IOT: Powering the digital economy

Five technological innovations that have revolutionized the media

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As technology drives change, the tools that we use to consume, create and share information are constantly evolving.

In 2018, for instance, we're more likely to find out about a breaking news story via a website than a newspaper.

Here, CNBC looks at five innovations and ideas that have helped to transform the media sector.

Gutenberg's printing press

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In the 15th century, German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg developed a process of printing with movable metal type.

The technique revolutionized the way information was disseminated, allowing publications to be produced on a large scale and quickly.

Gutenberg's work had a huge cultural impact, especially in Europe. The Gutenberg Bible, for example, is described by the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library as epitomizing "the great advances made in printing technology in the 15th century."


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At their best, newspapers play an important role in keeping their readers informed and speaking truth to power.

Their history can be traced back many hundreds of years. In England, for example, the first known newsletter there, "Requests of the Devonshyre and Cornyshe Rebelles," dates back to 1549, according to the News Media Association. "The Daily Courant," a regular daily newspaper, was launched in 1702.

With circulations falling, and some quarters increasingly suspicious of traditional media, newspapers are going through a tricky time. How they adapt to an increasingly fluid media landscape will be an interesting story to follow.


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Today, hundreds of millions — if not billions — of people use the radio to keep informed about goings-on in the world, listen to music, and be entertained.

Hourly and half-hourly news bulletins, combined with programs on a host of topics, from sports to culture and cookery to comedy, mean that the radio is arguably still as relevant today as it was in the years before podcasts, the web and streaming.

The internet and world wide web

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The past 20 years or so have seen a dramatic shift in the industry, as newspapers and news organizations have moved to publish stories both online and in print.

People no longer need to rely on physical newspapers for their news. They can visit a website and in an instant get informed about the latest developments.

In this new reality, a newspaper that goes to press on a Monday night could well contain out-of-date information by the time it hits the shelves of stores on a Tuesday morning.


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As recently as 15 years ago, the idea of getting all of our news from a small, light device that fits inside our pockets would have seemed fanciful.

Yet for many of us, our smartphone is the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we check at night.

Whether it's via our favorite news site or social media, the dissemination of information via these devices has revolutionized the way we find out about major events.