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New Media vs. Traditional Media




Samantha Quigley

The evolution of media has resulted in a widespread confusion surrounding the parameters of “new media.” Doug Eyman addresses this uncertainty in his book “Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method Practice.” Pulling from various other scholars such as Packer and Jordan, Cynthia Selfe, Bolter and Grusin, Lev Manovich, and Anne Wysocki, Eyman examines how new media differs from traditional media. 

What is New Media?

It is clear that older media shapes the way in which newer media is defined. Typically, new media is associated with digital media while traditional media corresponds with printed media. However, this is not always the case. New media expands upon the more traditional means. Manovich’s five principles of new media help to define the differences. Nevertheless, newer media is constantly changing. This is why it is important to understand the basics, so that when media inevitably evolves, minor adaptations can be made to the framework. 

Tools of Traditional vs. New Media

Viewing traditional media as printed text and new media as digital text, the basics of each media can be more easily defined. While there are many tools that can be used for traditional media, the most basic tool would be a writing utensil such as a pencil, pen, or even a feather and ink. Before computers were invented, and print media was typed, media was written and reproduced by hand. To break down new digital media, the basics of computer language must be looked at. This would be the 1s and 0s. From there, the various other tools of media can be determined. 

Key Elements of New Media

Referring back to a previous blog post I had written, titled “Words: Written vs Spoken,” the defining line between new and traditional media can be seen. New media has the ability to be altered, even after being published. It is modifiable and adaptable in ways that traditional media are not. Traditional media has the ability to be clarified, but the printed text itself cannot be changed. This is where the two medias differ.


One response to “New Media vs. Traditional Media”

  1. […] realize your post has a typo, and thus the post can be changed. Physical books can’t be altered. New media being able to change helps it improve while old media is stuck how it […]

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