Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Telematic Media

The Internet refers to what is sometimes called telematic media telematic because they combine telecommunications and informatics. The telematic media have been heralded as the key component in the latest communication revolution that will replace broadcast television, as we know it. The Internet is a multifaceted mass medium, that is, it contains many different configurations of communication. Its varied forms show the connection between the interpersonal and mass communication (Morris, Organ, 1996). Since the 1970s this new media have been widely taken up as a mass media (MacQuail, D., 1997). Several kinds of technology are involved: of transmission (by cable or satellite); of miniaturization; of storage and retrieval; of display (using flexible combinations of text and graphics); and of control (by computer). The main features by contrast with the ´old media´ as described, are: decentralization –supply and choice are no longer predominantly in the hands of the supplier of communication; high capacity – cable or satellite delivery overcomes the former restrictions of cost, distance and capacity; interactivity –the receiver can select, answer back, exchange and be linked to other receivers directly; and flexibility of form, content and use.

Not only does this new media facilitate the distribution of existing radio and television it also offer computer video games, virtual reality and video recordings of all kinds. CD-ROMS (standing for compact disc, read only memory) offer flexible and easy access to very large store of information, by way of computer-readable discs (MacQuail, D., 1997). In general, the new media have bridged differences both between media and also between public and private definitions of communication activities. The Internet communication takes many forms, from World Wide Web pages operated by major news organizations to Usenet group discussing folk music to E-mail message among colleagues and friends. The Internet’s communication forms can be understood as a continuum. Each point in the traditional model of the communication process can, in fact, vary from one to a few to many on the Internet. Production, for example, need no longer be concentrated in large centrally located organizations (typical of film and television), nor so centrally controlled. The sources of the message can range from one person in E-mail communication, to a social group in a Listserv or Usenet group, to a group of professional journalists in a World Wide Web page. The message themselves can be traditional journalistic news stories created by a reporter and editor, stories created over a long period of time by many people, or simply conversations, such as in an Internet Relay Chat group. The receivers, or the audiences, of the message can also number from one to a potential millions, and may or may not move fluidly from their role as audience members to producers of message (Morris, Organ, 1996).

What distinguish the telematic media is:

• Computer-based technologies
• Hybrid, flexible character
• Interactive potential
• Private and public functions
• Low degree of regulation
• Interconnectedness (MacQuail, D., 1997p.22).