TED Conversations

Vanessa S

Student, London School of Economics and Political Science

This conversation is closed.

What are your ideas for the future of media?

From the first black-and-white TV box, to the latest HD 3D Internet TV technology. From the phonograph cylinder invented by Thomas Edison to the Apple iPhone made famous by Steve Jobs. From static showcased TV programmes, to on-demand and user-generated content. From traditional hardcopy newspapers, to instant-access digital publications.

Our media consumption patterns are continuously changing at an accelerated pace. The advent of the Internet has triggered a radical transformation of the old media principles. We are at a crucial point in time where our input can shape media standards, policy, and the almighty payment method.

How do you think the evolution of media unfold? What will media look like in 10-20 years? How will it be consumed?

What are your ideas for the future of media?

  • Mar 5 2012: Media is the plural of medium. Although it describes more the vehicle for the content, (such as paper, film, tape, streaming video, etc.), the Fourth Estate have purloined the term to describe the purveyors of "news". The Fourth Estate terminology was apparently said in jest by Edmund Burke to compare the newspapers view of themselves to the existing three estates of the realm in Britain. These were defined as a class or order regarded as forming part of the body politic, one of the three groups constituting Parliament, now the Lords. The three estates are; Spiritual (the heads of the Church), the Lords Temporal (the peerage), and the Commons.

    Blogging, wikis, social networks, personal web pages — in short, the Internet, and more specifically the World Wide Web have added more power to the Commons and made the peerage more accountable. The church is only beginning on this journey.

    The unfortunate thing happening with mainstream media, particularly text, is that crowd mentality has reduced it to the lowest common denominator, in the same way that marketing has removed the consumer from discerning the best attributes of a product for themselves. Psychology and accounting tricks manipulate the consumer.

    I feel that at some point in the next 10-20 years the content will once again triumph over the delivery. TEDtalks already do, as they are of varying length, credibility, research and comprehension level, yet they all are ideas worth spreading, even if just to generate thought and debate.

    In the future quality, quantity, accessibility, price, delivery, ownership, authenticity, timeliness will all be juggled by media magnates as they seek not to inform, not to balance debate, not to publish well researched stories, not to provide well written articles, but to be first, to shock, to grab attention, to gain monopoly and to sell the most copies for the least input.

    Content will be immediate and lower itself to little more than gossip. Be discerning now!
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    Mar 4 2012: I think the implications for advertisers and the media of 'downloading' our thoughts is far-reaching, that is to say if thoughts can go one way then eventually technology will be developed so the media can communicate with us via transmissions outside what we know now to be the senses.
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    Mar 3 2012: I read somewhere recently that the technology nearly exists to 'download' our thoughts....I agree with Edward....telepathy will not be far behind if this happens.
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      Mar 4 2012: Thanks Stuart, not denigrating Edward's contribution at all! But I am interested in the logistics behind it all... is this something we can opt-in/out of? How will broadcasters and content providers make money from telepathically transmitted media?
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    Mar 2 2012: One word. . . Telepathy.
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      Mar 2 2012: And ads for Lightspeed Briefs in your dreams? :)
  • Mar 2 2012: There may be developments and more internet related applications may come up. But the print media and the TV are there to stay forever. The Internet is able to give 2 most important facilities (1) You can watch the news at any time - of whatever interests you, and even the past news. (2) Certain news you can download it, bookmark to read when you are free - (a) you can have a extensive coverage and its comments and related news (b) You need not sit at one place /wait for news / get bored with unwanted news. With this in mind most of the print media as well as TV channels opened their web pages. This will continue - and I am sure there will be either a different organization or a separate arm of CNN / BBC would be developed in the web to cater to the regional news with extensive coverage. There will direct coverage relation between their web pages and TV channels. But, only question one has to ask - is - whether any web based or TV channel can able to penetrate the Iran or Cuba like countries to get the real news is the question.
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      Mar 4 2012: Thanks subramanyam. Interesting point about future media penetration in countries like Iran and Cuba, due to their political situation. I've thought before that infrastructure is also an issue for developing countries, that may be another barrier to consider.
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    Mar 2 2012: I think "The Media" is a term that will start to fade in relevance as entertainment, opinion and journalism converge even further than they already have and the model of distribution moves from centralised broadcast to peer multicast
    Already we find that 'news' is defined not by the traditional requirements of relevance, timeliness and importance values but rather by a shallow social worth value derived from share rates (reblogs, likes, retweets or similar) that maximise exposure of the embedded advertising and key position opinion. That is editors look to promote that 'news' which will more likely send their embedded opinion viral.
    I expect that in a decade's time that a class divide will develop, delineated by those who receive news of wide social worth and those who receive only fill and opinion, based on social networks. In which case I feel policy should be directed at ensuring wide exposure to varied opinion and angle to burst the "Google bubble" spoken of by Eli Pariser here: http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html
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      Mar 4 2012: Thanks Daniel, had not seen that Ted Talk before, great point about Google capturing users.