As we have learned throughout this class, the relationship between the media and society has always been complex and multi-faceted. With technological advancements, these complexities have grown exponentially. “News” is seen much differently today than it was seen 100 years ago. Today, journalists aim to “break” the news more so than to “explain” the news. Additionally, media outlets are now look and act like traditional businesses while they used to be considered as their own category: news corporations. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the term “journalist” is expanding. Widespread and accessible technological advances allow for almost anyone to act as journalists and spread information instantly (citizen journalism).
Considering how much the media has developed in 100 years, it is very difficult to predict the future of the media. It is very apparent that technology will play a primary role; what role, exactly, is hard to determine. Media experts are also unaware of the future of the media. In an article published by The New York Times, Eric Pfanner even stated, “Predicting the outcome of a revolution is a fool’s game” when discussing technology’s future impact on the media. Despite this statement, he outlines a few inevitable facts about the evolving nature of the media.
Firstly, media will continue to digitalize making almost all media digital. Next, the globalization of media will increase and new markets will emerge. The article also mentioned the difficulty of predicting the future of particular media channels. For example, newspapers and the recording industry have been struggling lately. Is television next? According to Pfinner, probably not due to its increasing similarities to the Internet.
Hopefully the upcoming and inevitable changes will result in more civic participation from members of the society. While the changes in media could also result in isolating and dividing people, ideally, it would work to inform the masses accurately and efficiently. Overall, like Pfinner said, it is almost to impossible to predict what the media will look like when our children are grown, let alone what it will look like five years from now.