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New Media


This outcome focuses on the the social consequences of the emergence of new media technologies. In doing this we consider the creative implications of new media technologies.


In this area of study students explore the emergence of new media technologies. The impact and implications of new media technologies are considered in the context of the capabilities of the technologies, their relationship with existing media and how they provide alternative means of creation, distribution and consumption of media products. Students investigate the changes, possibilities and issues that arise from the development of new technologies and how these alter audience experience and understanding of the media.


Technological advancements in the media occur within the context of the society in which they are created, developed and used. Such developments, therefore, not only affect media products themselves but also change the ways audiences think about and use the media. New media may also influence perceptions of ourselves and the world. Students learn that development, convergence and proliferation of technologies change the way existing and new forms of media are transmitted, exchanged, stored and received. They develop an understanding that these changes may also challenge notions of industry, ownership, copyright, privacy and access. Outcome 3 On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss creative and cultural implications of new media technologies for the production and consumption of media products.



Select from the following

1   Analyse changes in technology over the past 10 years and create a poster which informs a coma patient of what has changed since they fell asleep. It          should be simple to understand, feature 10 clear points about key changes and discuss the impact of technology on future media.

2.  Write an argumentative essay examining the impact of social media  


3. Produce an image of the same subject using an old and a new form of technology; for example, a photograph made with a pinhole camera, a mobile             phone camera, a silver gelatin print and a digital photograph or an audio tape and a digital audio recording; analyse the techniques of construction and         compare the characteristics of the products, including aesthetic qualities, clarity of image or sound, cost and technical accessibility

    Discuss the impact  of the transition from analogue to digital on Media professionals and the audience and the challenges  that the advancement of

    new media has on society      



4. Select one of the following 


(a) Research the history of video games, computer games, handheld games and mobile phone games and future directions in gaming

(b) interview media professionals about the impact of changing technology on their work, for example the changing conditions in the production of animations, photography, journalism, or any associated media technology 

(c) locate and research documents and articles and Discuss  changes in communication and social interaction that have evolved with the use of new media technology;   500 words

Don’t Touch That Dial! A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook            


A respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first to raise the alarm about the effects of information overload. In a landmark book, he described how the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both ‘confusing and harmful’ to the mind. The media now echo his concerns with reports on the unprecedented risks of living in an ‘always on’ digital environment. It’s worth noting that Gessner, for his part, never once used email and was completelyignorant about computers. That’s not because he was a technophobe, but because he died in 1565. His warnings referred to the seemingly unmanageable flood of information unleashed by the printing press.


Worries about information overload are as old as information itself, with each generation reimagining the dangerous impacts of technology on mind and brain. From a historical perspective, what strikes home is not the evolution of these social concerns, but their similarity from one century to the next, to the point where they arrive anew with little having changed except the label.

These concerns stretch back to the birth of literacy itself. In parallel with modern concerns about children’s overuse of technology, Socrates famously warned against writing because it would ‘create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories’. He also advised that children can’t distinguish fantasy from reality, so parents should

only allow them to hear wholesome allegories and not ‘improper’ tales, lest their development go astray. The Socratic warning has been repeated many times since: The older generation warns against a new technology and bemoans that society is abandoning the ‘wholesome’ media it grew up with, seemingly unaware that this same technology was considered to be harmful when first introduced...


When radio arrived, we discovered yet another scourge of the young: The wireless was accused of distracting children from reading and diminishing performance in school, both of which were now considered to be appropriate and wholesome. In 1936, the music magazine the Gramophone reported that children had ‘developed the habit of dividing attention between the humdrum preparation of their school assignments and the compelling excitement of the loudspeaker’ and described how the radio programs were disturbing the balance of their excitable minds.


in 1938 "The War of the Worlds" is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on Sunday, October 30, 1938, and aired over theColumbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds (1898). It became famous for allegedly causing mass panic




The television caused widespread concern as well: Media historian Ellen  War ella has noted how ‘opponents voiced concerns about how television might hurt radio, conversation, reading, and the patterns of family living and result in the further vulgarisation of American culture’.




















By the end of the twentieth century, personal computers had entered our homes, the internet was a global phenomenon, and almost identical worries were widely broadcast through chilling headlines: CNN reported that ‘Email “hurts IQ more than pot”,’ The Telegraph that ‘Twitter and Facebook could harm moral values’ and the ‘Facebook and Myspace generation “cannot form relationships”,’ and the Daily Mail ran a piece on ‘How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer’. Not a single shred of evidence underlies these stories, but they make headlines across the world because they echo our recurrent fears about new technology .



















