chapter
Introduction: Did Somebody Say New Media?
Pages 10

The term "new media" came into prominence in the mid-1990s, usurping the place of "multimedia" in the fields of business and art. Unlike its predecessor, the term "new media" was not accommodating: it portrayed other media as old or dead; it converged rather than multiplied; it did not efface itself in favor of a happy if redundant plurality.3 The singular plurality of the phrase ("new media" is a plural noun treated as a singular subject) stemmed from its negative definition: it was not mass media, specifically television. It was fluid, individualized connectivity, a medium to distribute control and freedom. Although new media depended heavily on computerization, new media was not simply "digital media": that is, it was not digitized forms of other media (photography, video, text), but rather an interactive medium or form of distribution as independent as the information it relayed.