The future of the media

The future of the media – slow progress in merging of old and new media

The future of the media is characterised by the relationship between the new media (Internet, PC, mobile phones, games consoles) and the old media (TV, radio, newspapers, books).

The Foundation’s analyses show a two-tier society. While the digital natives – the generations that have grown up with the new digital technologies – use the new media much more frequently, the older generations are still very reticent. The level of usage by both generations differs accordingly. Because of the demographic composition of the German population, this divide will continue to be a feature of the media world until 2030. This means that despite increasing Internet usage at all stages of life, the TV era is not over – the television remains the dominant medium.

The Foundation’s studies also show that the majority of German citizens fear being overwhelmed by the media in their daily life. A permanent media presence and the constant flow of information account for the increasing difficulty that people have in subdividing the content into “important” and “unimportant”. The studies also reveal the ambivalence that is felt about constant accessibility, which is considered by some to be progress in everyday life, but by others to be a constraint.

Media literacy will be a fundamental feature of education in the future – training should be provided not only to convey a technical understanding of the devices involved but also to raise awareness of how individuals and society use the various media. In order to bridge the gap between the young online generation and the old offline generation, cognitive skills will have to be improved and Internet-specific social engineering will have to be taught.

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