Week 2 Discussion

Most of the time  when one thinks and talks about new media or media in general, they only think about the present. The prototypes leading to the surviving systems are generally lost and forgotten. In “What’s New About New Media?” by Lisa Gitelman and Goeffrey Pingree, they talk about how the past modules play just as important role when it comes to evaluating new media. In other words, the term does not only refer to today’s media. Every form of media and technology at the time of its creation, has held a spot in the technological frontier. Not all forms of media have the same success as their predecessors, therefore the trajectory is short lived. Once the media ceases to exists, the perception of the media goes from ‘new media’  to ‘dead media’. However, the ‘dead media‘ does not die in vain. It becomes a blue print for future technological creations that continue to influence and shape the standard living of society. This notion that traces of  old media carries on into future generations breaks down the common misconception that new media is the vanquisher of the old or what Paul Duguid describes as the supercession trope. Another misconception according to Duguid is what he calls the transparency trope. When a new form of media emerges, it perfects the information transmitted from the old media to created a better representation of reality. However, as mentioned before, old media at one point was considered new, therefore it does not make the old information any less valuable. It should also be regarded with great importance. Because new media is constantly evolving it is hard to define the term because there is always something new on the horizon. 

Van Dijk, on the other hand, in “Characteristics of New Media”  is able to provide the essence of ‘new media’ based on four characteristics: integration, interactivity, digital code, and hypertext. New media is created through the integration of telecommunications, data communications, and mass communications into one single medium creating the term multimedia. The mode of communication becomes faster and more efficient at the spreading of information. With this advancement, the level of interactivity experiences the same pattern. The sequences of action and reaction becomes more complex through digital code and hypertext. The new media allows us to communicate through a variety of means other than face to face. As a result, we are able to create a virtual identity which can be refined and finessed based on the capabilities of the new media.  

Discussion Question:

 How long is media considered ‘new media’? What is the time span?

 How has new media changed personal interaction? 

How has new media changed both personal and cultural identity? 

Due to our generations attachment to new media and the ability to curate our virtual identity, do you think it has made us more narcissistic?

Main Points:

‘new media’ does not only focus on the present day, because old media was also once considered new

‘old media’ are considered the blueprints for new media

supercession trope vs. transparency trope

new media has four characteristics: integration, interactivity, digital code, hypertext

“New Media, Old Media”



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