New Media

From LitWiki


New media provide interactivity for the user of the media. The digitality of new media provides innovative ways to format the media for the needs of the user. This is much different than traditional, or “old media,” in that old media does not allow the same interaction with the user. What makes this interaction possible is the digitization of the media into mathematical binary code as distinct from physics and chemistry (Lister 15). Once the media has become digital code it then becomes bits transcending the fixed from of analog media.

New media are characterized by a sense of change since the mid-1980s:

The study of new media focuses on several key terms:


Janet Murray's 1997 work Hamlet on the Holodeck attempts to position new media’s effect on Western Literature’s tradition of storytelling.

Ray Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines argues that humans are themselves machines.



Though much has been done within the study of new media since the 1970s, current critical thought is frequently grounded in the theories of Marshall McLuhan and Raymond Williams.

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Works Cited

  • Lister, Martin, Hon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant, and Kieran Kelly. New Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2003.
  • Murray, Janet. Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York: The Free Press, 1997.