Since the invention of the creative industry in the world, mass media has been an important industry in propelling creativity through the spread of information within this industry (Campbell & Park 2008). Central to fashion and design, which form an integral part of the creative industry, the media have significantly improved the visibility of this industry.
Historically, print media dominated the fashion and design industry with lots of information in the industry spreading through printed newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and booklets such as the Vogue Magazine, Allure Magazine, and CT Magazine, among others (Carcani 2007). However, with an intense speed in the integration of advanced information technology models, digital media seems dominative in the media industry (Salman et al. 2011).
The advent of the information communication industry has changed the monotonous use of print media into rapid adoption of digital media to spread information in the fashion and design industry.
For instance, the Vogue Magazine has established its online Vogue website and a mobile application for fashion enthusiasts. This move has raised several concerns about the future of media with few individual aware of the changes dominating mass media. Therefore, this analytical treatise attempts to examine if “the print media is dead.”
Overview of mass media
Mass media is a collective term used in describing communication mediums or technologies used in transferring information to the public. The main reason behind establishing of mass media is to enhance mass communication, which covers an indispensable part of human life (Jothi, Neelamalar, & Prasad 2011). There are two main components of mass media commonly used by people worldwide, which include print media and digital media (Fuery 2009).
Print media is a general term used in describing all means of providing information to public using published materials. Print media involves communication using published material, including newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, and handbooks. According to Fuery (2009), digital media is another means of communication, which is currently dominating the media industry. Digital media is a modern economic and cultural frontier that involves the use of computerized systems to deliver information.
New media theories
As evident in the current literature, very little exists connecting the perceptions existing within the modern media. However, issues pertaining to theorising new media have emerged all over the world and researchers have been gradually developing interest in such approaches (Seiter 2000).
Nonetheless, theorising new media has a long history and streams in connection with the beginning of communication studies though the new media theory began becoming more evident in the 1990s. New media theory has covered mostly on the technological influence that has been influential in developing new channels of communication, including television networks, digital communication platforms, and computer-supported programs that facilitate quick movement of information technology.
This form of communication has been in existence since the discovery of writing. It is limited to use of written words. When promoting products, this type of communication is used to tone down on the complexity of the marketing mix. This approach to communication has cemented its place in the business world because of its formality. Reflectively, written correspondence can be stored and retrieved at a future date.
With the definition of good communications comprising of concise, clear, complete, considerate, correct and courteous communication, written communication fits the bill. Besides, this approach to communication can be revised and edited severally so that the message can have the desired effect.
Due to its permanency, effort is made to ensure that the value of the message is not overstated. This is because of the fact that valuable communication that is stored can be used repeatedly. In addition, written communication includes the internet, billboards, books, newspapers, street signs, brochures, leaflets, and forms, among others in the fashion magazines.
According to behavioural psychologists, behaviours and attitudes can be changed through conditioning. Repetition of an act followed by either punishment or rewards leads to behavioural changes. This indicates how the media can, and has been used to reinforce consumer behaviours. Imitation of authority figures form the basis on which most of the behaviours develop.
Moreover, socialization process forms the basis through which learning takes place among members of a community. With the increase in globalization and the emergence of a global village, print media has taken a front seat in directing the learning process.
This is because of the aspect of validity that is associated with written materials can be easily assimilated in the written information template to fulfil the intended purpose, as was created by the advertiser. Since most of the writings are not done under pressure, the writer or the author takes his or her time in ensuring that the written materials clearly represent what was meant to be communicated.
Written communication is, therefore, taken to represent the official position of the organization on a product or service by the consumers. This is more so due to the capacity for written communication to be legally binding hence makes the consumers trust it as reliable and valid, especially in the fashion industry than digital magazines.
The new media theory postulates that events across the globe are ever-changing in the rapid diffusion world and that at the same time, the traditional media becomes more open to investigation at the context of the arrival of new communication models. This statement may seem true given the gradual development of new digital media that is incorporating aspects of old print media.
Through written media in fashion communication, the probability of salience is doubled, especially on products that are perceived as important in life. For instance, through repetition, the fashion designer is in a position to maintain familiarity in the conscious mind for a particular product as perceived by fashion enthusiasts.
Therefore, through timely appeal to emotions and self prejudice, fashion advertising agencies relying on written media have realized that the human mind is often skewed towards embracing the ‘perceived goodness’ and need to identify with ‘the ideal’. Interestingly, these aspects are clearly painted as perfect in the various written advertisements about fashion products and services.
