What is New Media?

New media is a term that experts use when describing content that is available through less traditional sources. One of the greatest examples of this term in action is a website owned and operated by a major newspaper. While customers can still pay for a subscription and have the paper delivered right to their front doors, they can also subscribe to the paper online and view all articles from the current edition and some updated content online. While the term often applies to content available via the internet, it can also apply to artwork created by professional artists too.

Types of Media

There really is no limit to what others consider as a new form of media. It often applies to websites that provide users with new information, but it can also apply to blogs. With sites like Blogger and WordPress, anyone can now create a free blog and start sharing their thoughts and emotions with the world. The term can also refer to social media or social networking sites and video games that you can play online. The one thing that all these sites share in common is that each one allows users to comment on that content and share that content with others.

In the Art World

This term can also apply to artwork that uses some form of technology. Though the term dates back to the 19th century, most use it when describing work created during the 1950s and up through the modern era. It often includes interactive exhibits that ask viewers to become part of the process such as an installation piece that asks viewers to use a computer keyboard to type a message that becomes a permanent part of the piece. Some artists use new devices in these pieces, including tablets, video game consoles and televisions.


A common advantage to these websites is that each one allows users to share their thoughts and opinions. When you read an article about an upcoming presidential campaign, you can post that article to Facebook or another social media site and leave a comment to let other readers and the author know how you felt. New forms of media can also change the way people get their news. As more newspapers across the nation shut down or go under, the number of people finding local and national news via their phones and computers will rise.


Though there are some disadvantages to new media, most detractors focus on the fact that it limits human interactions. Instead of talking with your neighbors, friends and coworkers in person about the report you saw on the news or the article you read in the paper, you might update your Facebook status without ever talking to a single person. There is also a risk that the rise of misinformation may spread. Readers can share blog posts written by those with little to no experience without taking the time to see if the story is true first.

As new technology becomes available, media will always change. People once relied on the newspaper for all the latest news before listening to the radio. The radio later gave way to television reports, which in turn paved the way for internet sites. Even the term new media may change in the future as technology changes again.

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