The term “digital media” refers to any communication that can be stored on a format that can be read by a machine, such as a computer. Digital media is a new and expanding format, encompassing a diverse range of items such as computer software, digital images, digital video, digital audio (mp3) web pages, and e-books. Digital media differs greatly from print media, in that there is often no physical object, only what appears on a screen. Digital media has changed publishing, journalism, entertainment, politics and education irrevocably.
The first digital computers were invented in the late 1940s, using binary code to process information. Since then, the power of computers has grown exponentially. Many personal computers and even smartphones have greater computing capacity than the first computers. These devices have the ability to create, store, and share digital media. Many pundits believe that the digital media revolution, combining the Internet with personal computers, is as important as the invention of the printing press.
Digital media has the advantage of being easy to share without loss of quality. However, this has led to significant changes in some industries, especially journalism, which is seeing the rapid decline of print newspapers in favor of online versions. Digital media allows almost everyone to be involved in the creation of content distributed across the Internet.