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A journey to the future

  • Published at 05:02 pm January 31st, 2018
  • Last updated at 06:25 pm February 1st, 2018
A journey to the future
The history of human communication began with the oral, or spoken, tradition. Through the course of history, the dissemination of messages progressed from simply the oral tradition, to script, print, wired electronics, wireless electronics, and finally, digital communication. In the present age of digital communication, time has been compressed by reducing the distance between different points in space, and the sense of space has led people to feel that local, national, and global space becomes obsolete. And, as a result, it has impacts on international communication too. Usually, international communication is international information dissemination, a process that crosses national and international boundaries through mass media, and it consists of outward transmission and inward transmission. The outward transmission conveys important events and changes of the international community to the people of the country, while the inward transmission conveys information about the political, economic, and cultural aspects of the country to the international community. But the greatest change in all sorts of communication in recent history occurred with the introduction of computers and the internet in the early 1990s. Since then, this drastic change of communication medium has significantly affected humans’ perception of the media, the usage of time and space, and the reachability and control of the media. The reachability of digital media can now extend to all people, instead of a limited audience. This is significant because without the confinement of time and space, the control of message production and dissemination is no longer a privilege possessed only by church, state, and government, but instead, equally shared by all individuals. All these innovations in digital media, or as it is called as new media, have changed and continue to change the way we think, act, and live. For example, digitalization, as a hybridization of print and electronic media in a binary code, converts analog to digital that requires a completely different mode of production and distribution. This has now become like an express vehicle, which is ready to carry us to the future. Bangladesh, as a rapidly growing country, has a great route for that vehicle to ignite its engine. In general, international communication promotes the integration of cultures of all nations and peoples in the impact. Culture is often a national way of life and thinking -- it contains a nation’s beliefs, values, worldview, behaviour norms, customs, and other aspects of the content. With the integration of the world economy, the borderless sphere of communication and the international dissemination based on new communication technologies have actually become the cultural behaviours that are the mainstay of the interdependence of all ethnic groups in each country. New media, which is based on the development of modern electronic information technology, being considered “new” is not only because of its successful integration in the form of the traditional interpersonal and mass media, but also because of its new functions that enable individuals to equally control messages in interpersonal media, which allows them to control messages in mass media. New media functionally allows people to interact with multiple persons simultaneously with the ability to individualize messages in the process of interaction. New media enjoys five distinctive characteristics: Digitality, convergency, interactivity, hypertextuality, and virtuality. With these distinct features, new media pushes the trend of globalization to its highest level in human history. The hypertextuality of new media brings forth a global network centre in which information can freely move around and spontaneously interconnect.
The line between the information disseminator and the recipient becomes blurred, the audience of news communication becomes the source of content communication, and the mass audiences deeply participate in the process
This global network phenomenon has begun to rebuild a new life experience for human beings, which in turn will lead the transformation of economic activities, cultural patterns, interactional styles, and other aspects of human society. The rise of new media exerts a subtle influence on people’s lifestyles, ways of thinking, and ways of learning. At present, we have entered the media era with the feature of “self-media.” Such as, in China, “We-media” to describe them as “Everyone is the information publisher,” and all over the world, Facebook and Twitter as the representatives of social relations-based new media communication tools are forming a difference from the previous form of emerging media. The characteristics of pluralism, individuality and interaction, more importantly, the line between the information disseminator and the recipient becomes blurred, the audience of news communication becomes the source of content communication, and the mass audiences deeply participate in the process of organization, production, and dissemination of information through the digital form. So, the source of content has quietly changed.

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Based on numerous new technologies and applications, such as global networking, intelligent mobile terminal equipment, multi-media fusion applications, zero-cost (or low-cost) media, and many others, new media has a natural ability to transcend time and space constraints. After more than 30 years of development, China’s new media industry has had a certain influence in the world, and the mainstream media’s new media business has spread all over the world. China Network Television (CNTV), for example, completed the construction of 10 overseas mirror sites in London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow, and New York within five years. The content has been distributed in 210 countries around the world to build a global video distribution network with tens of millions of live video distribution capabilities and millions of video-on-demand services, delivering high-quality programming resources to various new media terminals and portals worldwide. The new media of China International Television Station (China Global Television Network, CGTN) deeply cultivates the content construction of social media platform features, highlighting the four major features of “new, short, fast, and live.” The main account operated by the rabbit platform is one of the world’s largest video sites. Global traffic hit more than 300 million hits, with a total viewing time of 370 million minutes, ranking as the top domestic mainstream media. These media agencies insist on being fully closed to the audience. At the same time, they also make innovations, and report on the intention to highlight the main theme of outreach and fully reflect China’s openness and relevance to the world and proximity to local audiences. The statistics CGTN Financial Media Centre has built a core business platform of multi-form acquisition, platform-sharing, multi-channel, and multi-terminal distribution. As of October 26, 2017, the total number of CGTN new media in the NTNU was 4,476, with a total reading volume of more than 380 million. The total number of independent users was nearly 300 million, with a total of 86.76 million video views. The total interaction volume was 4.27 million. As of December 30, 2016, CCTV’s seven international channels have completed the entire channel or part of the programs in 171 countries and territories, of which 165 have completed the entire channel landing in China, and the cumulative users reached 407 million. These statistics can be influential to any developing country like Bangladesh. In view of the rapid spread of new media across time and space, media or new media organizations should first face the facts and actively control the initiative of discourse.
The new media generation should start learning to tell stories more vividly, learn to use the characteristics of new media, and create content according to the psychology of new media
New world order People always hope to know the truth. To stick through a lot of convincing facts, evidence, and interviews -- there are layers and logic. Let the audience perceive the real situation calmly and peacefully. This is particularly important in international communication. And new media is certainly a platform of this sort.  In the world’s old order, the Western media occupies an absolute right of speech. But as any country now has the power to use it to spread its own voice, the media in developing countries should seize this opportunity to combine traditional media with new media platforms, and strive to have their voices be heard in the international community. On the basis of making full use of traditional media, the new media generation should start learning to tell stories more vividly, learn to use the characteristics of new media, and create content according to the psychology of new media -- which will truly capture the mass people’s attraction. New media continues to establish different kinds of new communities without the limit of time and space, which makes cultural identity more dynamic, fluid, and relativized. It has now paved its own path and created its own route towards the future, and thus has become a vehicle. Let us be the passengers, let us get into it. Shang Quifen is a Senior Economist/Manager, International Training Department of Research and Training Institute of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television. Yan Zouxian is an Associate Professor, Economic and Management School College, Beijing University of Technology.