Media is important to the society given that it is one of the main sources of information. Unfortunately, in the course of playing its roles, media faces some critical challenges. Broadcasting via radio and television has been a part of the society for a long time, but it seems to have run its course.
Broadcasting in this context refers to transmitting of information, either in the form of audio or video (mainly through radio & television) to the audiences (Holznagel 2000). On the other hand, media in this context refers to the emerging forms of communication like the Internet.
The public conception about broadcasting is continuously negating the ways through which media is behaving in the context of how it is currently handling public matters (Manovich 2001). Almost the entire population across the world significantly depends on broadcasting for critical information on contemporary issues of daily life.
Commonly known as Public Service Broadcasting (PSB), which radio and television heavily support, there is a conviction that a new phase of modernized communication is threatening the survival of broadcasting. In relation to radio and television broadcasting, this essay critically analyses the statement, ‘the days of broadcasting are behind us’.
Major Facts arising about broadcasting
The globalized world is rapidly developing with a massive influx of new technologies that come with newly integrated features becoming more appealing to users. Lately, the world of media has gradually evolved from old broadcasting and information and communication platforms to modernized and efficient technologically supported media.
So far, the conviction that ‘the days of broadcasting are behind us’ is rooted to the perception that technologies are constantly changing, with each of the new forms of media proving more competent and capable. In a bid to understand this conviction attached to broadcasting from a deeper perspective, the philosophy of new media is influential, but yet to prove competent to public service broadcasting.
The face of public broadcasting, especially the ones involving radio and television networks in the digital and technological age, is constantly losing its initial value as the world witnesses rapid emergence of new media platforms.
Whether it will remain considered as subjugation resulting from technological advancement or changes in consumer attitudes and behavior, it is clear that broadcasting is diminishing in importance as the world approaches new world innovations.
Traditionally, innovators in the broadcasting realm endeavored to convey important events beyond their immediate location to the fast-growing listening public that microphones uncomfortably offered (Scannell 1997). The radio broadcasting was perhaps the most successful technologies that marked significant changes in information sharing and communication, but little was known that technology was transforming rapidly.
At this point, massive public interest in broadcasting developed, with individuals becoming less interested in certain events like sports becoming solid fans (Laven 1998).
Radio integrally redistributed broadcasting of public events too far wider audiences than via microphones, thus making events more tantalizing. Gradually, the television technology emerged with its ability to integrate audio and visual communication elements in the same communication device, thus making radio broadcasting a little worthless.
Subsequently, the radio technology and it is broadcasting techniques started receiving little attention, as the television technology became more convincing and efficient (Arino & Ahlert 2004).
The essence in the modernity of televisions and their broadcasting techniques that expanded the public communication services to the representation and expectations of the modern society did not take long before the massive growth of the Internet and web technologies emerged (Hoeg, 2009).
Before that, television suitably gained consumers’ reputation following its ability to communicate and redistribute information to far wider audiences. As noted by Thompson (1999), the primary intent of public broadcasting services if not abused in any manner as opposed to its focus, is to convey a message to massive population.
Despite television communication and its broadcasting techniques meaning to manipulate public reputation to further lengths and proving to be a significant communication media to the present times, a looming debate is raising whether it is still competent in meeting the advancing public communication demands given modern viewers’ preferences.
Indication that broadcasting is still unique
Despite the unrelenting criticisms protracting from public convictions regarding the current position of media broadcasting in the modern technologically supported communication life, the broadcasting technique has its own uniqueness.
The swiftly growing Internet communication that supports social networking platform is becoming competent, but undoubtedly a dangerous form of public communication that comes with manipulated, distorted, and confusion in its communication. One of the imperative features of broadcasting, as noticed by Scannell (1997) and Thompson (1999) is its ability to communicate information after the occurrence of actual events.
Accuracy of information passed to the public is integral to avoid mayhem and confusion, and through broadcasting, information passed is heavily confirmed and corrected before reaching the audience.
According to Manovich (2001), the elements of audio and video broadcasting through the radio and television platforms have an essential responsibility of informing the public as imagination becomes easier when verbal communication is clear and that people enjoy live events that also provide an opportunity for joining significant discussions in bulletins.
The Internet and social networking communication platforms are becoming private and individualized communication tools, which pose a significant challenge for marginalized groups, the unfortunate, and other excluded social groups. According to Scannell (1997), “the radio and television platforms have given voice to voiceless and faces to faceless, creating new communicative entitlements” (p.64).
Televisions and radios are going through a slow extinction, but the attractiveness of the news, bulletins, and other programs that the Internet and other modern communication tools can barely support, makes broadcasting an old, but resilient technology (Hoeg, 2009).
Notably, the television and radio communication is still clinching high in public broadcasting following its professional approach to information sharing and permeation.
Scannell (1997) postulates that the fact that televisions and radios have the ability to use professionals and experts with consultation aspects in broadcasting is more appealing and realistic to the public. Even though it comes with greater features that are engaging and attractive, live streaming of news and other programs via the Internet is expensive and incompetent.
Influence of new technologies in broadcasting
The advent of Internet technologies might have posed great challenges to the slowly evolving radio and television broadcasting technologies, but modern technologies have emerged with unprecedented changes to the broadcasting itself (Arino & Ahlert 2004).
Virtually, all concepts and elements that initially supported traditional broadcasting in radios and televisions are fading away as new technological changes much determine the way news travel. The focal points of technological changes entail computers that have significantly enabled transmission of information in a more advanced manner.
