#MED104 – ‘Old’ news versus ‘New’ media


Consider the dramatic changes that have occurred in the media realm over the last twenty, and even ten, years.

What are the major differences in not only what media we consume, but how? Think about the way media is now consumed, produced and distributed. Think about the changes to your own media consumption habits when answering this question.


Such a large topic to consider when one is over 30! Like Melanie, I remember using Encyclopaedia Britannica, which has been practically decimated by Wikipedia. It was interesting to learn, too, that Wikipedia has the same percentage of accuracy in the information it presents as Britannica does.

So, I recall when I used to read actual newspapers – now I read the digital versions and subscribe to RSS feeds from my selection of media outlets. The Age newspaper (Melbourne), I am currently considering unsubscribing to, as I can get my news from a range of sources online via sites like ABC’s The Drum, NewMatilda, and from certain writers in the blogosphere. I also have a subscription to The Monthly magazine, which
still arrives at my PO Box, but I tend to access the online tablet versions of each edition.

Over the years, I have moved from visiting blogs, to setting up RSS feeds to blogs, to following writers and other persons of interest in my personal/professional worlds in Twitter and Google+. In my time-poor world, my interest has to be piqued by a snippet of information (140 chars or less) – only then will I delve further and read an entire article.

I can’t speak for others, but paper has significantly reduced in my environment. I can tolerate reading from a screen (computers, laptops, tablets, mobiles) for many more hours than I used to. However, when reading for pleasure at night before sleep, I still haven’t completely moved over to tablet, still favouring the paperback to snuggle up with.

On occasion I create mash-ups and infographics to explain and highlight information to others. I use tools that can encapsulate what I want to say in smaller, bite-sized chunks – working in a university, I strongly recognise that students and staff want something quick to refer to, easy to access, and provided yesterday.

I text friends to arrange meeting them whereas I used to speak with them and dial a number. I have trouble remembering my home phone number to give to others, as I prefer to provide my mobile number. But, having said that, I never remember the mobile numbers of my friends. Once they are stored in my list of contacts, they are never dialled, but I tap a button to initiate a txt or a call if in dire need.

There’s so much more I could say on this topic, but I would like to finish on one final point… I loooove that I can study online! No lectures and tutes to physically attend like I did in the old days. It’s so convenient when one has to work in a full-time capacity. No driving or public transport, no peak hours to and from my place of study. I can do it when it suits me, generally speaking.


It’s certainly a big question to cover Maha, but you’ve done a great job here. So it sounds like you are both a consumer of new and ‘old’ media, and your consumption also merges into production as well. Would you argue then that the last 10-20 years has allowed you more diverse media experiences?



I look back over my teens and “old” habits and wonder how I ever got through the day. I have become reliant on the immediacy of the information cycle. I recognise that I may skim through information far more quickly these days, but I also understand that, if I’m discerning in my skimming, I can potentially see a LOT more than I used to and make better choices as a result.

I am no longer restricted to outlets such as television, books and newspapers. I can read others’ opinions in the blogosphere, watch educational YouTube videos at any time, get information about a topic for preliminary research in a multitude of forms, synthesisedfor easy, quick digestion, or to be curated by me for later referral, when deeper analysis can take place. Podcasts to listen to in my car or in my helmet, social media tools used
together in ways that can enhance education and communication, web sites that offer a range of choices that were practically unimaginable in the 90s.

Plus, due to the nature of my work, learning new ways to harness these powerful forms of media to enhance the instructional experience online. Learning by playing, digital storytelling, gamification when considering UX and e-learning design. I’m always found tinkering with new tools to see how they can enhance others’ online experiences. It can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes, as an old timer (in web-related terms), I find my days rush past, as I try to remain abreast of all the developments going on around us. One can blink and miss out on a tweet or a new development. However, I do recognise that if something is good enough and catches on, that tweet I may have missed will make the rounds and will eventually catch my eye further down the track – so, I don’t stress about trying to keep on top of everything whizzing past my screens. We do need to sleep on occasion. LOL

I am looking forward to more augmented experiences, where the information I require and refer to so often is overlaid in my world and I can evolve to practicing these habits on the go, so to speak. I will happily embrace Google Glass when it is perfected, or, hopefully, Google contacts, which have been released for diabetics, but will need to include corrective lenses for the likes of me. That would be ideal!

I hope I’m around another 10-20 years to see these come to full fruition.


About Maha @ Uni

Studying online, and want to keep a record of my progress and experiences...
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