Participation has gradually developed into a central concept in the contemporary media configurations. Participation through and within the multiple new media platforms has become a normative anchor point, which is used to deliberate on the directions that the new media configuration is likely to take. Before making a comparison between the old and new media in terms of participatory opportunities, it is important to note that the concept revolves along negative-relationist lines. Negative-relationist implies that the meaning of participation can only be understood if and when it is defined on the basis of comprehensive comparisons with two similar concepts- interaction and access.
In determining whether there is a difference in the participatory opportunities provided by the old and new media, one must, therefore, consider the level of interaction and access as provided by the two forms of media. The new media as defined by Manov (2015), refers to the use of computers for the distribution and exhibition of information. In detail, it is the computerization of the media culture, encompassing print books that are distributed across websites, and all the content that is provided on-demand through the use of various digital devices, with an exceptional inclusion of creative participation and interactive feedback from users. The definition by Miller (2011), is more elaborate and inclusive, identifying the new media in terms of digitality, hypertextuality, interactivity, virtuality, and dispersal.
New media is created in a digital format and disseminated in a virtual manner (over the internet). With regard to message presentation, information is broken down into small chunks before it is segmented and linked with a hyperlink. Over time, communication and media technologies have been defined in a traditional way by categorizing them using their technical features, the media systems that govern them and the content that they produce and disseminate.
These dimensions affect the manner in which participation and interaction are propagated, whether it is the new or traditional media that is under scrutiny (Manovich, 2001).
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