Legacy and Digital Media: how do they relate?

Featured Image, Tablet use 1 by ebayink (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The relationships between legacy and digital media have similarities and differences. Both media areas embody social customs and relationships within its audiences and society as we can identify this between the two (Stewart & Kowaltzke 2008, p. 3).
The relationships and key characteristics vary, yet there are distinguishable concepts between both media areas.

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 12.06.20 am.png
Dad’s Radio by Alan Levine (CC BY 2.0)

So what is Legacy Media? Legacy media or traditional media, which can be seen and identified as mass media, includes television, movies, radio, and all media objects analogue. These platforms generally reach out to large number of audiences, yet disburse the media information differently to new digital media (Stewart & Kowaltzke 2008, p. 2). Where as digital media loosely refers to computerised digital based media, which can be applied to a range of new textual forms such as entertainment pleasures, patterns within the media, consumption, convergence, and new ways of representing the world (Chandler & Munday 2011, p. 293).

The cultural role within legacy and digital media shows that its audience is a large aspect of both areas. As stated by Stewart & Kowaltzke, ‘…the media are now among the most important communicators about culture’ (2008, p. 2-3). The cultural role both media groups have to play is important on today’s society, as they are the ‘…agents of socialisation’ (2008, p. 2-3).

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 12.11.22 am.png
Socialising by The Open University (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Another relationship between the two is the political role in which the media supplies to its audience. Whether democratic or non-democratic, legacy media and digital media both include the importance of political roles within society. As the media groups supply information for debate, they allow for the governments to exercise power as they have easy access to the media, and they also promote social changes and new ideas (Stewart & Kowaltzke 2008, p. 2). The economic role within the media areas is also an important part in which both legacy and digital media promotes (2008, p. 2-3). The economic role within both legacy and digital media also shows relationships between the two, as developments between media groups have increased showing its importance of the media overall within the economy (2008, p. 2).

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 12.17.55 am.png
Magazines by lisaclarke (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The key characteristics between the two are quite distinguishable, as legacy media can be seen as analogue media; newspapers, magazines, radios, television. Yet, before the pre-digital word, legacy media was a slower form of media which took a lot more time and effort into many different aspects of life; work, social lives and entertainment were all impacted by this process as new advanced digital media had not been produced yet.

After the distribution of digital media took place in society, it was then carried and used by everyone, everywhere, as ‘…digital devices are now commonplace, part of the everyday of most people’ as sated by Hirst and Harrison (2007, p. 234). Digital media is socially embedded in our daily lives as we rely on the ease of access of digital media for constant information and everyday needs. Digital media allows us to have wide opportunities compared to its counter path, legacy media. As digital media gives us the opportunity to technologically advance with the times. The possibilities of digital media, allows us to be everywhere at once. The virtual and social aspects of digital media also allows us to share interests and to collaborate with anyone, anywhere quickly.

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 12.21.37 am.png
Learn Digital Media by MyEyeSees (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The many technological advances of digital media allows society to advance digitally throughout the century, as stated by Cinque, new media has ‘…revolutionised the way we communicate’ (2015, p. 9). The launch of social networking within digital media makes it easy for us to work more efficiently and flexibly, as well as giving us the convenience of being able to work and communicate anywhere at any given time (2015, p. 9).
New digital media can also keep us up to date with news, sports and events through a click of a button- with ease of access (Stewart & Kowaltzke 2008, p. 2-3).

Throughout more than two centuries, traditional, or also known as legacy media had been mostly defined by geography, and had been limited by cultural and political boundaries. Where as new digital media has now distributed ideas, opportunities and choice that have opened up new possibilities for digital media for development of economy, government, work, entertainment and leisure. All of the new innovative methods of communication has meant massive change for traditional and legacy media (Cinque 2015, p. 9). Information between legacy and digital media is valuable as it ‘…contributes to the ongoing evolution of an information society or information economy and its key technologies and applications’ as stated by Cinque in the textbook Changing Media Landscapes (2015, p. 17).

So, what media platform do you prefer? Will you continue using legacy media? Or will you advance (if you haven’t already) to new digital media?

The choice is yours!



Stewart, C, & Kowaltzke 2008, A., ‘Media New Ways and Meanings’, 3rd

Chandler, D, & Munday, R 2011, ‘Dictionary of Media and Communication’, 1st ed, Oxford University Press.

Cinque, T., 2015, ‘What is ‘Media’, and is Digital Media ‘New’?’, Digital Media and Everyday Life, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne

Cinque, T., 2015, ‘Changing Media Landscapes: Visual Networking’, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne

Hirst, M., Harrison, J, 2007, ‘Communication and New Media’, Oxford University Press, New York

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: