Digital technologies have fundamentally altered the nature and
function of media in our society, reinventing age-old practices of
public communication and at times circumventing traditional media
and challenging its privileged role as gatekeepers of news and
entertainment. Some critics believe these technologies keep the
public involved in an informed discourse on matters of public
importance, but it isn't clear this is happening on a large scale.
Propaganda disguised as news is flourishing, and though interaction
with the digital domain teaches children valuable skills, it can
also expose them to grave risks.
John V. Pavlik critically examines our current digital
innovations-blogs, podcasting, peer-to-peer file sharing, on-demand
entertainment, and the digitization of television, radio, and
satellites-and their positive and negative implications. He focuses
on present developments, but he also peers into the future,
foreseeing a media landscape dominated by a highly fragmented,
though active audience, intense media competition, and scarce
advertising dollars. By embracing new technologies, however, Pavlik
shows how professional journalism and media can hold on to their
role as a vital information lifeline and continue to operate as the
tool of a successful democracy.
Subjects: Sociology, Language & Literature, Business
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