I bet that everyone nowadays knows how FOMO feels. Recalling from the Oxford Dictionaries, FOMO (fear of missing out) is an anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites. An idea to spend a whole month without Internet access, therefore with little knowledge about what events are taking place at the moment, seems scary to the majority of the people I know. But if you tried, you would be able to observe some interesting phenomenon. Lack of access to media shows you in the most transparent way how vastly they shape your perception of the world.
A trip to the woods or a volunteering job in an African village can easily make some events non-existent in ‘your version’ of the world. That certain image of the World Trade Centre collapse, broadcasted by all media, which you have in your head when thinking of it could easily disappear. As well as the consciousness that father of ‘the Kardashians’ is a ‘she’, not a ‘he’ anymore. You say it’s not the most crucial information in your life? But think of any other event and imagine that all those years later, when it already enters the pop culture as an obvious reference, you have no idea where it all started. In your perception of the world it just didn’t happen. In today’s world, information is everything. And the way you select and obtain it has a decisive impact on how you perceive the world.
Latest acquisition of Business Insider by Axel Springer for a record amount in the new media’s history, clearly shows the importance of the so-called ‘new media’ to be recognized by the world’s giants. Online news consumption rose sharply the last two years, following the rapid spread of digital platforms. The emergence of Internet has changed the image of media forever. So did the development of print and digital transfer of information. However, the change may be in this case not only in how the media are transferred, but also rather in its content and by whom they are created.
The professional journalists are more and more often substituted with people without any official education in writing, doing it simultaneously with other occupations, such as blogers, vlogers, Youtubers or any other person using social media. Well, by people like me. Internet gives more freedom towards what can be published. However, the way that freedom will be used, can create both opportunities and threats. There is equally a bigger opportunity to expose to the public the inaccessible truth as there is to spread propaganda. Lately, when the migration crisis has struck the recent news, the amount of manipulated coverage published on the websites like Twitter or Facebook was overwhelming, making it hard to differentiate between the false and true images. To the extent that real articles seemed quite often as taken straight from the Daily Currant.
Lack of clear authority of the creators, which in the traditional media was a proof of its credibility, constitutes a serious threat. This is why a profession of a journalist itself is not very likely to disappear completely in any near future. The newspapers can adapt to the new market competing against the constant inflow of easily accessible information with credibility and high quality. As State of the Media’s research claims, the U.S. audience still turns to the legacy newspapers they have long known. Strong brands with solid reputations still matter.
On the other hand, the new media create a platform for people to inform the world about an event as soon as it happens and for everybody to share their perception and opinion about the situation. And for the future the personalization of the content, probably involving artificial intelligence usage, will constitute a lion’s share of it. ‘The Circle’, written by Dave Eggers, describes a world in which everybody’s image is transparent and all the information is available online. The plot may be a little over exaggerated. However, information collection is getting more and more ubiquitous. At some point the new media will for sure get able to adapt the content that reaches us to our expectations, as it will push more and more aspects of our life from the private to the public zone.
Last year’s decision about the Rostra’s transfer from the paper version to the digital platform allows us to explore all the opportunities that the new media creates. As a group of people with highly diversified backgrounds we are able to share with you our distinctive perspectives of the situation. As non-professional writers we can develop ourselves in creating with no further restrictions in how and what we write. As a platform with the editorial team constituted mostly by digital natives generation (people who don’t know the world without internet) we are perfectly able to navigate around this highly flexible market. And as it is going to grow, we are going to grow within it.