New media may be judged in two very different ways. Firstly, the more straight forward view would be that, new media is a product constructed to satisfy consumer demand. New media claims to provide the social consumer what they want. Also new media claims to reflect the ideas raised and considered in society. This maybe all well and good but there is always more than one side to an argument. It may also be argued that new media is a tool for social change and social control. What if the media is not reflecting the ideas of society and instead is producing a new status quo for society to follow. New media has opened up society and connected people of all different ethnic backgrounds together. This may seem all democratic as it allows people from different corners of society to share views and opinions. However this also has created a much larger consumer base for the media to imprint their social template on the modern society. New media and technological advances, such as the internet, have granted the media easy access to society and thus have allowed them to set a process of globalisation in motion where society is linked and this in turn has enabled the media to structure modern society.
The media is situated in the centre of this new structured society as it exerts pivotal control over society. The media, through the mediums of television, radio, print etc, imprint a system of values which are then passed down to society. The media decides the “norm” for society and people who don’t follow this template are stigmatised. The media also pass down deviant values into society. This helps solidify class structure as certain things such as art or classical music are viewed to as belonging to certain classes.
When evaluating the effects of new media one has to ask the following question. Has new media actually changed anything? The answer to that question is not a straight forward one as it is an interrogative question. The answer contains both yes and no elements. Firstly, yes new media has brought great reform especially to the area of technology. Consumers of new media are able to access large volumes of information at incredible speeds. However one might argue that without the advancement of new media the same information would be available. Also some might say that new media is easily susceptible to propaganda as it is virtually impossible to validate some sources and also anybody can publish work on the internet with little or no restrictions.
In conclusion, it is clear that new media is an amazing technological advancement as large volumes of information can be accessed with great ease and at great speed. But new media is just an over glamorous version of “old media”. Also in terms of authenticity and reliability new media fails as it is open to everyone which in turn leaves factual information open to the cross contamination of ideas. But where new media fails on reliability it makes up for on control as new media is a consumer package open to almost everyone and the possibilities for the owners is endless.