I need to make a research paper focusing on an issue, problem, question, or development in one of the media of mass communication.
My topic is "The Impact of Internet on Mass Communication".
Speculations about the death of old media in the face with new communication technologies are widespread. With the unprecedented emergence of the Internet as a powerful news and information medium, fears of the dinosaur's fate have been dominating traditional news industries since the late 1990s (Nguyen et al. 2005).
New forms of mass media can be expected to contend for consumers' time and money in the future, just as television did so successfully in the 1950s. But new technologies will not be shut out of the market, nor will existing technologies be doomed because of a historically descriptive constant share of income going to the media. The economic constraint the new and old technologies will face is that they will have to compete successfully for the consumer's time and money. This is the same constraint faced by producers of every consumer good and service.
In other words, there are many audiences or user groups with different sets of media preferences rather than only one audience or one user group with a relatively homogeneous set of media preferences. Despite the many relative advantages of e-mail for distant communication, for example, some empirical research has found that the telephone is still used more for contacting far-away relatives while e-mail is used more for contacting far-away friends, suggesting that 'the norms, demands and joys of kinship interaction are more apt than friendship to call forth the greater social presence of face-to-face or telephone conversations' (Chen, et al. 2002: 96). Thus, by encompassing the audience as no more than a 'lump of clay', easily molded by media technologies and media usage as a mere 'give one, take one' process, the functional equivalence assumption is unnecessarily limited. In this light, it is urged that each medium should be recognized as having its own advantages and disadvantages and, thus, its own right to exist, to meet human beings' information and communication needs.
In terms of the cross-media news and information usage, it was found in a recent research that there is a significantly positive, although weak, association between traditional news and information and online news and information uses (at both levels of general adoption and frequent usage). It appears that online news and information usage reinforces the use of traditional sources, especially those information-intensive sources like newspapers and magazines. These findings are in line with a study by Althaus and Tewksbury (2000), who surveyed 520 American undergraduate students to find that Web-based news usage was positively associated with newspaper reading but no ...
"The Impact of Internet on Mass Communication".