlike Manovich there are some critics who feel that it is not only the software but the hardware which is also equally if not more important. Prominent among these theorists are Kittler and Kyong Chun. At the same time there are some critics for example Lovink and Benk who focused on the new forms of social interaction that media do or do not facilitate. At the same time there are some critics who focused on networks of information rather than just personal computers. And these critics are Terranova and Eugene Thacker. So we find that there are different responses to new media different attempts to understand it as well as to define it. (Refer Slide Time: 19:18) The words digital media as well as social media are sometimes interchangeably used. However, it is pertinent to look at these two phrases or words critically. Digital media is a set of complex and interconnected technologies that have fundamentally reconfigured the media landscape in the last few decades. So digital media is preferred over competing terms like new media because it emphasizes the fundamental technical motivator of change. And the motivator of change is digitization of media content. So when we talk about conversion of content from analogue to digital computer readable format we normally prefer the term digital media. It is also related with an amplified communicated capacity, the question of bandwidth etc higher fidelity and ability to easily assimilate content into computer networks such as the Internet. It also makes information widely accessible and changes the way in which information is processed. So we can say that the use of the phrase digital media highlights the content of digitization, the scope of digitization in the use of a particular media form. (Refer Slide Time: 20:47) In comparison to that we use social media in those context when we are talking about technologies which provide space for in-depth social interaction and community formation as well as for tackling of collaborative projects. It can be considered as a subset of digital media and adds database capacity to communication to record and represent the social relationships between participants. We can put these platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat as well as Instagram, LinkedIn and blog writing in our definition of the social media. The social media improves our communication with other social groups. It also helps us to create new communities which are based on shared in common interest. It also emulates offline social networks in an online manner. (Refer Slide Time: 21:48) So like the old media digital and social media systems allow for communication. But digitization and networking technologies have definitely improved how individuals and communities can be brought closer. The idea of discoverability of knowledge and information and the concept of social cohesion are augmented through automation. There is also a shift in which people engage with media. There was a time when the readers or the audience used to be passive consumers but now with the onset of the new technologies we find that the users of the new media are becoming more and more interactive and this is the main difference between the old and the new media forms. Whereas in the old media forms the consumers had to be passive, they had to read something or they had to listen to something which is being projected before them. But the capacity to interact simultaneously is the major difference which the new media has brought up. The future vision of new media is also looked at in terms of convergence in a situation where all digital media would be enclosed in an internet enabled system. Till now digitization has created a hybrid media system. Technologies for specific purposes are being turned into systems with a wide range of applications. For example, there is a shift in the utility of computers and we have switched over from the typewriters or calculators to computers and at the same time we find that the previous systems of entertainment and communication through telephone etc. are also being substituted by the digitalized version of a computer. So convergence of offline and online digital content via social media or technical means would result into a creation of online communities around TV shows. So up till now we are in a phase where the new media has generated a hybrid system but very soon media theories are looking into the future and they are terming it as a convergence. (Refer Slide Time: 24:12) This particular slide suggest how different people consume news in the age of new media. If you look closely at this chart we find that there is a direct connection between the age group of the users, the consumers and the type of media they normally prefer. We can find that the 80% users who are in the bracket of 18 to 24 years of age who are young in age are dependent on the online media platforms. However, people who are elderly shift towards the traditional ways of print and TV in order to look at the news to be familiar with the latest news developments. So we find that the technological comfort as well as the concept of being organically related with the age in which we are born has something to do with our media preferences. (Refer Slide Time: 25:16) We can look at the rapidly growing number of internet users across the world. And we can also say therefore that social media has been a game changer as far as communication and networking efforts are concerned. Normally our day begins with the social media and this is also our last consumption. At the same time as the previous slide has suggested each platform has its own unique customer base depending on the age as well as the occupation of the people. People look for a particular type of social media platform. For example, very young people may opt for technologies like snapchat etc. Whereas people who are in serious businesses and in serious professional profiles would still prefer a LinkedIn profile. So we find that each platform may have its own unique customer base but at the same time the connectivity allows people to create a certain voice for their sentiments and feelings. And at the same time, the social media now has the capability to create movements. It has resulted into a sense of growing