Tuesday, 26 February 2008

New Media Revolution

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen, and thinking what nobody has thought" Albert Szent-Gyorgi

The purpose of this case study is to research the history and define the various stages of this new media revolution in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. Therefore the Australian Broadcasting Corporation can be traced back to the time of the Great Depression and has been operating for over seventy-five years as the largest national public commercial-free-to-air broadcaster, in this country will be used as a working model (ABC Ultimo Centre, 2002, p.6). This will also be a unique opportunity to discuss the importance of the new-media-techno applications in both centuries which could be viewed as a form of convergence-based platform for the ABC. The interrelated mediums of newspapers, radio, television and the Internet will be used in this case study of the New Media Revolution as examples relating to the various new-media-techno applications of these combined information and communication products in both centuries. The key terms will be new media revolution, twentieth century, twenty-first century, new-media-techno applications, information and communication products, convergence partnerships, new-media-technocrats, radio, television, Internet and the World Wide Web.

ABC's LOGO DESIGNS: History Overview

There was a competition in 1965 for the staff to design a symbol for the ABC, which would appear as the broadcaster’s logo for both the radio and television stations. The original concept of this design based in part on the ‘oscilloscope waveform’, which was submitted to the General Manager, Talbot Duckmanton by the TV Senior Graphics designer Bill Kennard (Sargent, 2001, p.2). This new-media-techno-design was sourced from the kaleidophone patterns which were studied in great detail by the 19th century mathematician and physicist Jules Lissajous (Rekveld, 2006, p.4). In the twenty-first century the ABC's logo was redesigned by Annette Harcus into the silver three-dimensional new-techno-age-format referred to as the 'chrome worm'. This design was to update this widely recognisable Australian icon that is associated with the fostering of the arts/cultural diversity and to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the ABC in 2002 (Celebrating 75 years, 2007).

There is also the first example of the ABN channel 2 television ABC's logo which was transmitted from the ABC studios in Sydney on Monday 5th November 1956. The Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies was responsible for introducing this forward thinking conceptual reality of television as an information and communication product to the Australian audience in the 1950s (Aus TV History, 2006, p.1). This new media revolution in the twentieth century can be viewed as an important element in enabling the "camera as reporter" (Zelizer, 2004, p.31) through live-to-air broadcasting to the ABC's television audience. Therefore in this context television was an additional extension of journalism mirroring a new approach to presenting news and entertainment to a wider audience intrigued by this new media format of electronic social discourse (Zelizer,2004, p.31).

To truly be able to appreciate this experience from the ABC's audiences' perspective in the twentieth century there is the need to view the archival film of the live Opening Night. There is also the additional film footage of the Sydney Skyline transmitted through the new-media-techno application of Telecine to the Gore Hill Studios (Operations Opening Night, 2007, p.1). In reference to the Opener Run Down this is the sample of the instructions for the first example of live-to-air broadcasting of television in the ABC Studios in Kellet Street, Kings Cross which was also linked to the Gore Hill Studios (Technology, 2007, p.1). There was also the key component in television sets, as well as radio, telephone, radar and computer systems in 1956 which were Audion vacuum tubes (Bellis, 2007, p.1). This technology was considered to be state-of-the-art in the twentieth century because of the high voltage requirements needed to maintain these vacuum tubes so that the television sets were able to receive black and white pictures with sound (Technology, 2007, p.1).

ABC's RADIO/NEWSPAPERS: Convergence-Based-Platforms

There was Michael Faraday's theory of electromagnetic fields which intrigued James Clerk Maxwell enough to write a paper about this mathematical theory within quantum physics. This was the key for the working model for the discovery of radio waves by Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (Jenkins, 2007). The wireless pioneer Julielle Guglielmo Marconi was responsible for the first transatlantic signal of Morse code on the 12th December 1896 (Jenkins, 2007). Therefore the first example of the importance of wireless/ radio as a communication and information product would be the distress-calls from the Titanic in 1912 (Clothmonkey, 2008, pp.1-2). This first photograph is one of the earliest examples of an Australian woman listening to the radio in 1925. The second photograph shows the beginning of the convergence culture as the newsreader Newton Hobs reads the news directly from the newspaper to the ABC's radio audience in 1933 (History of the ABC - Photogallery, 2006).

