Blog 4: Ch.1 “What’s New About ‘New Media’?” by: Terry Flew

“Why some media are considered to be ‘new’?” Flew starts this chapter with this question. The chapter continues on with a brief history of how the Internet grew to be what it is today. Before that topic Flew talks about the three C’s: Communications Networks, Computing/Information Technology, and Content (Media).  They all work together in pairs (creating: Mobile Telephony, CD-ROM/DVD, and Cable TV/interactive TV) as well as all together to create: Internet and World Wide Web. ‘New Media’ is defined as “unique forms of digital media and remaking of more traditions media forms to adopt and adapt.” (Pg. 11) The history of the Internet is broken down into 3 steps. First came ‘packet switching (1960’s),’ second ‘wide area network (WAN) in 1974’ and ‘TCP/IP and ARPANET (1983)’ which lead to Apples and PCs, and third in the 1990’s was a growing change which lead to people being able to connect with each other.


I found this chapter to be jam packed with dates and history. I had to read it twice to find the answer to the title. What I came to find, I think I already knew; ‘new media’ can be old technology/media that has been reworked or updated to make it better which could then cause changes in our lives/habits and ‘new media’ can be a completely new idea.


The history of the Internet and the three C’s I found somewhat interesting. It’s something that I don’t think many people know. So many of use just see the Internet as we see libraries; it’s a place to gather information. But we don’t really care about how it came to being and how it was developed.  I don’t mean to sound like I’m stereotyping anyone but Americans have always seemed less interested in their own and others history (I am one of those Americans, but the old I get the more I wish I knew about my country, family, and the things I use daily).  So, for me, learning more about how the Internet was developed and how far it’s come in a short time and growing so big and so fast is remarkable.  As for the three C’s I can see their importance and I found it interesting how they all work/worked together to create something new that we use today.


In the final remarks in this chapter really got my attention. Flew writes, “…the history of the Internet, is that technological changes should not be understood independently of other social cultural economic, and political changes.” I hope that others will remember this and see that Technology can and usually does grow with us, but it doesn’t have to. We should know the history of the things we use (especially something as commonly used and widely known; the Internet). I also hope that others understand that ‘new media’ doesn’t always mean a ‘new idea’ it can also be something like “Facebook” that is based off, and seen as a rework of an old idea, like MySpace, can be called ‘new media’ because it is in may ways new, but it can also be called old (if you think about the original concept of Facebook before all the updates).



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