New Media as Immediate

As Bolter and Grushin argue, media invented in the last century in one important way behave like older media, which is to say that people today think about new media in the the same two ways that people have always considered any new medium. First, they believe the new medium is truer, more accurate, more immediate than older ones, frequently emphasizing that they have advantages of power and truth over writing technologies. Second, new media in the form of "visual technologies, such as computer graphics and the World Wide Web" (emphasis added)

are doing exactly what their predecessors have done: presenting themselves as refashioned and improved versions of other media. Digital visual media can best be understood through the ways in which they honor, rival, and revise linear-perspective painting, photography, film, television, and print. No medium today, and certainly no single media event, seems to do its cultural work in isolation from other media, any more than it works in isolation from other social and eco-nomic forces. What is new about new media comes from the particular ways in which they refashion older media and the ways in which older media refashion themselves to answer the challenges of new media. [14-15]

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Last updated: 20 July 2002