It has become clear through the course of this class that the media is constantly evolving. Media, media technologies, and the impact of media on society has changed in the past, is changing currently, and will continue to change in the future. The use of media has become more prevalent in society, bringing its influence on members of society into question. Although humans are active agents in selecting what media they consume and in their interpretations, different media forms inevitably impact individuals and the culture.
Media used to be a very diverse area of society that consisted of many companies in many different areas of media production, but over time the media has come to be dominated by just five or six large conglomerates. As time goes on, it can be expected that this concentration of ownership will continue, making the production of media more profit based than it already is. As recently as February, Comcast announced its merging with Time Warner Cable. This joining of forces of these two major cable companies is not only an example of the continued concentration of media ownership, but also demonstrates a focus on what is beneficial economically rather than on producing new and creative content. If all media producing companies continue to be owned by fewer conglomerates, content may begin to look similar and be cross promoted through various forms of media at the economic benefit of the company.
Although media in largely under the control of few and powerful corporations, the average citizen has an ever-increasing role in the production of media. More and more news outlets are allowing citizens to find their voice by providing forums in which anyone can share their opinion or story. The role of social media also allows for the rapid sharing of thoughts and stories created by nearly anyone. Because citizen journalism is a relatively new adoption into the production of information, it can be expected to grow in the future. Years from now it is possible that citizen journalism will even begin to take over traditional forms of news. This could create conflict between traditional and citizen journalists, who will have to negotiate the roles they play in society. It will also bring into question the quality of the work created by citizen journalists. Although their stories allow for the rapid spread of important ideas and can offer great insight into the most current events, can it be taken as seriously if it is not created by a “professional” journalist?
Finally, as media continues to evolve, media producing technologies will change, just as they have in the past. Some suggest that the future of media will be dominated by “mobile.” This suggests that now is just the beginning of the rise high quality smart-devices, which allow people to carry most forms of desirable media with them portably. Entering a mobile generation will have cultural impacts such as creating less personal relationships between people and changing the way they experience the world around them. The fear is that this increasing technology and people’s drive to constantly be linked to the media will create a media culture of convenience over quality in order to give the people what they want when they want it. Whether these changes are for better or for worse is yet to be determined.