The European media landscape is changing profoundly. In this wide-ranging and timely text, members of the Euromedia Research Group examine the ways in which national and supranational policy is reacting to these changes. The contributors consider: the consequences for broadcasting systems of satellite and cable delivery; the fate of public broadcasting under deregulation; the changes currently affecting print media and newspapers; the impact of media changes for political and social cultural life; and the significance of the Internet, the first true fruit of the telematic revolution in communication.

The Internet: A New Mass Medium?

The internet: A new mass medium?

The rapid development of the Internet, particularly over the past two or three years, was not foreseen in the early 1980s, certainly not in the social sciences. Even communication scholars have only fairly recently begun to make the Internet, the main constituent of the ‘information superhighway’, the object of their studies, although computer-mediated communication (CMC) is not a new field of study (see, for example, Kling, 1996). A discussion of the Internet is fraught with difficulties due to its vastness and its very rapid development, expansion and spread among the more affluent population of the developed world.

This chapter discusses some of the more noteworthy features of the Internet and outlines some of the characteristics ...

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