Discuss The Relationship Between Media And Information Technology

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Discuss the relationship between ‘Media’ and ‘Information Technology’

The term ‘Media’ could today be defined as a collective term for television, radio, cinema and the press. The media are nowadays often discussed as a single entity, because of their combined importance as providers of entertainment and information, their presumed power to mould public opinion and set standards and the growth of cross-ownership among the various sectors. The word was however, originally derived from (i.e. is the plural of) the word ‘medium’, which suggested a medium for the transfer of information. Media are channels through which information is transmitted or through which communication takes place.

In a similar way, ‘Information Technology’ could be described as a term commonly used to cover the range of technologies relevant to the transfer of information, in particular to computers, digital electronics and telecommunications.

So, in relation the brief descriptions outlined above, it’s possible to say that there is already a certain connection between the two terms in that they are both involved in the transfer of information to some extent. However, this is a very broad description and so, for the purpose of this discussion, specified aspects of Media and Information Technology will be examined in order to discover any less tenuous relationships and any pros and cons discussed.

The past 18 months has seen an explosion of innovation relating the internet to the more traditional media. Technology such as the E-Book, Internet Television, Internet Radio coupled with the fact that so many printed magazines, newspapers and journals now also have a presence on-line has shown that the trend seems to be for convergence. Media and Information Technology have entered an era where technological changes are removing many of the distinctions between telecommunications, broadcasting and IT. Consumers can watch television programmes on their computers, send emails from their television sets and access the internet from their mobile phones.

E-books for example, have received a lot of press coverage of late and when Stephen King successfully published and sold two of his new stories on the internet, the publishing world began to take notice. King’s Riding the Bullet, which sold more than 400,000 copies in the first day1 showed the potential for books to be released in a digitised f...

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...monthly. This is evidence of the trend that media companies are utilising Information Technology to reach a wider audience.

Finally then, it must be said that this trend for convergence – bringing Media and Information Technology together – is one that seems to be here to stay, at least for the immediate future. Soon, it might be possible to access all forms of media from one appliance or all forms of media may in fact become one – reached from a number of appliances. Just like the success of the internet, it’s hard to predict what might happen.


1. Stone, Andrew. Great E-xpectations, The Times, 2nd October 2000
2. Ibid
3. Breitzer, Frith. Judging E-books by their covers., July 2000
4. O’Leary, Mick. Reworks free E-book Model, Information Today, October 2000
5. Keegan, Victor. Online: Second Sight, The Guardian, 3rd August 2000
6. Wakefield, Jane. King of Interactive TV? It’s Britain. ZDNet(UK), October 2000
7. Trefgarne, George. TV and Internet will converge, The Daily Telegraph, 26th August 2000
8. Grimes, Christopher and Hargreaves, Deborah. AOL and TW face set-top box demands, Financial Times, 11th September 2000

Word Count: 2256
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