How do the old and new media influence individuals and society?

Theoretical research

This challenge aims to gather new knowledge on a topic, which contributes and adds value to the already existing knowledge on this topic.


We experience the world around us not only via our direct interactions with the surrounding but also through the lenses of the media, both old and new. Taken as a whole, the media in fact fashion the way in which we experience the world.

The new developments in the field of media have had its impact on how we communicate, express our opinions or build relationships. Moreover, the medium itself takes up a very central role in such interactions, shaping the way we receive and send information and making this process at times even more important than the information itself.

Media also more and more dictates the way we perceive the world, but also influences and changes our ideas of a universal truth, freedom and privacy. Are we governed by algorithms, and if so, is that acceptable? Media shapes the way in which we gather our information, but what truth lies in this information, and how can we prevent being fed false information, and how can we ensure journalistic freedom world-wide? And what is/should be the role of influencers and social media platforms when it comes to global issues?


The main goal of this challenge is to explore how old and new media has influenced individuals and society in the past, and how they are influencing individuals and society in the present. What threats and opportunities for our society lie in the changing media landscape? To be able to tackle complex global challenges in the near future, we need to know what the role of the media is and what their role could be.

Perspectives and possible directions

The complex questions related to the topic arise on both the micro and macro level – for example about (mental) health, environment, democracy, privacy and law, business strategies, or innovation.
This question touches upon various dimensions, including the influence of traditional and new media on child and personal development, the opportunities and threats that they represent to (young) people, or the rise of social media and other new technologies, and how they can improve the problem-solving ability of individuals and society.

The age of connectedness that we live in brings us closer to, and at the same time further from each other, and it becomes quite difficult to find our way through the abundance of the information we have access to in our “global village”. Are we not overly stimulated by the constant presence of media? This myriad of data causes the emergence of new challenges such as selective exposure due to complex search algorithms, accountability and credibility on social media, influence of media on the decision-making of the individuals etc.

How can the bonding and bridging processes created by old and new media generate information capital alongside financial and social capital? And how do these new technologies relate to the arts and the way they encourage us to reflect on society?