There is, in fact, a host of research that directly tackles these issues. To date, studies suggest there is no consistent evidence that the internet causes mental problems. If anything, the data show that people who use social networking sites actually tend to have better offline social lives, while those who play computer games are better than non-gamers at absorbing and reacting to information with no loss of accuracy or increased impulsiveness. In contrast, the accumulation of many years of evidence suggests that heavy television viewing does appear to have a negative effect on our health and our ability to concentrate. We almost never hear about these sorts of studies anymore because television is old hat, technology scares need to be novel, and evidence that something is safe just doesn’t make the grade in the shock-horror media agenda.


The writer Douglas Adams observed how technology that existed when we were born seems normal, anything that is developed before we turn 35 is exciting, and whatever comes after that is treated with suspicion. This is not to say all media technologies are harmless, and there is an important debate to be had about how new developments affect our bodies and minds. But history has shown that we rarely consider these effects in anything except the most superficial terms because our suspicions get the better of us. In retrospect, the debates about whether schooling dulls the brain or whether newspapers damage the fabric of society seem peculiar, but our children will undoubtedly feel the same about the technology scares we entertain now. It won’t be long until they start the cycle anew.


Vaughan Bell, Slate Magazine, 15 February 2010. Vaughan Bell is a clinical and research psychologist.

  • 1  Identify five past or present concerns about media technology mentioned in the ‘Don’tTouch That Dial!’ article.

  • 2  What is ‘moral panic’? Do you believe that people’s moral concerns about the effect of media technology are justified or over-exaggerated? explain your answer.

  • 3  choose five recent news stories from the technology sections of national, state or local print or web-based newspapers and briefly summarise the technology focus and any issues that arise from the technology being highlighted in the articles.





































































































































































































































The New Media's coming of age


| Dan Carlin



PressPausePlay is a documentary exploring the possibilities and problems posed by increasing access to digital technology.


“Everybody’s a photographer, everybody’s a filmmaker, everybody’s a writer, everybody’s a musician,” says Moby at the beginning of the documentary.


Are we at the beginning of a cultural revolution? What are the implications for art and creativity? What happens the music industry when people can record and distribute their own albums?


Over the last decade, we’ve seen the most significant shift in the mass media since the invention of moveable type. For several hundred years, the ability to publish and broadcast has been in the hands of the wealthy. Now, with little more than smart phone and an internet connection, you can share your work with millions of people.

“Technology always comes first,” artist Bill Drummond says in PressPausePlay. “That technology is usually invented for some other reason, then the artist comes along and abuses it and changes it.”


The internet is responsible for much of this revolution. The increasing speed of broadband and availability of sites like YouTube, Vimeo and Soundcloud make it easy for people to share their films and music with others. It also gives artists the opportunity to communicate directly with their fans.


It’s not just the internet, however, that driving this cultural revolution. Most smart phones are now capable of shooting high definition video. Cameras like the Canon 550d MKII, allow people to shoot stunning video. Programs like Garageband and Reason have put the tools for music production in the hands of the masses.


“I think this is an incredibly time for artists,” says music journalist Brenda Walker. “There’s no cap on creativity. The technological advances have given the artist an open door to creating as much as their capacity will allow.”

In PressPausePlay, Walker argues that power has shifted from record companies and movie studios to the artists themselves. “We’re at a time when artists have the power,” she says. “I’m often puzzled that they don’t recognise exactly how much power they have. There is no record company without the artist. There is no venue to fill without the artist. There is no t-shirt to sell without the artist.”

“Anybody can go out and buy a movie, anybody who has fifteen hundred dollars can buy a camera,” says film director Lena Dunham. “Even if you don’t, there’s so many ways to make a movie, there’s so many ways to distribute your film on the internet. There’s a million different platforms. So that’s really good for people who want to express themselves but it also makes it harder to break through all of the noise.”


It’s this noise, this flood of mediocrity, that many see as a downside of this cultural revolution. In PressPausePlay, author Andrew Keen argues that one of the difficulties creators face is the possibility that their work will be “lost in the ocean of garbage”.

