Political Art: New Media

The internet is a great for spreading information.

But there comes a point where anyone becomes overloaded and overwhelmed, and the information cannot  be properly absorbed.

Twitter bird logo

Twitter: news in under 140 characters

It’s safe to say that since the internet hit a global population attention-spans have dropped significantly.

The media were among the first to pick up on the new found technological advances. As more and more people turn to the internet for their news, print journalism is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Now the focus of all media outlets is to maintain their audience’s attention, and not skim over the first few lines of a story before moving on at the click of a button.

The term ‘New Media’ has been coined for the industries adaptions to keep up with the on-going advances. Recent emergences such as rolling 24-hour news have made the information far more accessible, and at the same time far more flashy and eye-catching.

Skynews

The Sky News room covering the 2010 UK Election

The days where newsreaders sat alone dictating to the public are long gone and the media now relies more on stylised graphics, personality presenters and dramatic imagery to portray the news

Fox News ChannelA strong artistic design formula is now a must for media-sites. The news has become design-orientated and flashier, and now relies on interactivity to keep the viewers’ attention for as long as possible. This has its origins in the US where the news reporting tends to be naturally sexed-up and exciting, and has changed the face of the global media.

The glitz of news-media is designed to make each site or network far more distinguishable and individually recognisable, which have meant changes in the way the news is seen.

BBC_News

Once, the BBC would have balked at the suggestion of imitating any form of Red Top banner as the tabloid newspapers did. Now, it’s their international icon.

This gives all forms of news new light, though in particular in politics. With the high artistic design comes a greater pronunciation of political allegiance by the media sites. While news reporting can never be entirely objective, the clear-cutness of it now means there is almost no room for fence-sitting.

It is worth questioning if this reliance on technology-based ‘brightening the lights to bring the punters in’, means that events such as the News Corp hacking scandal become inevitable.

One also has to wonder if photojournalism is a dying art-form.

The accessibility and increasingly high-quality smartphones cameras have made the normal citizens photojournalists. This is a fantastic opportunity for the media organisations to save cash, while they also have potential sources on every street all the time; images come flowing in from countless on-the-scene viewers, eager to get their image into the news.

Ian Tomlinson

Ian Tomlinson, minutes before his death

Guardian journalist Paul Lewis tracked down the amateur video which captured the moment news-vendor Ian Tomlinson was pushed by a police officer at the 2009, London G20 protests.

Tomlinson later died from a result of being pushed, a claim the Met initially strongly denied. Because of the video,  a summons for manslaughter charges were brought against the officer responsible, Simon Harwood, who was found not guilty but dismissed from the Met in 2012.

Any event, from a policeman punching a rioter to a student swinging from the Cenotaph, can be captured as an image and sent out for the world to see.

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