Nonetheless, the pace of computerized technologies is growing in relative tempo with broadcasting technologies and it has allowed presentation of news with an open view and with multilayered contexts (Jakubowicz 2003).
A significant transformation that will make broadcasting triumph even further is the modern digital age that has received unprecedented support. The digital revolution, as postulated by Norris and Pauling (2005), is swiftly sweeping through the world of communication since digital compression has enabled the formation of assorted television channels.
The trend of digital television networks has taken time, but it is worthwhile to enhance expected changes. The amount of visual and audio information has greatly increased to become more interactive (Holznagel, 2000).
A digital platform that comes with compression technology has changed broadcasting of information and entertainment. Despite being immobile, unlike other technological devices such as laptops, tablets, phones, and other Internet-enabled devices, new innovations make television broadcasting more enticing (Norris & Pauling 2005).
High-definition TVs (HDTVs) produce standardized clarity of picture and sound with its flat widescreen technology delivering a unique experience to consumers, hence more entertaining. Interactive applications that have been integrated into modern televisions allow consumers to engage more in broadcasting and other services.
The personal Video Recorders (PVRs) in digital platforms allow consumers to record programs, pause, and replay programming, hence fitting consumer’s preferences. The Electronic Program Guides (EPGs) allow consumers to navigate easily through the content superfluity. Modern televisions are broadband-enabled, and thus they allow some computerized features. Hence, this aspect makes broadcasting a lifetime technology.
Broadcasting still & may continue performing
The convictions of some individuals that broadcasting is becoming obsolete are perfectly in moral lapse and contain no evidence whatsoever. The future of broadcasting is still lively and promising since it is a unique style of information transference and connects better with listeners (Thompson 1999).
In the modern broadcasting practice persons, whether broadcasters or those featured in news and programs, must possess specific characteristics to attract listeners and viewers. Most interesting in the contemporary world is global and national politics, celebrity life, entertainment, sportsmanship, and women circulate where broadcasting technology is covering exponentially.
According to Scannell (1997), “broadcasting has created a public world of public persons who are routinely made available to whole populations” (p. 67).
The practice of broadcasting is usually the most reliable and depended on communication media that enlightens populations about major entertainers, politicians, celebrities, churchmen, and even sportsmen and their involvement in certain occasions. This aspect makes broadcasting a more proffered communication tool despite substantial literature connecting it to extermination.
Broadcasting is unique as it presents information and entertainment to the public. Most captivating to the youthful generation, which accounts for the highest global population, is show that involves modern technologies and movies and music (Jacka 2006).
Broadcasting is the only reliable and effective means of delivering modern movie and music entertainment, and this aspect makes public broadcasting a unique information transference tool. Also, many comedy, soap operas and documentary programs feature in broadcasting televisions and radios each day.
According to Jakubowicz (2003), as many people have little time to watch the news or prefer broadcasting, it might stay part of the greater society. Coupled with its ability to deliver news in a professional manner, entertainment in the most anticipated form and inclusion of accuracy and confirmation of news for surety, viewers, and listeners’ confidence increases each consecutive year.
The television and radio media devices form a more significant part of people’s living room milieu and they are the most available media tools readily available for entertainment and leisure in different homes. This aspect makes broadcasting in its present form; the best public communication and information sharing means that heavily contribute to democratization of everyday life.
Some forms of news are better presented as a broadcast, especially those containing an inclusion of ordinary social life matters or different entertainment parameters (Jacka 2006). Crime, injustice, ethical prejudice, the plight of women, and other issues of marginalized groups across the world have affected the modern living and broadcasting has been in the forefront in sensitizing people across the world on such matters.
As postulated by Scannell (1997) and Thompson (1999), sportsmen entertainment including events of football, athletics, basketballs and tennis among others, which form a greater part of youth involvement, makes television and radio broadcasting all-generation media devices.
Conclusion and recollection of positives and negatives
Historically, broadcasting forms an integral part of human communication and interaction through television and radio platforms. Whether the broadcasting process is undergoing recession, no one has firmly stood to confer this judgment. Digital media is still evolving, but at a slow pace and cannot match modern tablets, phones, laptops, and other modern.
However, despite the growing trend in consumption of new media innovations, including the Internet and computerized communication and information sharing devices that enable interactive social networking platforms, broadcasting is still championing essential segments of modern communication.
So far, the new media technologies have not made any destruction to broadcasting, and if any, then it has little influence on the broadcasting practice. Digital platforms that enable high compression of channels to convey numerous broadcasts with high definition video and audio make broadcasting attractive and appealing to public.
Professional broadcasters with their ability to feature almost all aspects of political, social, and economic issues make broadcasting a unique form of information dissemination than other media and thus, the days of broadcasting are not behind us.
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Hoeg, W 2009, Digital Audio Broadcasting: Principles and Applications of DAB, DAB + and DMB, John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex.
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Jakubowicz, K 2003, ‘Endgame: Contracts, Audits, and the future of public service broadcasting’, The Public, vol. 10 no. 3, pp. 45-62.
Laven, P 1998, ‘Predicting the future of broadcasting’, EBU Technical Review, pp.1-12.
Manovich, L 2001, ‘The Language of New Media’, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
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Scannell, P 1997, ‘Public Service Broadcasting and Modern Public Life’, in T O’Sullivan and J Yvonne (eds), The Media Studies Reader, Arnold, London, pp. 60-71.
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