We are probably living in more of a "communications age" than a "new media age". according to Joanne Jacobs in this article Media on Demand . She provides a great perspective on the evolution of communication. Some exerpts:
In the 20th century, mainstream print and electronic media was generally regarded as the primary source of news, entertainment and community information for audiences with access to those media technologies. The reception of such information was generally a passive process, with only limited opportunities for audience contribution to programming or column content - talkback radio and letters to the editor making up the majority of that contribution.
From its unsteady beginnings, broadcast radio moved from an amateur-driven frontier of two-way and narrowcast communication, to a glorious explosion of FM quality sound, barking out station after station of virtually the same style of music (and the occasional public broadcasting classical music and ethnic station). Television too, rose from the ashes of radio plays, to rig quiz shows and present variety, comedy and drama programs with regular monotony; the seasons of programs lasting longer and longer until the actors playing high school kids were nearly old enough to start claiming superannuation by the time the series ended.
And my favorite -
US marketing consultant, Will Seccombe, noted last year that even a semi-interested person will rarely come across a story in the morning newspaper that they have not already heard about either from broadcast media or from their ritual pre-breakfast surfing of the Internet. But increasingly, semi-interested persons will probably also have made comments to blogs on news stories of interest long before they read the still "definitive" commentary presented in the traditional print press.