Print media in the creative industry
For several decades, print media have formed an integral part in the creative industry globally. Popularly described as old or traditional print media; this medium of communication still forms the basis of distinguished means of communication within the fashion media (Jothi et al. 2011).
For instance, the British Vogue magazine and the US Allure magazine have more than ten million fashion enthusiasts subscribers annually. Studies have demonstrated raging debates on the survival of print media in the market with most arguments concluding that print media is nearing its end (Salman et al. 2011). However, the aging out of the print media in the creative industry seems impossible since studies are less provident on their empirical evidence denoting the aging out aspect of the print media.
Seemingly, there is no possibility of dooming print media as it still forms a significant part of fashion media and the creative industry. Specifically, the Vogue magazine of the UK recorded sales of 10 million copies in 2011 alone. Its counterpart in America recorded sales of more than 11 million copies to its loyal subscribers.
Kaul (2012), states that despite the numerous changes in media history characterised by increased Internet consumption, which consequently results in globalisation in almost all aspects of communication, changes in the media landscape are most likely to remain constant.
There is glaring evidence demonstrating how print media still dominate the fashion media. The majority of the digital media is used to incorporate factors that link to the print media.
Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, and Philip Lim are currently leading within the New York Asian-based American designers who have managed to incorporate the design skills from South Asian countries including India and Nepal, through different print fashion magazines such as the BLND Magazine, CanCam Magazine, Elle Magazine, and the famous Glorious Magazine that dominates the Middle East fashion arena.
Sherman (2013) gives comprehensive examples of triumphant designers who hailed from humble backgrounds with little technological awareness to winning more adorable awards.
According to Sherman (2013), Prabal Gurung, who was the winner of the 2012 CFDA Swarovski award meant for awarding best designers of women’s wear and Bibhu Mohapatra, who is renowned for being the Fashion Foundation award-winner are just but local immigrant with little exposure to technology.
With their ability to integrate their local Indian culture through print media such as the Grazia, Femina, and Elle magazines, they have featured among successful designers.
Culture of consumptions
Print media in fashion industry remains relevant, as evidenced in the continued consumption of this form of media component by fashion enthusiasts across the globe. For instance, though produced in Britain, the print Vogue Magazine has a cult like following of loyal subscribers across all the continents since players in the fashion industry find it reliable to advertise their fashion designs.
Print media are a diversified component of journalistic coverage that covers fashion information in a broader spectrum (Fenton 2010). As mentioned before, print media covers fashion information using magazines, newspapers, booklets, and pamphlets (Jothi et al. 2011).
Dynamics in the use and consumption of print media remain significant since they possess numerous domineering factors. The most eminent factor is the popularity of the print media. Kaul (2012) asserts, “Most individuals find reading a newspaper, a magazine, or a book to be easier on paper than via a computer screen, or watching a television program on a television set or a movie on a theatrical screen” (p. 7).
With this preference aspect, familiarisation to the print media increases with the current generation passing this culture to future generations thus, making it impossible for print media to languish. Reflectively, the Vogue Italia and the Vogue Paris print magazines have remained the global tool for making fashion statements.
Print media presented through printed means still have their place in the fashion media where modern means of presenting fashion are attracting modernism even in the fashion itself. The weblog manrepeller.com is an exact replica of the organised information units that skilfully demonstrate how print media is still alive and functioning despite technological forces trying to shove it away (Jenna 2013).
Within this weblog, J. The crew is among the popular noted magazines that keep people posted on the daily events and issues surrounding the fashion industry with stories of common soap operas articulated in daily posts regarding their progress.
According to Jenna (2013), the print magazine, J. Crew, reveals different kinds of attires that can scare men from approaching women, that’s why it harbours the name ‘Man Repeller.’ Several printed and hand-drawn pictures normally feature in this magazine with important information about certain fashion and artefacts.
Variety of printed features
Print media has proven pivotal in the fashion industry, as fashion media has continuously embraced publishing techniques. Print media is a diverse sector providing a variety of information and features that favour diverse populations, including the young and the old (Heller 2007).
Having no operational complications as compared to digital computerised programs, people of all ages find it more comfortable to access information from published fashion materials, including newspapers and magazines among others (Campbell & Park 2008). With the comprehensive application of artistic incorporated in the print media, people find it more appealing to consume printed fashion media that have attractive features, then straining through complicated computer applications and junky programs searching for information.
