Information Communications Technology

ICT is an acronym, which represents Information Communications Technology. ICT has been defined as an umbrella term, which is inclusive of any form of communication device or application, and often encompass the radio, handsets, satellite systems, and television network among others (Webb & Cox, 2004). It also encompasses a set of other applications and services associated with the above-mentioned communication devices including distance learning and videoconferencing. The present paper will focus on two contemporary ICTs namely the internet and television. As such, the paper will seek to identify the form of information that is usually generated through the use of these two Information Communications Technology. Additionally, the study will discuss the various forms of surveillance, which is facilitated by these interactive media, as well as, the issues of control over personal information and privacy in these contexts.

  1. Information generated through the use of the two Information Communications Technology
    • Internet

Internet defines a worldwide system constituted of interconnected computer networks, which links billions of devices across the world using the standard internet protocol suite. The form of information generated through the internet is commonly acknowledged as user-generated content. Abbreviated as UGC, User generated content defines any form of information including posts, blogs, podcasting, discussion forums, audio files, digital images tweets, chats, and visual files, among others. Such forms of information are usually created by the users of a particular online or internet-based system or service. In most cases, user generated content is delivered through internet platforms including Websites and Social Media. According to Fuchs, Boersma, Albrechtslund and Sandoval (2013), user generated content is used for a broad scope of applications. These include gossip, problem processing, research, along with gossip. Aside from his, as Krumm, Davies and Narayanaswami (2008) added, user generated content tends to reflect on the extension of media production, mostly through newer technologies, which are not only affordable but also accessible to the general public.

According to Fuchs, Boersma, Albrechtslund and Sandoval (2013), aside from the said technologies, as mentioned above, UGC may also entail a combination of a number of related arrangements such as open source, flexible licensing and free software. The aim of these is often to ensure that barriers to discovery, collaboration and skill-building.

As stated previously in this text, there are several types of user generated content. Foremost is internet forums through which users discuss about a diverse range of topics. The second form of UGC is blogs, which have been defined as services where people are allowed to post regarding any topic. The most essential blog services include WordPress, Blogger, alongside Tumblr. Wikis are also a form of UGC. These are mostly used by anonymous individuals where they can edit or make changes. Good accounts of these are Wikia and Wikipedia. Social networking sites such as Face-book and Twitter is also a form of UGC. Using these, users often interact through messaging, chatting or posting links and images.

  • Television

As a contemporary ICT, a range of information is generated through using television. However, of central importance is news. News is a term commonly used for describing any newly received or noteworthy information, mostly regarding recent of events of importance. News is usually generated by television broadcasters through journalists, with a good example being the BBC.  Each day, journalists look into issues, make sense out of them and then report as comprehensive stories in a way that informs the audience. According to Mantei, et. al. (2009), the most interesting news is usually reported first. However, journalists tend to follow a four step criteria in order to determine which event or information is to be classified as news.

These include whether or not it is new, if it is unusual, if it is of significance or interesting, and whether it is about people. Where the information is not new, it cannot be classified under news. Additionally, information or a given happening has to be unusual in its attribute. While this is the case, what is usual in one society might be unusual in another. Therefore, news contents vary from one society to another. A further consideration is whether an event or information is interesting. According to Mantei, et. al. (2009), events that are new and have an unusual characteristic might not be of general interest.

However, if an event is likely to interest different people, it fits within the said criteria. However, the event must be of great concern due to its nature of effects. For instance, of a given phenomenon has an effect on a huge number of people, it is significant. Onto the last criteria, an event qualifies to be acknowledged as news if it has a direct or indirect effect on people (Webb & Cox, 2004).

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