Sociology Media Notes

New Media:

Mass media: communication that reaches a large audience

New media: screen-based, digital technology that integrates image, text and sound. Increased convergence which drives more content and control. Technological convergence has led to cultural convergence (this blurs lines between work and education.)




Improves communication


Cheaper (1 device)

Cyber-bullying and danger

Use it to learn

Over-priced and unnecessary


Old media: different devices for different media content bringing little audience control and participation as it is controlled by owners and editors.


Digital Divide: gap between those with internet access and those without.

2005- average person spent 9.9h on the internet a week

2014- average person spent 20.5h on the internet a week

The average internet user is a young male educated to higher education and they are employed with a high income.

6m UK adults have never used the internet

20% of UK households have no internet access

Between 2000 and 2012, world internet access grew by 566%

40% of the world’s population use wifi

Digitalisation: growth of digital technology in 1990s led to lateral changes

Technological convergence: different types of information in one single delivery system e.g. iPhone

Economic convergence: caused by technological convergence, compares of separate systems make economic alliances with each other.

Cultural convergence: changed interactions with each other and the media. 6/10 UK adults used the internet for shopping.


Changes in the Media:

Bivens (2008): 3 ways that new media has changed traditional media

1)   Citizen Journalism

2)   Validity of newspapers

3)   Changing news values to ‘non-professional content

4)   News is available 24/7

5)   Cheap, immediate and for young people

6)   Not everyone has it, leading to a digital divide- elite groups will dominate


Curran and Seaton (2010) say that there are 2 views of New Media

Neophiliiacs aka Cultural Optimists

-      More choice due to interaction, democracy, information, diversity and pleasure

-       The world has become a global village due to increased interaction

o   Social interaction is no longer defined by identity

Pessimistic View

-      Less validity

-      Western imperialism, deifying of western culture

-      It is a threat to democracy

-      Surveillance decrease leading to more ****, paedos and crime

-      Lack of regulation

-      Digital Divide can lead to social isolation


Ownership and Control:


Ownership types:

-      Privately owned media sources e.g. Rupert Murdoch

-      Publically owned media sources e.g. BBC

-      Charity owned media sources e.g. community radio stations

The concentration of media has changed with increased ownership into a few corporations.

E.g. UK magazine market is dominated by 3 companies.

1983: 50 companies

1992: 22 companies

2004: 7 companies

Bagdikian (2004): global firms own US media e.g. Disney, Time Warner which can lead to bias e.g. in 2010 News Corp gave £1m to the Republicans


Factors affecting decline of choice:

-      Horizontal integration- buying similar types of media




These are so useful thank you!!!!!