Covering almost every notable aspect of social interactions and romantic stories, print media remains most preferable media by adolescent and the middle-aged individuals (Schwittay 2011). Print media in fashion media still play a significant role in capturing readers from the elderly population, as it provides simple terms of perusing through the printed material compared to the eye-straining programs.
Viladas (2011) arguably asserts that print media may deem useless in other paradigms of life but not in the fashion industry where printed material is becoming even more significant.
Drawing facts from the exhibitions of ‘ Archizines’ at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, between November fifth and December fourteenth, he managed to access over 60 contemporary architectural journals, magazines, fanzines of more than twenty different countries.
Viladas (2011) notices a great influence of the print media by stating that the current fashion print magazines have developed strong following and admirable types of subscribers with the Vogue brand in the lead in number of annual sales across the global fashion arena.
Advancements of printed technology
Print media in all spheres of life cannot be ignored. In fact, as the world continues to grapple with the globalisation and industrialisation of information technology, print media is still reshaping itself. Kaul (2012), postulates, “newspapers are transforming to adapt to the changing media landscape and are now providing a compelling and integrated experience for readers and advertisers alike” (p. 5).
Despite the changing history of media in the fashion industry and the entire journalism industry, with digital media proving equally valuable in delivering of information electronically, print media is gradually retaliating with numerous comforts (Campbell & Park 2008).
Print media now possesses entirely different features compared to the old print system, with attractive features and comprehensive political, social, and economic aspects embedded in printed materials (Heller 2007). Fashions designed artistically have attracted colours that catch the reader’s attention into purchasing and consuming printed fashion materials.
For instance, the design of the print Allure and Vogue magazines have never disappointed their subscribers. These magazines, among others, remain a fashion statement and a measure of fashion status to fashion enthusiasts. Readers can acquire printed media, which is available locally, and later use them for their own leisure activities like cutting and pasting in diaries, among others.
Perceived new media’s competence over old media
As computerised applications become familiar to users, readers are more likely to adopt and adapt to the consumption of digital products including the enhanced digital media (Andrew 2012). The computerised media system comprises of programs and application systems such as web technologies, social networking sites, and blogs Prasad (2011).
Through fashion journalism, artisans and designers have an enhanced consumption of digital media continuously through advertising and marketing their assortments using the new technology systems. In the context of websites, they form the greatest part of the Internet features that enable fashion industry to interact with people internationally (Andrejevic 2004).
This assertion holds because it allows individuals to communicate easily within a given environment, its design system is capable of dealing with communication with openness as well as enhancing exchange of ideas, and opinions with large geographical cover with the fashion industry.
The social networking system as an integral part of web technologies has significantly increased the possibility of digital media dominance in the fashion media and related aspects. According to Schwittay (2011), social networking technologies have increased and the subsequent impact is eminent in the world covering several social aspects of human life that influence the flow of information and can be useful in marketing fashion and designs globally.
Across the globe, popular social networks have enhanced sharing of culture, fashion, and economical aspects, which are essentials to human life (Andrew 2012).
Social interactions have no particular boundaries and the majority do not have specific conditions to grant membership to users, thus encouraging comprehensive consumption of such networks that easily allow transfer of idea, opinions, and facts among artisans in the fashion industry (Prasad, 2011).
These aspects also broaden the communication between consumers of fashion product designers in the fashion industry by positively increasing the influence of digital media over print media.
The web application designers have enhanced digital media using their creativity to attract a large population into sharing information through social networking and other alternative sites (Andrejevic 2004). Jothi, Neelamalar, and Prasad (2011), assert that social networking websites are communities found online and are capable of sharing activities and interests, typically endowing a variety of means by which users can interact through messaging services, videos, live voice chats, and even blogging services.
Some websites and social networks are attractive, thus they pull users from different geographical areas in sharing business, social, and economical information regarding aspects of fashion and designs (Schwittay 2011). Now, within the fashion industry, the new fashion media is providing room for other attractive businesses to advertise their products in different blends of information.
With the blending and simulation of a variety of product information, job deals, business ideas within fashion websites, and related blogs, there is an increase in the audiences, which may be potential customers to the fashion brands and products.
