The beginning of the XXI century was marked by new changes in the development of information and communication structures, which have a huge impact on the media system. Wireless Internet access and mobile telephony are key elements in the new trends observed in media systems in the early years of the new century.
The most important aspects that determined the development of the media at the end of the 20th century were digitization (digitalization), globalization and convergence with the Internet, which became the main integrating factor. Important innovations have announced themselves today: mobile phones have begun to demonstrate their integrating and converging potential, thanks to which they can probably become a new important element of the information space, in contrast to or in addition to the Internet. Global television has opened up opportunities for competition in covering news and international relations, especially in the field of economics and finance.
The history of communication systems depends on at least six main factors – information needs, communication strategies and technologies, needs of society, politics, economy and culture.
The need for information forced the leaders of the ancient tribes to send messengers and forced the Roman emperors and caliphs to create effective postal and road systems; Gutenberg’s printed revolution opened a new era of the periodical press, the needs of society and the political struggle in the French kingdom forced Louis XIII to begin the production of “Gazette”; the economic and financial needs of the Fugger family contributed to the creation of periodicals in Germany; Freedom of the press, the growing number of literate people in England created an audience for the British press of the 18th century and spawned the public sphere, which contributed to the development of civil society.
Technological realities created opportunities for further development of the media, while political and economic conditions, culture, social and communication needs dictated what the content of journalistic products should be – news, comments, advertising, entertainment, sports.
Modern changes in the structure of the media in the XXI century
The most significant challenge for the communications structure united around the Internet comes from mobile phones, whose advantage is the possibility of providing two communication services at once – this is access to the media content and its transmission, which leads to their real interactivity. During the second war in Iraq, mobile phones proved to be extremely effective. Thanks to them, a very convenient way to access information has appeared. Mobile phones seem to have a good chance of becoming a new medium of information and a way to overcome digital inequality. Another challenge is the demonopolization of global television networks. The Arab global television network Al-Jazeera attempted to compete with CNN in covering the second Iraq war. Thanks to networks such as Euronews, Deutsche Welle, BBC and TV-5, global television has become more pluralistic, undermining the monopoly of CNN. The demonopolization of global television has opened up new paths for the development of a pluralistic and public interest-oriented media structures. The relationship between global, regional and national media systems has become another important factor in the development of new ways for pluralism in media structures based on new technologies, and this raises the key problem of the modern development of new media: it is about access to the Internet, new media and mobile phones.
Global information space and the convergence of global media structures
A new stage in the development of the international information space began with the Olympics in Tokyo. Global coverage of the Olympics with satellite television enabled residents of all continents to simultaneously watch various competitions – and this meant the creation of a global information space, the main element of which was the global television networks. The components of the global information space were not only global television companies, but also global radio stations and newspapers that broadcast to the whole world.
The Internet has become the integrating core of the global information and communication system based on digital structures of print, radio and television. Easy access to the global web and the rapid development of its national segments have made the Internet a necessary component of the international global space, information systems, national global space and media structures.
The Internet integrates six media channels – the press, film, radio, television, telephony and online media. This is the second step in the development of a global information system. A complex, global, and at the same time nationally fragmented information and communication system is being developed on the Internet, which can even include individual websites that are available worldwide.
The structure of the media of the turn of the XX and XXI centuries, which is basically the Internet, opens the way to the information society, where access to all types of information is simplified depending on the availability of a computer and the possibility of accessing the Web. The digital divide becomes a barrier, an obstacle to the realization of the possibilities of new information technologies.
Content industry transformation
New and old content providers for new and old media cannot meet the rapidly growing demand, which is stimulated by a variety of media and the speed of information delivery to users. The texts of online versions of traditional media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television make up a large part of the content on the Internet. The same function is carried out even more by news agencies that have undergone major changes: in addition to providing analytical news, they satisfy the demand for providing a number of content: statistics, graphs, stock exchange indices, financial, economic, technical and scientific information, information about culture, literature, music, theater, cinema and sports. As a result, agencies seriously increased their volumes and shares in meeting the public interest, became an important element of the content industry. But an even more important role was played by convergence, which allowed advertising and PR companies, now closely interacting, to adapt their numerous services to new media; moreover, convergence involves content websites of research institutes, software companies, consultants, and specialized data banks as content resources. Convergence today is at the heart of the most important transformations in the content industry, and the Internet, in turn, is its main repository.
The most important distinctive quality of university education was and remains professionalism, the level of which has been significantly improved in recent years. This was facilitated by the introduction of creative competition, and many other circumstances, especially the structure of the curriculum. Of course, the success of journalistic education depends on who works in journalism, on the choice of talented, capable of creative journalistic students. The creative competition, introduced long before the democratic changes, contributed to the admission to the faculty of creatively gifted youth.
Most of those entering the first course are familiar with the Internet, many of them have been published in online publications, and we get students with a new level of understanding of both access to information and information and awareness. This is a more purposeful and more prepared generation in relation to the technology of the modern information process.
Over the past five years, training for professionalism has been improved in the light of international and international experience. Today, we rely on the three most important components: firstly, the publication of educational newspapers, radio and television programs, Internet publications; secondly, the practice of students in editorial offices and, thirdly, the continued cooperation of the vast majority of our students in various journalistic organizations. By the fifth course, many of them are already working in the media: on radio, television, online publications, advertising companies, public relations organizations. Today, seeing our student, the news program on the national television channel, is common, as is reading the articles on the pages of various newspapers.
Young journalists are in demand today – this demand is all the more so because the rapid growth of the media industry has led to huge staffing needs and, by the way, to the fact that today many people have come to journalism who do not even have the beginnings of professionalism.
Journalistic education for all
The growing role of the media in the development of the information society makes us think about the need to familiarize ourselves with their main aspects of a wide range of citizens. An understanding of how journalism works is becoming part of general education today. That is why the concept of media education was born, which today has already been embodied in new software modules. This education is designed to teach the basics of understanding journalism of schoolchildren, students of various faculties and citizens in the order of continuing education. Knowledge of the mechanism of television, radio broadcasting and other media becomes a vital necessity for the modern citizen.
The mass media have enormous power of influence, and in order to overcome the possibilities of manipulating public opinion, to help citizens develop freely, they must be taught to correctly understand the principles of mass communication and the organization of its work. This will allow to perceive information about the world more consciously, and will facilitate the free choice of people during various political campaigns and when communicating with the media.
At one time, the English philosopher Edmond Burke, speaking to journalists, said in the English Parliament: “Here are the representatives of the clergy, the aristocracy and the communities. And you, journalists, are the fourth power. ”
In order for the “fourth power” to serve the interests of society, every citizen must understand how it functions, acts, which will help avoid its excessive influence and use its achievements in the interests of society and the individual.