New media usually refers to a group of relatively recent mass media based on new information technology. Most frequently the label would be understood to include the Internet and World Wide Web, video games and interactive media , CD-ROM and other forms of multimedia popular from the 1990s on. The phrase came to prominence in the 1990s, and is often used by technology writers like those at Wired magazine and by scholars in media studies.
The term has garnered negative connotations due to techno-utopian claims by new-media proponents about the revolutionary social and personal benefits of new media; the claims of revolutionary transformation of people's lives were widely seen as unjustified. All the same, new media have only grown in popularity, and their current ubiquity is slowly causing social changes; their initial proponents' error may have been in the speed with which they claimed media would transform society, rather than the prediction itself.
New media and popular culture in the 1990s to 2000s
In the late 1990s, new media proponents chronicled, and influenced to some extent, the increasing popularity of the Internet in Western culture. Interactive digital technology began to be broadly used for news and entertainment content, and some took this to signify a major shift from highly concentrated, television-oriented media organizations to what they viewed as more grass-roots, personalized and customized content. Broad trends in new media, which may be viewed as anything from flash-in-the-pan fads to society-changing paradigm shifts, have appeared almost yearly:
- ca. 1996 - Broad popularity of Internet, e-mail, web content
- ca. 1998 - Media conglomerates embrace the Internet, streaming media, electronic commerce
- ca. 2000 - instant messaging, broadband, digital photography, DVD
- ca. 2002 - Personal interaction, web logs, peer-to-peer file sharing
Innovators such as Steven Hoffman , Nicholas DeWolf , Shawn Johnson , and Vito Montone use new media technology for storytelling. Organizations like the Producers Guild of America are also diving into the new media arena, with the recent inauguration of their New Media Council .