Variety of IT devices
In the context of IT devices using the digital application, variance in the technological devices are increasingly pushing the need of IT integration in the fashion journalism. Currently, computerised applications are possible and enhanced by the assortments in the IT devices.
Some of the devices that allow computer operations include basic computers and portable devices, including mobile phones, tabs, and laptops. Campbell and Park (2008) affirm, “This shift towards an age where personal communication devices are predominant gives rise to a number of important social changes” (p. 373).
Due to their portability nature, the devices have changed the ways by which people access information by increasing accessibility and enhancing reliability in the provision of information in the fashion industry for readers obtain latest fashion information at their comfort zone, through quick logins.
In fact, as times goes, there is the likelihood that all print media applications may entirely integrate into the digital media to enhance accessibility of information to the public as is the case with the popular Vogue and Femina print fashion magazines.
Reliability of IT information
By integrating IT and digital forms of communication, fashion industry has enhanced information reliability. Readers, especially the new generation, feel that digital media is more accessible and convenient. According to Campbell and Park (2008), with the increasing recognition of computerised applications, readers can obtain information about new fashion within the regions of their stay.
Unlike the print media, where readers have to personally seek the most reliable data through libraries or physically purchase reading materials to obtain the needed information, web searches have enabled readers to access fashion information quickly using digital media (Schwittay 2011).
Currently, there is an increase in the need to enhance media framing, which is a decisive factor in the media fraternity. According to Fenton (2010), media framing is the manner by which people present information and by framing the information, it reduces information bias and priming, thus allowing readers to share information legitimately across the social networks. This aspect may influence fashion media positively.
Mass consumption culture
Digital media communication is increasingly gaining public support, thus increasing its consumption rate through developed consumption culture. Increased applications in the use of the internet has enhanced the adoption rate in the consumerism of the digital media (Salman et al. 2011).
Fashion journalism, which is characterised by enhanced modern fashions, has developed a trendy culture of consumption, especially amongst teenagers who find it more fashionable to use the digitalised media system to acquire information besides being easily portable.
According to Bennett et al. (1985), development in the mass society has consequently resulted to a certain culture referred to as “mass culture” (p. 35). Fork culture, which people used to practice during the historical era, is eroding, not forgetting print media as one of the old forms of communication.
It has now become a family or friendly norm that people are consuming digital media depending on the subsequent trend in the rate of globalisation and industrialisation. With the increasing pace in the adoption of IT applications and enhanced mass culture, print media is likely to become doom in its use and replaced by digital media.
Global efforts in adoption of IT
Globally, almost all countries are positively contributing to the increase in the use of technological operations in different sectors, with mass media industry and fashion media picking courage from this phenomenon. Currently, global plans are underway to make the compulsory shift from analogue systems to digital colour communication systems (Treadaway 2004).
Due to international collaboration and cooperation, the world has managed to integrate into digital systems cutting across all forms of economies, including developed and developing economies that are interested in promoting their creative industries. For instance, the Vogue website and its mobile application have proven to be more reliable than the print version. By a click of a button, subscribers with the Vogue mobile application have the opportunity to read and find new information on fashion.
Other key supportive programs
According to Campbell and Park (2008), despite being the oldest form of electronic media communication, televisions have remarkably played a pivotal role in the digital media since the types of televisions are changing to a more digitalised system, including current innovation strategies like LCDs, LEDs, and plasma TVs.
These TVs, despite being common means of electronic media, they have attractive features including bright viewing angle, backlight features, and attractive screen colour displays that make them easily consumed by clients. Characterised with global digital migration, almost the entire world will enjoy digital services, making it easier for digital media to overcome print media. In fact, the digital media is common tool for advertising the print magazines.
The creative industry has continuously employed modern strategies, including the use of digital communication to enhance their marketing strategies through advertising.
Despite the convenience of digital fashion media, print media has remained convenience and reliability in providing information to fashion enthusiasts across the globe. In fact, several fashion enthusiasts and fashion industry players still prefer print media to digital media given its simplicity nature, diversity in its products, and entertaining aspect in the fashion journalism. From the above reflection, it is in order to state that the print media is not dead.
The print media has remained reliable in the fashion industry since print fashion magazines are associated with status and fashion statement. It is tasking to unmask quantifiable effects of written media on people’s minds since the resultant effects are sometimes negligible and very simple. However, it is apparent that written media have direct influence on involuntary response effects and the order in which they occur.
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