In the documentary, David Weinberger argues that the availability of this technology is good news for equality in an industry that has traditionally been controlled by “white guys”. The technology, he argues, will ultimately result in greater diversity and creativity because it gives a voice to people who’ve traditionally been marginalised by the mass media.


PressPausePlay also features an interview with author Seth Godin whose book Unleashing the IdeaVirus suggests that ideas that are free spread faster and these ideas ultimately win. This book, it turns out, demonstrates this idea beautifully. When he released the book, Godin made it available for free on his website. The book was downloaded five million times and people began asking for printed copies. Deciding to self-publish, he made the book available on Amazon where it shot to number five on the charts. “I made more money from the book I gave away than the book I had sold,” he says.


Others aren’t so optimistic. “For a serious young filmmaker, these are very, very depressing times.” argues Andrew Keen. “When you leave everything to the crowd, when everything is democratised, when everything determined by the number of clicks, you’re by definition undermining the seriousness of the artistic endeavour.”


Overall, PressPausePlay is an interesting look at the possibilities and problems posed by this cultural revolution.



1. What are the benefits of this cultural revolution for emerging musicians?

2. What are the benefits of low cost, high quality equipment like RED cameras?

3. How does new technology inspire collaboration?

4. How has new technology democratised media? What possibilities and problems are posed by this democratisation?

5. How does this new technology benefit artists over traditional media companies and publishers?

6. What implications does this new technology have for education and training in the media?

7. How did file sharing influence the music industry?

8. How has this technology influenced the way that we listen to and interact with media, particularly music?



PressPausePlay Official Website

PressPausePlay on YouTube





WikiLeaks is an international new media non-profit organization that publishes submissions of otherwise unavailable documents from anonymous news sources and leaks. WikiLeaks  publishes secret documents revealing the misconduct of governments and corporations. In its first year, WikiLeaks published more than 1.2 million secret documents. These documents revealed classified information about countries and corporations around the globe, spilling sensitive secrets about major conflicts and human rights abuses.


“If you engage in immoral, unjust behaviour, it will be found out,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in the documentary WikiRebels. “It will be revealed and you will suffer the consequences.” 


It’s easy to forget that technology – including state-of-the-art encryption, peer-to-peer file sharing, restricted mailing lists, memory sticks, VPN tunnels and the internet itself – is what makes it possible for WikiLeaks to release millions of secret documents at once.


Although governments and multinational corporations have attempted to blockade the website, Wikileaks has published many of these classified documents as torrents for distribution on peer-to-peer networks. These documents are located on the computers of journalists and hackers across the world, making it impossible for governments to remove them completely.


Like Wikipedia, Assange initially thought that ordinary people would collaborate to analyse the leaked material. Working with traditional media organisations, however, turned out to be more effective. WikiLeaks worked with traditional print publications, including The Guardian and The New York Times, to coordinate the release of secret documents about the war in Afghanistan.


According to the site’s cofounder Daniel Domscheit-Berg, WikiLeaks has “published more scoops than the Washington Post in the last thirty years.”

“It’s a worry isn’t it that the rest of the world’s media is doing such a bad job that a little group of activists is able to release more of that type of information than the rest of the world has combined,” Julian Assange said in an interview with TED’s Chris Anderson.


More recently, WikiLeaks made front page news when a number of significant documents were leaks to the public. In April 2010, the site published gunsight footage from the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed by an AH-64 Apache helicopter – this was famously known as the Collateral Murder video.


Julian Assange, a computer programmer, hacker and internet activist is generally regarded as WikiLeaks’ founder, editor-in-chief and director – he has made it his life’s work to exposing truths and making people and organisations accountable for any unjust and immoral behavior. Recently, Assange was alleged to have committed four sexual offences by the Swedish Director of Prosecution. In 2012, facing extradition to Sweden, he sought refuge at the Embassy of Ecuador in London and was granted political asylum by Ecuador.


A documentary about WikiLeaks, entitled; ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks was released in the United Sates on October 18, 2013. This highly acclaimed film covers a period of several decades and includes considerable background material and interviews with people involved in the collection and distribution of secret information.
















































































































I will not forgive or forget" - Assange speaks   May 19, 2017 

Kony 2012

acknowledgement Brett Lamb Lesson Bucket


Kony 2012 is an online video created by a group of activists aiming to have a Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony arrested. Kony is the leader of a guerrilla organisation called the Lord’s Resistance Army which is responsible for crimes including rape, murder, kidnapping and the forced recruitment of child soldiers.

