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.