Understanding of the Contemporary Media Landscape

In the modern 21st century, we find that this field of information and communication is undergoing a series of changes, arising from&nbsp.various technological innovations, and forming a new setting for the access, subject matter, formatting, and interactive sessions, adding a new dimension to the socio-political world (Huntington, 1997). Under such conditions, various social movements, and revolutionary politics are able to interpose with greater force and in lesser time, within this new interactive space, leading to the convergence of the horizontal communication networks and mass media. This has led to an unparalleled shift in history, where the public sphere is fast moving away from the realms of various institutions, to this new space that mainly comprises of mass self-communication, and communication networking, through the Internet and the wireless networking modes (Klinenberg, 2007). This article will examine this new age communication space and will study to find out how the concept of networks and network society, contribute to the overall understanding of the contemporary media landscape.
What are network societies? During the 20th century, especially after the end of the Cold War era (in the 1990s), there have been phenomenal changes in the political, social, cultural and economic dimensions owing to globalisation. Leaving aside the clichéd economic and cultural domains of globalization, a look at the more general changes brought by globalisation (related to ICTs) will give us a broader perspective. In 1992, Jan van Dijk first coined the term ‘network society’&nbsp.in his book De Netwerkmaatschappij&nbsp. (van Dijk, 2005), and was later used by Manuel Castells in 1996. Castells analyses this new concept of ‘network society’ and conceptualised that such societies formed owing to certain factors:
In an interview, Castells defined the term network society as “a society where the key social structures and activities are organized around electronically processed information networks…It’s about social networks which process and manage information and are using micro-electronic&nbsp.based technologies".