Grandma’s Old Knitting Mag and PSP
The emergence of mass media in the 1950s have introduced efficient means for information and coped with the increasing human population and their undying thirst for new ideas and innovations. Television and radio opened up new possibilities and criticisms alike with regards to the formation of human behaviors. They helped education be more accessible and coverage of important events have been delivered on the spot to the audience. Also, people’s need for entertainment is satisfied through TV and radio shows (sitcoms, reality shows, sports coverage, etc.). These innovations have been shaking the centuries old print media. Newspaper’s day-after publication of news is negatively elaborated by tv and radio’s live reports and monthly issued magazines are underrated by weekly television features. Print media has made many changes in itself to survive: provided in-depth reports and commentaries instead of plain straight news, pursued investigative inquiries to better serve the public it serve, and became more creative in its presentation of human interest stories.
Today, further developments in the information dissemination arena has left print medium, together with other traditional media, hanging for its dear life. The existence of the so called “new media,” a perceived replacement or improvement of the multimedia era, brought with it a bunch of new and enjoying diversions aside from its immediate and accessible characteristics. Particularly, the popularity of internet interactivity attracts more attention than that of one-way traditional media. However, traditional media has found ways to make use of these advances in technology and has managed to regain their audience’ interests.
Moreover, not only did the new media shook the existing trends utilized by the tradional media, it also removed people from their usual activities and diverted their attention to more enjoyable and emotionally packed activities. Knitting in particular, a method of turning threads to cloth, is slowly being forgotten as an artistic hobby. Enjoyed mostly by the elderly, it is perceived to vanish in the coming generations. This threat causes concern to special interest magazines, particularly those on the art of knitting. Aside from the concerns raised by the emergence of the new media in general on the traditional media, print magazines fear of being taken over by new media’s efficiency and being removed of their contents by the diversions offered by their successor.
This research will tap on the “threats” posed by the new media on the traditional media, particularly on print magazines specializing on the art of knitting. Technological advances have provided new means for spending spare time. Because of advances in technology and the way we live today, individuals who are spending their time knitting before may have switch to other activities brought by the new media; however, there is a need for magazines devoted to knitting because the publication allows for a creative outlet and provide a wealth of information, which encourages the continuation of skills which might otherwise be lost.
The Print Magazines
Commonly termed as mass media, the traditional media is made primarily to serve a large audience simultaneously. In the 1920s,it is popularized by mass circulated newspapers and the increase in book publications. Now it is made strong and immediate through television and radio broadcasting. Other media includes theater, film, advertising, public relations, and news wiring.
In the print media, magazines are found to be in touch more with human interests than on events. In the 1940s, around the general interest, mass circulation magazines are already well established and in around 1946 already held 12.6% of the total market advertising share (van Zuilen, 1977). Many circulations have focused on certain specialties that complements books and other information guides to help people dealing in the certain field to gain sufficient updates and ideas. Various magazines are in circulation to attend various interests of their readers: academic journals, architectural, art, automobile, health and fitness, computer, technology and gadgets, history, literary, recreational, men’s and women’s, music, regional, science journals, teen, and trade journals. These are published weekly or monthly, bearing the difficulty of research for the various topics they have. Others are circulated quarterly, common in many science and research journals.
The New Media
The term “new media” is actually considered to be vague and very offensive in nature. The word new implies the rapid change in the world of communications which started in the late 1980s (Dimmick and Rothenbuhler, 1984b). In the book New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory, Thomas Keenan and Wendy Hui Kyong Chun state that the term is used to portray the “other media as old or dead” (2006). Particularly, the term is used to describe primarily the technological advances in the communication industry. The internet, computer, digital devices, and softwares all fall under the new media. Simply put, new media is the union and dependence between media and digital technology. Because of tremendous research employed on the area, the advances are fast reached and utilized to create better connection between people and efficient source of information. The necessity for a fast and reliable source of information, particularly on important news and events pushed for the media industries to rely on such technological advances. The internet in particular, with its fast, interactive and highly accessible features, are utilized by media organizations as a venue for news reporting. Also, online magazines, also called as e-zines, are also posted or uploaded in the internet for space-free use.
