New technologies are increasingly present in the media and their influence is growing. They are promoted in the media and opinions about them are varied.
The influence of new technologies
Today, new technologies have an impact on all aspects of our consumption and daily life. There are many benefits to be gained from them and we need to ensure that we make the most of these tools. Social networks and online platforms have created new buying behaviours: the ubiquity of technology has changed our consumption habits including the way we interact with brands and companies. Data show that no aspect of consumers’ daily life escapes this anymore. Whether it is mobility, health, housing or communication between consumers, digitalisation is unavoidable.
The importance of the media in the dissemination and promotion of new technologies
In this technological universe, the media inevitably act as informers sharing knowledge and even as influencers and are often the first to announce the emergence of new technologies and to present them to the public by providing a critical and objective analysis. They have a growing interest in these innovations and are progressively integrating new technologies into their content, presenting them as one of the main stakes of our times.
The media are therefore a key element in the dissemination of technological information on a large scale and thus contribute to promoting its use among the general public. As such, they can help to raise awareness of these new solutions and their importance in today’s world. In addition, the media also act as a catalyst for innovation and help inspire new ideas and solutions.
The media can help to change attitudes and negative perceptions that some people may have towards these innovations. By presenting new technologies in a positive light, the media can create excitement and demand for these new solutions: by highlighting examples of new technologies and thus encouraging consumers to adopt these solutions.
How are they reflected in the media?
In Belgium, we have been observing that the media coverage of technologies represents 3% of the information currently consumed in the national press. Unlike the media, nearly one Belgian out of three shows interest in technology. While some are enthousiastic about these innovations and their potential, others are concerned about the negative consequences they could have. The reflection of new technologies in the media can be seen as a mixture of positive representations and excessive fears. The media have a great responsibility in the way they present these new technologies, considering their advantages as well as their disadvantages.
What does the public think?
From a fine analysis based on Belgian media agendas and the interests of the Belgian public linked to new technologies, we measured the interest in that domain and analysed its evolution and related stakeholders. We have therefore been able to evaluate the scope of influence this domain can exert on other interests or significant societal stakes. New technologies can therefore help to understand and address these issues in different ways, providing the tools to better design and solve the challenges we face today. They can also help promote transparency and accountability and encourage citizens to engage in the democratic process.