New Media
Makopano Mgulwa Lets | 05 Apr 2008

The Web

The term new media embraces all of the "new" forms of electronic media - newer than TV and radio, that - such as multimedia CD-Roms, the Internet, and video games. Sometimes it is taken to mean "the Web" although it is really a broader term. Therefore this page will mainly focus on 'the Web".

The area of new media is vibrant, exploding and developing, and nobody is certain of the best way to do things. Academics and students can participate in the new media explosion, not just watch from the sidelines.

"The one thing that makes new media truly exciting is participation." People participates through chat rooms, emails and boards.

The Web builds community Before the internet, communities were people who lived or worked close to each other. If you were lucky, you might have a community of like-minded people, although it was unlikely that you would get a very compatible people all in the same place. The global internet transforms this-for those, as always, who have access to it- because it enables like-minded people to form communities regardless of where they are located in the physical world. Now, regardless of where they are in the world, people with similar interests, or with similar backgrounds, or with similar attitudes, can join virtual communities of like-minded people, share views, exchange information and build relationships.

Women and the Web: Women are actively engaged in the cyber dialogue, creating on the internet strategic information links, lobbying and advocating for change and building up solidarity among groups that share the same goal even if they never meet face to face. Women's groups are using the internet as a way to break down barriers , exclusions and silences. The internet is fast becoming a tool for empowerment changing women's daily lives, their hopes and their future. It is obvious that women play different roles in cyberspace, but here we emphasize the images of women as objects rather than subject of cyber space.

International cyber support: through international support, women's groups and individuals under threat locally are able to hold their ground. And in the process of mobilizing support, they have created a series of networks that quickly and strategically links women's local concerns with the global movement.

Cyber empowerment: Women are empowering themselves through the net by breaking sown traditional boundaries on many levels. In cyberspace there is no actual classroom, no trades unions hall, no ancestral ground to defend and no government office to lobby, just sharing and empowering each other with tangible information.

Web Access: the question remain are women truly connected? More difficult still is the question of access. Many people are marginalized or excluded from cyberspace. The majority of the world's women are poor, illiterate and cannot hope to have access to virtual world. the question remains how can they be empowered if they don't have access.
The Web and Development: Structurally, the Internet has inverted the few-to-many architecture of the broadcast age, in which a small number of people (editors, producers and reporters) were able to influence the perception and beliefs of entire nations. In the many-to-many environment of the net, every desk-top is a printing press, a broadcasting station and place of assembly. "mass media will continue to exist and so will journalism, but these institutions will no longer monopolize attention and access to the attention of others."

The net is the world's greatest source of information, misinformation and disinformation, character assassination and you have very little but your own wits to help you sort out the valid from the bogus. Thus, the more varied and un trust-worthy the information on the internet becomes, the more valuable will be a network of educated and experienced professionals, who know how to cultivate and qualify sources, to second-and -third-source stories, to verify and corroborate reports, to simplify complexities without dumbing them down, to find the human story without peddling human sufferings.

Effect : The Internet will have an effect, but we won't know what it is for a few more years. The question remains will the internet strengthen civic life, community and democracy, or will it weaken them. Please send your views to this site.


For more information on New Media references, debates, books and resources visit: www.newMediaStudies.com