The video was a phenomenal viral success. In less than a week, it was viewed more than twenty-five million times, throwing the international spotlight on Joseph Kony and demonstrating the power of online activism.

“Right now there are more people on Facebook then there were on the planet two hundred years ago,” says Jason Russell at the beginning of the video. “Humanity’s greatest desire is to belong and connect. We hear each other. We share what we love. And it reminds us what we have in common. And this connection is changing the way the world works. Governments are trying to keep up and older generations are concerned.”

‘Slacktivism’ is any form of online activism – signing a petition, ‘liking’ a cause on Facebook or posting a link to a charity – that makes someone feel good without actually achieving anything. This type of activism is less effective than writing a letter to your local politician or donating money to a cause. Although many people shared the Kony 2012 video, far fewer became actively involved in the campaign. Despite this, the video did raise global awareness about an important issue.

“As a piece of digital polemic and digital activism, it is quite simply brilliant,” film critic Peter Bradshaw wrote in The Guardian. “It’s a slick, high-gloss piece of work, distributed on the Vimeo site, the upscale version of YouTube for serious film-makers. And its sensational, exponential popularity growth on the web is already achieving one of its stated objectives: to make Kony famous, to publicise this psychopathic warlord’s grotesque crimes – kidnapping thousands of children and turning them into mercenaries, butchers and rapists.”


  Watch the video Kony 2012 

1. Briefly describe Kony 2012, explaining how it was spread using social media.

2. Do you think Kony 2012 was an effective campaign? 

3. Research and discuss what events occured post Kony  2012  and  define  Slacktervism and explain   how this may contribute  to  

   the success or failure of  campaigns such as Kony   

KONY 2102 

Ugandans Response to Kony 


Assessing the impact of media technology is challenging. The media has complex and far-reaching implications
for peoples’ lives. The rate of technological development means that change often occurs quickly. The implications of this change quickly become accepted as normal or natural by-products of media use. Given the dynamic and disruptive nature of new media, the following framework
is a useful way to consider the impact media technology has on peoples’ lives while avoiding any superficial moral panic. The framework asks you to consider new media in terms of industry, culture, economy, audience, government, ethics, society. You can remember these factors with the acronym ICEAGES.

Everything is a Remix (2015) is a documentary by
Kirby Ferguson exploring the nature of creativity and appropriation. It examines the creative process, explaining how artists have always copied, transformed and combined elements of past works to create new and original ones.

Social networking

Since the turn of the century, social networking has become an integral part of the way people communicate and share information.


Generation Like (2014), a documentary produced by Douglas Rushko and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), explores the corporations and economic structures that underpin social networking. In 2001, Rushko produced a documentary called Merchants of Cool (2001), which explains how large corporations like MTV were pro ting from teenage culture, exploiting kids’ desire to be cool. Social media has changed this dynamic and teenagers now control much of this discourse. Rushko argued that likes, shares and retweets are the social currency of ‘Generation Like’. What people like and share online becomes part of their social identity.

Generation Liked  



Watch the documentary WikiRebels and videos above and answer the following questions.


1. Describe what WikiLeaks does.

2. What technology makes WikiLeaks possible?

3. What social and political effect do you think Wikileaks has had?

4. Although WikiLeaks releases information, how do they work in conjunction with traditional media organisations?

5 Is Wikileaks  good for democracy or a hindrance to it? Is Julian Assange and his team making history by increasing accountability and improving the democratic process or are they simply whistle blowers severely damaging diplomacy and democracy whilst giving investigative journalism a bad name?


6. Research and outline why Julian Assange what circumstances lead to Julian Assange  being contained in the  Ecuadorian embassy  What  conclusion can you draw from the charges alleged against Julian Assange being dropped. What is the current 

situation in 2020 with Julian Assange's court case

Banning mobile phones in Schools -Beneficial or risky 

  • Identify and analyse the newest media technology used to communicate to and engage with audiences such as smart phones, . Explain how this technology has impacted on digital media audiences.

  • Research the current issue about banning mobile phones in schools  Discuss the different ethical viewpoints expressed by opposing viewpoints  The issue and the discussion could be presented as a pod cast  video documentary   oral debate.  or written essay 

ban mobile phones .jpg
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