The article of mediatization pointed out that we are in an age of information explosion, when the most severe task of the government is to control the information flow. However, with the 2.0 age spread through the whole universe, it is unwise to simply suppress or control the information flow. Many cases demonstrated the uncontrollability of the internet, especially the social media, as well as an increasingly powerful public sphere, both in democratic and authoritarian societies. The turnover of Mubarak’s regime in Egypt, the democratic revolution in South Korea, along with the Tunisian revolution all testified that simply suppress the public sphere on the internet will turn out to be a suicidal behavior of the government. The worldwide governments learned a lesson that they should cooperate with, positively respond to and skillfully negotiate with the social media. As this process goes, it’s of great interest to see how media has changed from a tool for the upper class influencing the lower, to one for the lower class placing influence back to the upper. This reminds me a recent event which can well serve as an experiment to testify this change. On June 15th, 2013, China’s national soccer team lost 5-1 to visiting Thailand team. This caused an unprecedented an explosive of harsh criticism from every media outlet. Not only social media, but also traditional mainstream media can no longer bear China’s national soccer team’s poor performance. It’s worthwhile to wait and see how the China’s soccer league will react to change, or even the entire system of China’s sports institution.
In the article, the author tries to define mediatization as “mediatization refers to a more long-lasting process, whereby social and cultural institutions and modes of interaction are changed as a consequence of the growth of the media’s influence” (pg. 10). However, I doubt whether it is necessarily true that the media’s influence will grow with time progresses. For example, when mass media first comes into being, the masses can barely resist the influence that the scholars at that time refer the media as “magic bullet”. However, with more and more audience became aware of what was going on behind the scene, their trust to the broadcasting media decreases. Then there is a “counter discourse” of media influence. Hence, we can see here media has gone through a trivialization procedure. As a result, we can’t necessarily believe that media’s influence on the society swells over time. Then, I suggest change the definition of “mediatization” into “mediatization refers to a more long-lasting process, whereby social and cultural institutions and modes of interaction are changed as a consequence of the change of the media’s influence”.
Picard pointed out the reason why news industry is moving toward a brand tougher new age. The media supply is growing faster than the demand. It suddenly reminds me of the rules of market economy explained by Karl Marx that the certain outcome of capitalism is the problem of unequal growth rate of the supply and the demand. Hence, in my opinion, all those strategies are ephemeral, and the only way out is the one where capitalism goes out. Just as emphasized by Hjarvard that the duality of media makes it a must to take the social institutions and the culture and historical context into account, we may have to figure out a solution from a broader landscape.
It is true that newspapers are struggling to survive in this digital age. I don’t think they should go against the trend and attempt to preserve the paper circulation. Instead, they should shift their focus on digital devices and create correspondent contents for those users, who will become the major consumers sooner or later. However, as it is for the books, the newspaper is not going to die out, because reading newspaper, as it is with the book, is a lifestyle. People preferring this lifestyle basically refuse overuse of the high tech-stuffs, and pursuing a more healthy way to live. And paper reading is irreplaceable in this sense. Also, in some cases, for instance, people could only read newspapers in the subway where the signal is bad for surfing the internet. Hence, in my opinion, shifting the major business to digital, and keeping the minor part as traditional newspaper are the best tactics to survive for the traditional news agencies.
DQ: Is traditional newspaper (reading on the paper version) going to disappear entirely? Is traditional book reading going to die out either? Are these two issues the same?