• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Media Studies examines the theories, practices, and future of this fast-growing field. Editor John Downing and associate editors Denis McQuail, Philip Schlesinger, and Ellen Wartella have brought together a team of international contributors to provide a varied critical analysis of this intensely interesting field of study. The Handbook offers a comprehensive review within five interconnected areas: humanistic and social scientific approaches; global and comparative perspectives; the relation of media to economy and power; media users; and elements in the media mosaic ranging from popular music to digital technologies, from media ethics to advertising, and from Hollywood and Bollywood to alternative media.

Digital Media
Digital media

In the latter part of the 20th century, a number of media appeared that were called new. Every time this happens in history, it is wise to ask ourselves what exactly is “new” about these media. Hardly ever are so-called new media completely new. Most often, they combine characteristics of old media. Today, insecurity appears to be high as there is a whole range of expressions for contemporary new media—digital media, interactive media, multimedia, and information and communication technologies—or indications of particular new media, such as the personal computer and the internet.

In this chapter, the new media are called digital media, first of all. While defining their characteristics, we will come across the other indications, such as interactive media and multimedia. After ...

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