The roles and relationships of traditional and new media appear to be constantly changing. This is particularly true of their approach towards audiences. The following is an exercise you can conduct in order to flesh out the similarities and differences between old and new media by focusing one roles played, people media talk about, and the audiences.
For this exercise you may want to form three groups (at least two people per group). Each group answers one of the question sets below (Group 1 – Media; Group 2 – Persons; Group 3 – Roles) and writes down the answers in the boxes provided. Take 25 minutes to discuss the questions and write down your answers. After all the groups have completed their boxes you can discuss together. Do you agree or disagree with the answers? What would you add? Would you phrase differently? How? Why?
- How are old and new media similar and different? Explain by example.
- What are the roles of media (new and old) – to provide information, to think critically about information, to share information, to create community, to advertise, to lobby, to raise awareness, to educate, etc.? Reflect one at least three of these by referring to specific examples.
- Who are the people media talk about (politicians, celebrities, ordinary people, etc.)?
- Give examples on different kinds of people represented in media. Give as much detail as possible – What they do? What they look like? Where they’re from? What is their gender? Ethnicity? Socio-economic background? Are they important and why? Who is more important? Who do you identify with and why?
- What are the roles played by audiences (to receive information, to create information, to think critically about information, to share information, to advertise, to lobby, to raise awareness, to educate, etc.)? Reflect one at least three of these by referring to specific examples.