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How ICTs Have Changed the Media Landscape

The onset of ICTs has opened new horizons for more engaging communication tools and outlets...

If throughout the twentieth century people were used to access information and news from radio and TV broadcasters or publishers of newspapers, books or magazines, the onset of the information and communication technologies (ICTs) has opened new horizons for more engaging communication tools and information outlets [1], radically transforming the media landscape [2].

Definition of Media and ICT

The term ‘media’ refers to “communication channels through which news, information, entertainment and promotional messages are disseminated” [3] while ICT refers to the new generation of information technology brought out by the convergence of three technologies: (1) computer, (2) telecommunications, and (3) media [4]. This convergence process points towards a common content that is interactive, easily-accessible and much more appealing.

In the communication process, content is the material/information contained in the ‘message’ chosen by the ‘source’ to convey his/her purpose or intention to the ‘receiver’ [5]. The message/content, therefore, is none other than the information that the 'source' would like to transmit or deliver to the ‘receiver.’ An interactive, easily accessible, free and appealing information can positively impact the communication process because the ‘receiver’ of the message is more likely to read, view or watch it and is more likely to share it with others.

How ICTs have Changed the Media Landscape

ICTs have led the media to expand its reach [6]. Digitalization, one of the trends associated with ICT, which refers to the transmission of information or data in the form of digital signals, has resulted in available and easy opportunities for media organizations to have a greater choice of communication tools to use, enabling the creation of entirely new forms of content [7]. Thus, media organizations are facilitated to spread information in various forms via a wide range of outlets in order to meet the growing needs of media users.

The evolving media landscape spawned by the proliferation of ICT tools and new media outlets and providers is affecting and changing the kind of information, news and entertainment users receive. ICTs and, as a result, media innovations have changed how users consume information and how media organizations report, cover and deliver news. With this growing desire for free, always accessible and timely information, media has to (1) provide ways to deliver information, (2) speed-up its delivery of information, and (3) provide timely information that caters to media users to augment its audience and compete with other communication outlets [8].

ICTs are also considered as important drivers in the pursuit for sustainable and equitable growth in developing countries . This is because ICTs permit people the way "to collect, store, process and access knowledge and information and or communicate with each other [9]. Since information sharing or dissemination is key to understanding and controlling social changes and economic development, information can only ensue benefits if this knowledge is actually employed to transform and improve the conditions of individuals [10]. Thus, how people in developing countries will learn to employ the ICTs to solve their problems, organize their lives in order to achieve their goals will determine the impact of these technologies to their growth.

As a conclusion, in developing countries the primary function of ICTs and the new media outlets and providers is to generate conditions in which the underprivileged can understand, have easy access to and use technologies to meet their needs and to improve their livelihood.


[1]  ICTs and New Media.  (2016).   In Article 19. Retrieved from

[2] Milner, H.  (2011).   Political dropouts and the internet generation. In E. Dunkels,
G.-M. Franberg, & C. Hällgren (Eds.), Interactive Media Use and Youth (pp. 186-206). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. Retrieved from

[3] Media.  (2016).  In Business  Retrieved from
[4] Bradley, G.  (2007).   ICT, work organisations, and society. In A.-V. Anttiroiko & M.
Malkia, Encyclopedia of Digital Government (Vol. 3, pp. 969-977). Hershey, PA: Idea Group Reference. Retrieved from

[5] Ongkiko, I.V.C. and Flor, A.  ( 2003).  Introduction to development communication.
SEAMEO Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture and the UPOU.

[6] ICTs and New Media.  (2016).   In Article 19. Retrieved from

[7] Flew, T.  (2016).  Media convergence. In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from

[8] ICTs and New Media.  (2016).   In Article 19. Retrieved from

[9] Pelletier, M.  (2011).   Impact of information and communication technologies
(ICTs)  in the advancement and empowerment of African women. In E. E. Adomi (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Information Communication Technology Policy (Vol. 1, pp. 402-420). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. Retrieved from 

[10] Riley, T. B., & Sheridan, W.  (2007).  Information sharing as a democratic tool. In
A.-V. Anttiroiko & M. Malkia (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Digital Government (Vol. 3, pp. 1058-1063). Hershey, PA: Idea Group Reference. Retrieved from


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