The dot-com revolution is the biggest tide of change that I have witnessed in my lifespan of 27 years. Before this, the biggest landmark event that impacted the way we lived was privatization. However, I was too young back then to understand the bigger impacts. Yes, one thing I remember that suddenly we had a lot of options on TV. Few years later, I heard of a newer and cooler version of radio called FM.
However, the internet was the biggest of all – bigger than TV and bigger than radio. The internet was not confined to one part of our lives. From entertainment to paying bills and from booking tickets to completing homework – the digital wave changed it all. How could the media industry be unaffected by this? The emergence of internet gave birth to an altogether new form of media called the Digital Media.
Digital Media and Its Advantages
The birth and propagation of online media revolutionized the very spine of information dissemination. News was not a Prime Time event anymore, before TV could break an event, it was already all over the internet. Yes. The impact of the internet being so instant was huge.
The ease with which millions of people can be reached with a few keys and clicks changed the sense of urgency in news. It brought a new edge to the essence of being fast and new with information.
In addition to being instant, the internet had another major perk – its far reach. Geographical boundaries were no more a limit to any kind of information. Sharing content across national and international boundaries became a matter of seconds.
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Whatever is on the internet is accessible to anyone living in any part of the world having the digital infrastructure. Furthermore, digital media also facilitated the process of feedback and feed forwards, hence leading to the birth of citizen journalism. This phenomenon gave the audience an equal right to voice it, hence strengthening transparency and democracy.
The Emergence of Start-ups: A Silver Star of Online Media
One of the biggest babies born out of online media is the Silver Star called start-ups. The internet opened a plethora of platforms offering scope in various dimensions.
From blogging to vlogging to self-help and dieting; from online shopping to selling on the website and ordering food to buying grocery; from booking taxis to making reservations and from reading books to finding places – the internet had an awesome potential to offer services and cater to needs.
This led to the phenomena of start-ups: new age entrepreneurship.
Impact of New Media on Traditional Media
The mega episode of the online media was big, so big that it did not leave the ages old traditional media untouched. The old forms of mass communications, including television and newspapers adapted themselves to keep up with the dotcom saga.
Today all leading national news channels run shows like Viral Sach and Viral Khabar where they run stories ‘trending’ on social media. For that matter, formats like Fatafat khabarein and 100 plus where the news readers reads crisp headlines in two minutes or so were also launched to keep up with the ‘instant information’ aspect of dotcom media.
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Leading national dailies started columns like ‘Tweet of the Week’ and what not to maintain relevance in the new age of journalism.
Degradation of Content and Lack of Credibility: A Challenge for Online Media
They say, with power comes great responsibility. The inception of online media gave unprecedented power to every user. Anyone and everyone could write, produce and broadcast. This definitely affected the level of the content being disseminated.
The convenience of going anonymous on various websites added to the chaos. Sensationalism, meddling with facts and tabloidism on the internet are major challenges to be dealt with. Organizations have sprouted like mushrooms in all cities and they are to compromise with facts to get a few more hits. This is a serious issue and needs self policing to be dealt with.
Trolling, Over Reacting and Believing In Anything. Also – Cyber Leaks
Another sad consequence of the internet, especially the social media was the emergence of a thing called trolling. If you consult the ‘urban dictionary’ (another module originated out of the internet), this is how it defines this term:
Many celebrities have been trolled a million times for reasons right and wrong. This leads to unnecessary controversies and issues.
Over reacting and believing anything on the internet have led to riots, communal differences, people getting fired, people going to jails and what not. The instant nature of the internet has made us lazy. We never bother to delve into a matter properly. We just believe one image or screenshot and go out lashing anyone and everyone. This needs to stop right now!
Cyber leaks are an altogether new level to the invasion in private lives of public faces. It has become everyday news that personal images of a celebrity gets leaked or hacked out of a personal social media account. This takes an even more grave turn when a country’s confidential data breach happens. It threatens lives of millions and leads to international chaos.
Everything in this world has two sides. If there are benefits, there will be drawbacks too. It is our duty, as a civic society to respect the integrity and privacy of others. It is our responsibility to act with conscience and dignity. If we handle the internet and take proper advantage of online media, we can make this world a progressive place to live in. the negativities are scant but not ineffective. We need to work on them. Rest is good to go!
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