Other forms of new media come as computer softwares having specific functions. As an example, there are softwares used in digital manipulation or editing of photographs to enhance their properties. Also, computer games are becoming a very dominant new medium, occupying mostly a few hours in a person’s daily activities. Cellphones, probably the most powerful and common to everyone, open up communication to their users regardless of distance. Advances in the cellphone industry also added new features, similar to that of ordinary computers, for efficient use. The music and movie industries are also benefiting from the new media. Casette tapes and films are replaced with optical disks and portable media players. Podcasting, an emerging feature of the internet, also enabled users to upload and see/listen music and video from sponsoring websites.
People in ages 15-30 years old are the primary audience, or lets say user, of new media. Because of the employment of technology in classrooms, this generation is well informed on how to use, access, and acquire the innovations. The heavy promotion of digital devices, particularly on the youth, propels the utilization of new media consequently adding up to its popularity. People outside of this age range are still into the traditional media. Men in their mid life, though they are able to access online news reports, still read their newspapers mainly because of habit. Women in the same age are also primarily occupied with magazines and radio. Young ones are into books and TV, though they are also able to access and use forms of new media, are often restricted to do so because of their age.
Years of scientific research funded by governments and digital industries primarily propelled the rapid changes in mass media today. These caused the integration of newly found digital devices with information dissemination and created the new media. Competition in the industry also bolster the growth of new media. Primarily, the people behind the development of new media are focused mainly on the development of digital technology which later is utilized in mass media.
History has no definite time and place of origin for knitting. This act of turning loops of thread into cloth using 2 needles, or properly a pair of rods, is being disputed by many countries who claim as its origin. Included is Jordan, Syria, and Israel while claims are also made from parts of North Africa. The earliest evidence though comes from the pyramids of Egypt where knitted socks are found in 3rd and 6th centuries. From ancient times up to now, knitting is associated as a woman’s occupation usually making socks and stockings. Because of their at-home characteristics, women, particularly in their 40’s and up, are spending their time with spools and needles. In the course of its existence, various techniques and improvements on knitting have been developed by dedicated weavers. Also, due to the need of home knitters for new ideas regarding patterns and materials, various publications, particularly magazines, are circulated to aid their interest. These magazines contain tips, guides, and suggestions on knitting projects. There are also illustrations of remarkable designs and creations from researched weavers.
Dedicated weavers, mostly women who stay at home, are the primary readers of knitting magazines. Circulations also reach schools with courses on craftsmanship and are prescribed readings for students and also serve as guides in certain projects. Still, knitting magazines are soldby women and housekeepers to aid their recreation and pastime activity.
Hundred s of knitting magazines are being published right now despite the decline in readership and practice. Some well known magazines are: , the official publication of Knitting Guild Association; Creative Design School Magazine; Knit ‘n Style; Heels and Toes Gazette, published by Dawn Brocco; InKnitting Magazine; Crochet Fantasy; Machine Knitting Monthly; Spin-Off, published by interweave press; and Vouge Knitting.
Effects of New Media
The new media has both positive and negative implications on its audience and on other media also (Clay, 2003). On children, computer games are particularly diverting their attention from physical and school activities (Lievrouw, 2006, p75). Many are hooked in online games, usually a role playing games with characters that is able to interact with other users from other places through the internet. Addiction to it can affect drastically a person’s academic performance and his or her social interactions. Because this gamers are rarely meeting personally with people, though they are able to chat with other gamers through a messaging system in their games, they are posed with a threat of deteriorating social relationships. In terms of academic performance, time alloted to school projects and activities are spent on games by players who areseverely hooked on gaming.
Adults are also affected by emerging digital devices. Though this technological advances, particularly in communications, have increased connectivity among this group of people, their reliance to mediated communications have drawbacks as well in terms of social concerns. They are also removed from their usual activities, like going to the gym and taking strolls. Instead they are diverted to less physical activities which is necessary to release tensions in their bodies due to work. However, the connectivity still is a nice help in their busy profession.
