The revolution of media refers to an on-going change that is connected to a change in the commercial logic of editorial offices, produced by digitalization. This change presents two challenges: a changed format, and the development and spreading of social media.
By using internet, people can in principle access unlimited and often free sources of information. Newspapers are increasingly read online, which is why the circulation of the printed papers and thus the amount of money collected through advertising, are decreasing.
Audiences of the television networks are splintered as streaming services are taking over. Traditional distribution channels are losing their importance and becoming unprofitable.
Traditionally, media has been perceived as mass communications that directs messages chosen by professionals and media corporations to large audiences.
In many a media corporation decrease in revenues has led into cutbacks in the work force. Remaining reporters are forced to produce multi-channel news coverage with smaller resources.
At the same time, content produced by other than professional journalists, such as blogs etc., challenge the role of media corporations as the citizens’ channel for acquiring information. Recent years’ development has also had an
impact on the conception of agenda setting theories. Traditionally, media has been perceived as mass communications that directs messages chosen by professionals and media corporations to large audiences.
The dominant position of the established media as the definer of the agenda is shifting, giving more and more space to citizen journalism. In the new media the ones responsible for creating content for news and messages are in principle the users themselves: including adults, teenagers, peace activists or – a most extreme example – terrorists.
There are two types of visions for the future of journalism: the positive states that social media promotes democracy, the negative sees clicks, populists and shocking news increasing.
It has been suggested that to stand up to the challenges of the digital era, the media should evolve into a more dialogical direction. Rather than having a passive group of recipients, the media is nowadays greeted by an active audience. In this way the digital era is changing the traditional conception
of the professional identity of the reporters.
Despite the new technology, users are exposed to a plethora of information online. Instead of professional reporters acting as the gatekeepers of information, new concepts such as online gate-keeping and network gate-keeping have started to appear.
According to the theory, media corporations, instead of controlling the production of messages, are controlling what the audience is exposed to: what does it hear or see. Search engines, for example, are significantly influencing this by manipulating the order of the search results.
Digitalization has also increased the interest in editorial offices when it comes to counting clicks. Originally, this concern over clicks is due to the logic of digital advertising.
This is not the first time, however, when the media is undergoing a change. Every time a new form of media becomes more common, it challenges the way the existing media corporations work and earn.