The ‘new media’, a noveau trend and culture now sweeping over the information world has undoubtedly revolutionize the mass media across the globe as an offshoot of a cyber culture. The new media is thus the introduction of the cyber science in the streamline of communication.
This cyber revolution has immensely affected the modalities of our mass media in Nigeria, which has a history dating back from mid nineteenth century, 1859 precisely, with the establishment of Nigeria’s 1st newspaper ‘Iwe Iroyin’ by Rev Henry Townsend in Abeokuta, and since then has witnessed subsequent influx of a plethora of other newspapers, magazines and eventualy radio and television. However, what all this media has in common is that they are analogue technologized ways of information dissemination which has come to be referred to as ‘the traditional media’ with the advent of the digitalized ‘new media’.
It is therefore, the introduction of the digital technology into the mass media that has come to have the nomenclatural appendage ‘new media’ (as contrasted with the analogue modelled ‘traditional media’)
The new media with help of the digital technology has enabled immediate access to content (news, information, etc) any time any where on any digital enabled device, (something the traditional media cant offer) the new media thus fosters an easier way of recieving immediate feedback which constitute the ‘ens realissimum’ of any meaningful communication, thereby defeating a major challenge of mass communication (of getting immediate feedback). Examples of the ‘new media’ include the internet, websites, computer media, CD-ROMs etc, it also includes radio-television programs, newspaper and magazines, books and journals if and only if they have a technology that enables digital interactivity.
Central to the promotion of the visions and values of the new media is the emphasis on ‘content’, because it is the on-demand access to content that designates the ‘new media’ from the ‘traditional media’. It therefore characterize the new media as being networkable, interactive, dense, compressible and impartial.
Observably, people’s attitude to the new media is largely influenced by the content. The inexonerable questions often asked with reference to the new media’s content are:
A. Is the content from a reliable source
B. Is the content accessible and retrievable (most contents are not)
C. Do the content educate or entertain me
D. How current is the content.
The answer to the above questions would influence the acceptability, promotion and patronage of such new media, be it a website, online news organisation etc.
In Nigeria, the new media which heretofore has established a cyber culture has greater impact majorly on the youth who are the more IT enthusiast with the intractable zest to know. Thus in developing the new media in Nigeria, this fact must be emphasized and made to reflect on the content of such new media if it will recieve wide acceptance and patronized.
We therefore, like other content strategist suggest that content should endeavour to add more value fundamentaly to it’s primary target audience, (here in Nigeria, mostly the youth) also the content should be consistently updated to have a sense of urgency, adequate constant upgrading of the content to reflect contemporarism should not be neglected. Also and most importantly the content should be made sharable and interactive by a way of having share links like facebook, twitter, youtube and other social network, this is nothing other than making content portable.
The cyber culture in the information world is gradualy replacing the traditional media as people’s curiosity increase with regards to having access to immediate information, such curiosity can only be satiated by consistent improve in the content to meet the demands of the time, this enables the patronage of such new media and consequently its development.
Written by Onyedika C. Okolo