New media also changed the trends followed in mass media today. Its effects range from information gathering to its dissemination. Digital voice recorders eased interviews which before required tapes which run out eventually in cases of long discussions. The same with events where video documentations are used, conventional films are no longer prescribed because of digital video recorders. News are reported live in TV, through OB vans and satellite phones. The 3G technology also offers live feeds using capable cellular phones. In print media, software for desktop designing are also becoming of much help. Adobe photoshop and indesign makes print layouting easier and efficient. Through this software, ordinary or starting layout artists and photo editors are also given a chance to make their own masterpieces.
The phenomenal internet and world wide web have their own positive and negative implications on mass media. News organizations in particular have established their own websites where they can update readers with events happening within the day instead of undertaking strenous production in conventional reporting. Viewers can also take advantage of podcasts of their favorite shows or missed news on the internet, as well as readers who do not want to buy newspapers or those who want to reread previews publications. People can also send comments, suggestions, and reactions on certain shows and reports they have seen either on TV or on the net. Email messaging enables fast interaction between the audience and the source. Also, social networking, particularly blogging, allows users to be their own reporters, commentators, and critics.
However, the availability of these digital devices and the internet itself also threatens mass media and local laws. The internet, because of its relatively free market, are taken advantage of mischievous users. Pornographic sites can be viewed with no restrictions and people can posts utterly anythings they want, be it offensive or dafematory. Aside from from capturing the attention of audiences from the traditional media, new media also enables piracy and illegal file sharing. People can download music and videos from internet sources without permission from their owners. Burned cd’s are also being proliferated without consent and this certainly violates intellectual property laws.
Specific Effects on Knitting Magazines
New media’s effects on traditional activities and old media have also changed people’s attitudes and interests. First it diverted most attention from activities like sports and recreation to internet gaming and social networking, then it change the trend on information dissemination. All kinds of media seem to be taking advantage of the innovations. But apparently, the trends like print and analog broadcasting may be losing their market and edge in information dissemination. Even before, magazines are already threatened by TV in terms of audience share and advertising. Now, e-zines, online magazines that require no layout at all except for the design of its web page, are becoming a boom in the media industry. Moreover, fewer people are also into knittings because of new diversions new media has offered. Social networking is becoming more popular than turning thread into cloth. Women are more into blogging and are also able to find work, like ghost writing, again through the internet.
Also, the demand for people working in the media is already focused on IT. Other than the employment of digital machines and devices instead of skilled people, organizations are also finding it unnecessary to employ more people because of the efficiency of these technological advances.
New media has both negative and positive implications on the lives of people particularly on how they spend their free time and on how they access information. Various technological activities like gaming and social networking have removed them from their usual activities. Innovations are also being adapted in the media industry. Media organizations, like broadcasting companies and newspapers, have taken advantage of the many new features presented by technology including the internet. However, the artistic and creative inclination of people still remains. They will tend to look for activities where they can exhaust their creativity and present them as well. Knitting remains to be a work of art and functionality thus people will continue to utilize it for the sake of recreation. Magazines focused on knitting can remain and continue their circulation, however the smaller market they have. People will still need the information they share and in turn the publications can also take advantage of media technological breakthroughs.
J. Dimmick and E.W. Rothenbuhler, 1984b. “The Theory of the niche: Quantifying competition among media industries,” Journal of Communication, (Winter), pp. 103-119.
Keenan, Thomas and Wendy Hui Kyong Chun. 2006. New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory. Routledge. http://books.google.com/books? id=Da6nJoa_9nQC;pg=PA1;dq=New+Media:+an +Introduction;sig=HNDyDz3JcFRb6lYmeMRuK9qWBPc#PPR10,M1
Clay, Rebecca A. 2003 Unraveling new media’s effects on children. American Psychological Association. Retrieved 11 May 2008. http://csli-publications.stanford.edu/
A.J. van Zuilen, 1977. The Life Cycle of Magazines: A Historical Study of the Decline and Fall of the General Interest Mass Audience Magazine in the United States During the Period 1946-1972. Uithoorn: Graduate Press.
Lievrouw, Leah A. 2006. Handbook of new media: social shaping and social consequences of ICTs. Sage. http://books.google.com/books? id=P9HkFWEwfFUC;pg=PA1;dq=New+Media:+an +Introduction;sig=Ms_eIHV_Aw3VSq5jImdpbM3hd1A#PPA2,M1