Old media are the mass media institutions that predominated prior to the Information Age; particularly print media, film studios, music studios, advertising agencies, radio broadcasting, and television.
Old media institutions are centralized and communicate with one-way technologies to a (generally anonymous) mass audience. New media computer technologies are interactive and comparatively decentralized; they enable people to telecommunicate with one another. The defining telecommunications network of the Information Age is the Internet.
The advent of New Communication Technology (NCT) has brought forth a set of opportunities and challenges for conventional media. The presence of new media and the Internet in particular, has posed a challenge to conventicommuonal media,especially the printed newspaper. Analysts in industrial organizations and businesses are of the view that the U.S. newspaper industry is suffering through what could be its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Advertising revenues are tumbling due to the severe economic downturn, while readership habits are changing as consumers turn to the Internet for free news and information. Some major newspaper chains are burdened by heavy debts. As in the past, major newspapers have declared bankruptcy as several big city papers shut down,lay off reporters and editors, impose pay reductions, cut the size of the physical newspaper, or turn to Web-only publication (Kirchhoff, 2009). The new media have also affected the way newspapers get and circulate their news. Since 1999, almost 90% of daily newspapers in the United States have been actively using online technologies to search for articles and most of them also create their own news websites to reach new markets.
Some observers believe that the challenges faced by conventional media, especially newspapers, has to do with the perfect storm of the global economic crisis, dwindling readership and advertising dollars, and the inability of newspapers to monetize their online efforts. Newspapers, especially in the West and the US in particular, have lost the lion's share of classified advertisement to the Internet. The situation worsened when a depressed economy forced more readers to cancel their newspaper subscriptions, and business firms to cut their advertising budget as part of the overall cost-cutting measurements. As a result, closures of newspapers, bankruptcy, job cuts and salary cuts are widespread. This has made some representatives of the US newspaper industry seek some sort of bailout from the government by allowing U.S. newspapers to recoup taxes they paid on profits earlier this decade to help offset some of their current losses. This is what they put forward to the Joint Committee of Congress (The Star Online, September 2009). Accusations are being hurled at search engines giants by publishers such as Sir David Bell, who categorically accused Google and Yahoo of “stealing” the contents of newspapers. A similar allegation came from media mogul Rupert Murdoch in early April 2009. "Should we be allowing Google to steal all our copyrights?" asked the News Corp.Chief. Likewise, Sam Zell, owner of the Tribune Company that publishes the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun claimed it was the newspapers in America who allowed Google to steal their contents for nothing, but asked without the contents what would Google do, and how profitable would Google be?