In the final analysis, we can come to the conclusion that the new media has the potential to enlighten and empower an individual. It also can be utilized to deprive citizens of their privacy and fundamental liberties. In practice, individual empowerment is subject to many conditions. First of all, individuals are likely to be empowered only if they have an internal personal drive to achieve that end. While the new media offers a glut of up to date information, we as a society are far from wielding democratic power to hold governments and corporations accountable for their deeds. But the hope lies in the fact that the new media has the potential to remove hurdles to people’s “thirst for knowledge, creativity and personal development” (Sriramesh, & VerČiČ, 2003). While there is room for optimism, there are also some worrying trends. Some media critics point out that the advancements in new media technologies have been paralleled by certain regressive trends in democratic societies, which could ultimately limit the value of new media. For example, across democratic nations of North America and Europe,
“political participation is declining; many argue that news coverage is moving away from serious consideration of policy issues towards a tabloid obsession with celebrities, ignoring international news in favour of domestic news. All the evidence suggests that the internet has not revolutionized media consumption but rather built on existing patterns of behaviour. A combination of cross-promotion, the enormous power of the existing media and the search for trust in an environment of limitless choice means the ‘old’ media dominates the ‘new’ media, as suggested by the fact that UK’s most popular website is that of its most popular broadcaster – the BBC”. (Sriramesh, & VerČiČ, 2003)
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