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Traditional vs. New Media: What’s the difference?

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In your lifetime, you’ve probably come across both traditional and new media without even realizing it. Depending on which generation you grew up in could also determine which media you are more comfortable using and overall, more familiar with.

Media is brought to us in so many different ways. Although traditional media is still used from time to time, new media has seemed to take over our lives.

Does it really matter which media we decide to use? Is one or the other more beneficial to use over the other?

Traditional Media

Traditional media tends to be a very one-way method of communication with audiences. Typically, these forms of communication have been around for a while, some of which may include things like magazines or television shows. Since this communication tends to be only one-sided, there is very little room for feedback and communication. There is no room for the audience to interact with the content being brought to them. Instead, they have to accept and take in what they are being given.

Traditional media also has a longer waiting period for getting information out to the public. Often, these forms of media need to be reviewed and accepted through multiple rounds of reviews. This can cause the content to take a while to reach audiences and could even cause audiences to become impatient.

New Media

In contrast, new media has a different approach to bringing information to the public. New media tends to be a lot more interactive on many levels with their audiences. For example, digital forms of media such as websites, blogs, etc allow interaction to occur between the content and users. Users can have the option to learn more about what they are reading in a blog and can also have the option to give feedback. This can allow the creators to rethink their work and create change within their pieces if necessary.

Applen puts forth the idea that “…text on a screen is more dynamic and changeable, that we can question it and interact with it.” There is so much more room for feedback and interaction within online text rather than text that is stuck on paper and cannot be altered.

New media even gives creators an easier platform to publish their work. Most of the time, publishing your work is free and a lot quicker to do. Anyone can make an account online and post anything at any time they like. These works typically can reach anyone around the world in record timing, allowing media to spread quickly to users everywhere.


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