Advantages of each medium


The oldest form of media still has much to offer in a converging world. Most importantly, it is used to support the other three types of media. Almost all television or radio news programs are written first, and then read aloud to the audience. Print is also the most Internet-friendly form of content because it requires significantly less loading time than audio or video clips. Print is truly the building block of converged media. In addition, print stories usually provide the most detailed accounts of events because they are not constrained by time, like television or radio segments. Print is also believed to be the most credible form of media. Studies have shown that it is the main source of news for the educated public. Finally, print publications have the most loyal audiences, who are more likely to visit a converged website than television viewers or radio listeners.


This second-oldest form of media is often overlapped by television's capabilities. However, radio offers features television does not. Other than the Internet, it is the most interactive medium. Listeners can call and comment on a program while it is still in progress. Television does this as well, but much less frequently. Radio hosts, or personalities, also achieve a higher level of audience loyalty than most television reporters and are considered by many to be more credible. The audio capabilities of radio, which are also shared by television, can add sound clips to a converged news story and help bring it to life. Radio sound clips are also useful because they have a smaller file size than video clips with sound, which allows for the web page to load faster.


In today's media, television is the most dominant form. It combines aspects of print and radio with the clarity of video. Instead of just reading or listening to what happened in a story, television views can see it as well. With proper editing, television is the most compelling and attention-grabbing medium. It is designed to hold the viewers attention for short periods of time and seems a perfect fit for today's fast-paced world. In a converged website, television can offer video clips of events that show the audience what happened in the accompanying story. The 24-hour television news cycle is also well suited for covering events at all times of the day, which is a challenge for radio and print. Finally, television, the most popular medium, has the greatest visibility and can be a powerful tool in promoting the converged website.


The Internet, while not as established as other mediums, is the most important piece of the convergence puzzle. It is the vehicle that can incorporate all other forms of media. Just one page on a website can contain stories, sound bytes, video clips and graphical data. The Internet is also the most interactive medium. Users can interact with the different news organizations or each other immediately via message boards, polls and chats. There are too many possible Internet applications to name, with new ones being created every day. However, the Internet has always faced credibility issues because of its easy accessibility. By trading on the names of established newspapers, television stations and radio broadcasters, websites can gain the trust of the public as a legitimate news source. Frankly, the Internet is the present and future of media convergence. As its technology improves, media convergence will only become better and more prevalent.


The New York Times
Radio is here to say
TV's video content is vital to converged media
The Internet is the cornerstone of converged media

© Dana Mallard,