activism because people can pass on their ideas very quickly to each other. But at the same time we find that there are certain pockets in the world where the reach of the new media the digital media as well as the social media is limited. In some countries it may be because of the political power systems. For example, in those countries where we do not have democracy there maybe some of the other form of censorship and therefore people would not be able to approach the social media platforms without restrictions and at the same time, there are still certain pockets where because of the technological or socioeconomic lack of development peoples reach to these new media forms is limited. (Refer Slide Time: 27:26) But still we can say that it has been major game changer as we had seen earlier. The participation on the part of people is also viewed differently by theorist. Still there are some people who think that people pay is still be passive recipients of media messages and they trust what they are looking at and this aspect is still a matter of ongoing debate. People who believe in this theory look at the general public as being rather simpleton, uninformed, naive and prone to manipulation. On the other hand, other critics feel that the audience today is more discerning they are better educated they are more engaged. And they are also selective in filtering as well as absorbing media messages. Most of the debates around the effects of media boil down to political discourse over use of media, sociopolitical agendas question of political representation and formation of public opinion. (Refer Slide Time: 28:41) Digital media and new media adds to the diversity of media sources and content. It allows us to look at how technological changes impact the manner in which audiences participate in new media landscapes. The new forms of media have also brought about various social changes in our contemporary culture. It has also resulted into ongoing debates over propaganda and active user engagement in public policy as well as in political discourses. A new phrase which has been coined in this context is the ‘media hype’ which is an effect of interaction between media consumers and producers and the fluid boundaries in the 21st century. Digital technology has expanded the choices and vistas for educated and well informed citizens and at the same time it has also affected life choices of those people who may not have an equal measure of access to the new technologies. (Refer Slide Time: 29:51) Convergence of network technology and media has altered the ability of individuals to act and participate within the media system. So there are challenges when we have to look at the boundaries or the categories with defined audience and producers. Because the audience is despite the opinion of certain media critics is not passive in the traditional sense and even those people who may be more naive in comparison have the capability to produce their own media content. It is also linked with the expression of human creativity in innovative and novel ways and it can also be sad that these ways are proving to be more effective in comparison to the traditional ways. Incorporation of ICTs into the media system does not just provide channels. It also provides a platform for engagement. For example shift from dumb communications technology to this smart digital media. At the same time, there are certain pitfalls also. For example, there are issues about the surveillance, the electronic surveillance of people and loss of privacy or sharing of user information without seeking prior permission of the user etc. (Refer Slide Time: 31:17) However, we find that the reach of the networking sites the social networking sites has grown phenomenally. If we look at the motivations for using social networking sites we find that people use them for different purposes. They use it for staying in touch with the current friends, to stay in touch with their family members, to connect with friends with whom they had lost their contact, to have certain connectivity with those people who share the same hobbies and interests as well as to create new friends or reading comments by celebrities, athletes or politicians. A significant number is also using these social networking sites for finding potential romantic or dating partners. So we find that the motivations for using social networking sites maybe different however the people are using it more and more. It is changing the communication pattern of the people very effectively. (Refer Slide Time: 32:24) This is also proved by the percentage of the population which is using the social media now. In this chart we find that the percentage of US population who have been using social media from the year 2008 to 2017 has been depicted. From a meagre percentage of 24 in 2008 we find that within a decade almost 81% of the people are using the social media. In almost every other country of the world there is a duplication of this particular percentage. (Refer Slide Time: 33:07) So we can say that new media has affected the way we communicate and therefore it has also affected the way we look at our contemporary culture and internalize its values. Manovich has dubbed the new media as a new kind of computer and human interface. The logic of the new media corresponds to the post-industrial logic of production on demand and just in time delivery with themselves were made possible by the use of computers. And computer networks in all the stages of manufacturing and distribution. So here we find that the use of the term ‘culture industry’ becomes much more pertinent. Because it is the culture industry which is actually ahead of the rest of the industry in using the social media or the new media. It is interesting to note that it is culture industry in the 21st century which is actually ahead of the rest of the industries. The term Culture industry was originally coined by Theodor Adorno in the 1930s almost a century before and he had used this term to look at how the consumers behaviour increased in the society when media houses as well as the capitalist market had joined forces. Interestingly it is the use of the same term which helps us to understand the significance of the new media today. Thank you.