There was however, in World War 2, a need for ingenuity because there were no radio stations in the American armed services. The American radio men decided to improvise what is referred to as foxhole radios. These radios ensured that even in war-related conditions there would be jive programs for the GIs as well as the unwanted German propaganda transmitted from Rome to the Anzio beachheads (Adamson, 2000, p.1). If you wish to make a working model of a foxhole radio to experience how the process worked in World War 2. There are the full instructions on how to do so on this PDF Link (Pettis, 2007).In the twenty-first century the ABC's audience is somewhat spoiled for choice as there are various radio stations which can be downloaded to your computer through the process of podcasting. Therefore the ABC’s website caters on the whole for most genres of music such as the following: ABC Radio National, ABC Classic FM, ABC News Radio, Triple J and 702 ABC Sydney. The ABC’s audience consists of over 6 million people in Australia listening to radio every day (ABC Ultimo Centre, 2002, p.3).

ABC's TELEVISION: The World of Tomorrow

The invention of the first prototypes of television receivers can be traced back to the American pioneer of television Philo T. Farnsworth who was a research engineer. He was just a fifteen year old high school student when he designed his first television system of cyber-sounds and images. Six years later he acquired his first patent on his design and the first working model of television was demonstrated in San Francisco on September 10th, 1928 (Postman, 2000, pp.1-3). There is also the example of the first broadcasting of American television at the World Fair: Television in the World of Tomorrow in 1939. The Sydney Morning Herald ran a feature article on 29th January 1958 in the twentieth century about the Official Opening of the Gore Hill's main ABC television studios by Sir Richard Boyer, the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission and Mr Edgar R Dawes, C.M.G., the Vice Chairman of the Broadcasting Commission (TV Sydney Morning Herald, 2007, p.1). In the twenty-first century in Australia the ABC's audience consists of over 12 million viewers watching the audio/visual free-to-air television channel 2 .

ABC's INTERNET: New Age Technology

How the world would be communicating globally in the twenty-first century if not for the invention of the Internet browser in the twentieth century. The pioneer of the World Wide Web concept, Tim Berners-Lee who was also a software consultant whose foresighted vision of the new-media revolution has changed the landscape of social discourse in both centuries. In the twentieth century a brave new world of cyberspace dawned in 1991 as the World Wide Web and the Internet became combined as a new-media platform of communication and information product for the audience which grew from 600,000 to 40 million Internet users in a five year timeframe (The Time 100: Time Berner-Lee, 1999, p.1-3). However, there is in Australia in the twenty-first century, over 1 million internet visitors accessing online the ABC's website every month as this electronic portal to the combined radio and television stations was established in 1995 to service the new-media-technocrats surfing cyberspace (ABC Ultimo Centre, 2002, p.6).

Today in the twenty-first century there are various new-media-techno applications associated within the Internet/World Wide Web medium such as the convergence partnerships of Google, MySpace and YouTube which empower each individual within the new cyberspace society of information and communication exchange. There will be the new-age discourse concept of OpenSocial through the cross-platform partnerships of Google and MySpace. Google is aiming to attract an audience of about 200 million which also includes other social networks such as Friendster and Linkedlin. These are also other websites signing up to be included on the OpenSocial platform such Salesforce.com; software distributor, Six Apart; blogging software enabling the function of TypePad and LiveJournal. Web developers will be encouraged to design software applications that are capable of running on various social networking websites. This is why application developers such as iLike and Slide are coexisting with OpenSocial along with SideStep; travel, as well as PayPal the credit-card of cyberspace (Graham, 2007, p,1). Google's OpenSocial platform will consist of many convergence examples empowering these digital networks of this new dawn of our lives in cyberspace being constantly changed by the volume of information and communication concepts (Digital Think, 2008, p.1 ).

In conclusion one can only wonder how the new media revolution in the twenty-first century will evolve through the years yet to come in this the age of the new-media technocrat. The ABC is a working model of how the concept of convergence partnerships has been merged into three mediums of information and communication product in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. The new-media-techno applications of radio, television, the Internet and the World Wide Web show how the ABC was always willing to embrace new concepts of technology. This continual process of this social discourse empowered the ABC’s audience so ensuring access to the latest information and communication product. Therefore the example of a newsreader reading word for word from a newspaper in 1933 for the ABC's radio audience could be viewed as a form of cloning of information related to convergence exchange of two different mediums of information and communication product. The evolving design of the logo of the ABC is a constant reminder of how change is constant like the technology which was responsible for the invention of the radio, television, Internet and the World Wide Web. In the twenty-first century there are the digital networks of the Internet juggernauts Google and MySpace which would also be viewed as convergence partnerships through their combined new-media-techno applications for social discourse.

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