An Unpredictable Future

Media is constantly changing, evolving, and growing due to the influence of countless factors.  The media today is nothing like the media of ten years ago and the media ten years from now will be nothing like todays.  While knowing what the media of the future will look like is impossible we can look at how media has evolved up to this point, and how other major influences are currently evolving to make assumptions as to what media might look like in the future.

Technology, in my opinion, is the biggest influence on the media currently.  I believe this because of the power it gives media producers and consumers.  It is rapidly evolving, opening new possibilities for media consumption and distribution.  In recent years technology has given the former consumers the power to produce media and to gatewatch more effectively.  This has taken some of the power to gatekeep from the large media producers.  As technology evolves it will continue to change the dynamic between large media companies and the general public, hopefully for the better.

Over the past 50 years one of the most controversial and influential trends in media is the concentration of ownership.  We are down to so few companies owning most of the media that it is hard to imagine ownership getting any more concentrated.  This past week Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, formerly the nations two largest cable companies will soon be one.  As greedy companies like Comcast continue to buy out every competitor how long will it be until our Big 5 become consolidated into a single conglomerate?  While the formation of one mega conglomerate is very unlikely, even the consolidation from five to four major media companies would give each company a great increase of power and influence.

Technology and ownership concentration are just two of many influences on the future of media.  Technology has given more people access to information and the ability for the consumers of media to become producers of media.  With this new increase in information and power the consumers can be better informed.  This will hopefully lead to larger concern about ownership consolidation.  The media has a enormous effect on everyone viewing it, and so it is important for the viewers to have an interest in knowing the truth about that media.  As we move into the future it will be increasingly important to be active viewers.  Looking to the future we can only hope that everyone does their part in staying informed and keeping the media working for the people.

3 thoughts on “An Unpredictable Future”

  1. You make a lot of good points with this post. Technology is indeed, as you pointed out, rapidly evolving. To me, it seems like the speed of this change is constantly increasing. This means that whatever it looks like in the future, it will most likely be far different than it is now. You also brought up a good point about consolidation of ownership. it will be interesting to see what happens to the power dynamic in the future. Right now large corporations are gaining more and more power by consolidating, but at the same time new forms of media are putting power back in the hands of the consumers. It is hard to predict, but I was wondering what you thought the dynamic would look like in the future. Personally, I believe that the evolution of technology will eventually overpower large corporations and we will have a much more diverse and citizen based media structure.

  2. I completely agree with you that technology is the biggest influence on media currently, and it is for sure the biggest influence on media in my life. It is so interesting how much the media has changed just in our life times from myspace to Facebook to twitter and Instagram, it just goes on and on. I think technology has not only been the biggest influence on media, but a very positive influence as well. It has allowed people to be up to date with the world in ways they couldn’t have before. I have to say I don’t think I would sit down and read the news paper every morning but i always look on my phone on the BBC news app or on the internet to stay up to date, which I think is common for many people!

  3. Good points. I definitely agree that technology is one of the most important influences of the media. As you said, it influences the media greatly because it accounts for a large amount of media distribution. I also think that new technology is something that people get the most excited about. So not only is technology important to the media because of the role it plays in the communication process, but also because it accounts for a good amount of content.

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