This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (June 2022) This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. (February 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Old media, or legacy media,[1] are the mass media institutions that dominated prior to the Information Age; particularly print media, film studios, music studios, advertising agencies, radio broadcasting, and television.[2][3][4]

Old media institutions are centralized and communicate with one-way technologies to a generally anonymous mass audience.[4][5] By definition, it is often dichotomized with New media, more often computer technologies that are interactive and comparatively decentralized; they enable people to telecommunicate with one another,[6] due to their mass use and availability, namely through internet.[7]

Old Media companies have diminished in the last decade with the changing media landscape, namely the modern reliance on streaming and digitization of what was once analog,[8] and the advent of simple worldwide connection and mass conversation.[7] Old media, or "legacy media" conglomerates include Disney, Warner Media, ViacomCBS, Bertelsmann Publishers, and NewsCorp., owners of Fox news and entertainment, and span from books to audio to visual media.[9] These conglomerates are often owned and inherited between families, such as the Murdochs of NewsCorp.[10] Due to traditional media's heavy use in economics and political structures, it remains current regardless of New Media's emergence.[7]

Challenges faced by old media conglomerates

The advent of new communication technology (NCT) has brought forth a set of opportunities and challenges for conventional media.[11] The presence of new media and the Internet in particular, has posed a challenge to conventional media, especially the printed newspaper.[12] The new media have also affected the way newspapers get and circulate their news. Since 1999, almost 90% of daily newspapers in the United States have been actively using online technologies to search for articles and most of them also create their own news websites to reach new markets.[12]

The challenges faced by old media, especially newspapers, has to do with the combination of the global economic crisis, dwindling readership and advertising dollars, and the inability of newspapers to monetize their online efforts.[13] Newspapers, especially in the West and the US in particular, have lost the lion's share of classified advertisement to the Internet. Additionally, a depressed economy forced more readers to cancel their newspaper subscriptions, and business firms to cut their advertising budget as part of the overall cost-cutting measurements. As a result, closures of newspapers, bankruptcy, job cuts and salary cuts are widespread.[14]

This has made some representatives of the US newspaper industry seek bailouts from the government by allowing U.S. newspapers to recoup taxes they paid on profits previously to help offset some of their current losses. Accusations are being made toward search engine giants by publishers such as Sir David Bell, who categorically accused Google and Yahoo of "stealing" the contents of newspapers. A similar allegation came from media mogul Rupert Murdoch in early April 2009, questioning if Google “should…steal all our copyrights.”[14] Likewise, Sam Zell, owner of the Tribune Company that publishes the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun claimed it was the newspapers in America who allowed Google to steal their content, and therefore credited themselves for providing Google with their content.[14]

Old media as cultural construct and colloquialism

Old Media, opposed with its newer counterpart, has been found by theorists and historians like Chris Anderson (author of The Long Tail and the long tail phenomenon of mass communication),[9] Marshall McLuhan, Wolfgang Ernst, and Carolyn Marvin[15] to be inaccurate to the realities of mass communication's progression. McLuhan, specifically, argues that a medium's information is contingent upon the medium itself.[15] In so doing, it never dies and always remains current. Therefore, the binary of old and new media, with new media making old become obsolete, is inaccurate. It would be far more accurate, according to theoretical argument of authors like Ernst, to view new and old media as a spectrum.[15] The challenges faced by old media, therefore, will never completely remove them from the public mass media sphere.

"Old media" as an idea only ever existed because "New Media" does. In the research of Simone Natale, the use of the term "Old Media" in a survey of books only began to become popular in the late twentieth century once the developments of New Media, such as the internet, became widely available.[15] Natale writes of Old Media as a social construct because of this; because no media is old, one compares old to new in hindsight.

See also


  1. ^ Desjardins, Jeff (10 October 2016). "The slow death of legacy media". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  2. ^ "How Old Media Can Survive in a New World". The Wall Street Journal. 23 May 2005. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  3. ^ Logan, Robert K. (2010). "The Changing Figure/Ground Relation with the 'New Media'". Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall McLuhan. Peter Lang. p. 8. OCLC 764542063. Retrieved 23 April 2017 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b Peterson, Mark Allen (2008) [2003]. "The Ethnography of Media Production". Anthropology & Mass Communication: Media and Myth in the New Millennium. Berghahn Books. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-57181-278-0. OCLC 823761828. Retrieved 23 April 2017 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Becker, Barbara; Wehner, Josef (2001). "Electronic Networks and Civil Society". In Ess, Charles; Sudweeks, Fay (eds.). Culture, Technology, Communication: Towards an Intercultural Global Village. SUNY Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-79145-016-1. OCLC 879232423. Retrieved 23 April 2017 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Schorr, Angela (2003). "Interactivity: The New Media Use Option—State of the Art". In Schorr, Angela; Schenk, Michael; Campbell, William (eds.). Communication Research and Media Science in Europe: Perspectives for Research and Academic Training in Europe's Changing Media Reality. Mouton de Gruyter. p. 57. OCLC 954099068. Retrieved 23 April 2017 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b c McQuail, Denis (1983). McQuail's Mass Communication Theory (6th ed.). London: Sage. pp. 136–138. ISBN 978-1-84920-291-6.
  8. ^ Wolff, Michael (2017). Television is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age. Penguin. pp. 96–103. ISBN 9780143108924.
  9. ^ a b Hanson, Ralph E (2022). Mass Communication: Living in a Media World (8th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage. pp. 56, 67, 73. ISBN 9781544382999.
  10. ^ Folkenfilk, David (2013). Murdoch's World: The Last of the old Media Empires (1st ed.). New York: Public Affairs. pp. 280–282. ISBN 9781610390897.
  11. ^ Garrison, B., 1996. Successful Strategies for Computer-Assisted Reporting. Mahwah, NJ, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  12. ^ a b Domingo, D. & A. Heinone. 2008. "Weblogs and Journalism: A Typology to Explore the Blurring Boundaries." Nordicom Review, 29 (1): 3-15. )
  13. ^ Yap, B. 2009. "Time running out for newspapers." The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 31 October 2010 from
  14. ^ a b c Mahmud, S. 2009. "Is the newspaper industry at death's door?" Retrieved 30 October 2009 from: Times. 22 October 2008.
  15. ^ a b c d Natale, Simone (2016). "There Are No Old Media". Journal of Communication. 66 (4): 592–603 – via JSTOR.