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Chapter 3: Historical and Cultural Context


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Chapter 3: Historical and Cultural Context

  1. 1. Chapter 3 Historical and Cultural ContextThe Impact of New Communication on Culture
  2. 2. Timeline of Communication TechnologiesThis chapter steps back and takes a broad view of media history,emphasizing major events and general trends.Seven milestones in the development of human communication: printing, telegraphand telephone, photography and motion pictures, radio and television, digital media,mobile media, and social media
  3. 3. Before Mass Communication • Language developed 200,000 years ago • Let to the development of an oral culture; dependent on the spoken word • There was a need to keep more detailed permanent and accessible records • Writing developed in Sumeria (present day Iraq) in 3500 B.C. • Developed in Egypt and China a few hundred years later • Led to the establishment of a privileged class (the literate) • Books were common in the Middle Ages • Books were constructed by Monks and scribes in the era before the printing press
  4. 4. Printing• The Chinese invented paper, and block printing (character outlines were carved into wood, and that was inked and pressed onto paper)• China and Korea experimented with movable type by the beginning of the 15th Century• In Germany, Johann Gutenberg developed a moveable type, metal printing press
  5. 5. Effects of the Gutenberg Revolution• Facilitated the development of languages across Europe (vernacular = everyday language)• Prior to this, most books were written in Latin• Information was accessible to more people, not just the financial or academically elite• Growth of literacy, communication of ideas• Sped up publication of scientific research• Dissemination of news• Technological determinism: belief that technology drives historical change
  6. 6. Conquering Space and Time: Telegraph and Telephone • Before the telegraph, carrier pigeons were the fastest way to send messages • Telegraph can send messages at 186,000 miles per second – the speed of light • Described as the “great annihilator of time and space” • Invented by Samuel Morse
  7. 7. Conquering Space and Time: Telegraph and Telephone • Cultural Impact: improved communication, conduct of war (communicating with troops, mobilization efforts), sped up communications between buyers and sellers – leading to price standardization, enhanced the newspaper’s ability to transmit news • Gov’t did not get involved with regulating use of the telegraph; that was left to private companies, most notably Western Union • Introduced the notion of the Global Village (coined by Marshall McLuhan) • Telephone allowed for voice transmission, creating even more linkage among Americans
  8. 8. Capturing the Image: Photography and Motion Pictures • Two things required to permanently store an image: a way to focus an image on a surface, and the surface must be permanently altered as a result of that exposure • 16th century: Camera Obscura • 1830s: Joseph Niepce and Louis Daguerre used silver iodide to capture images • 1890s: George Eastman and Kodak introduce the box camera
  9. 9. Capturing the Image: Photography and Motion Pictures • Matthew Brady: Civil War photographer, first to show what war looked like in a realistic way • Impact on art • New profession: Photojournalist • “Communal reservoir of images”
  10. 10. Capturing the Image: Photography and Motion Pictures
  11. 11. Capturing the Image: Photography and Motion Pictures • 1900s: Nickelodeons sprang up in cities • Long-range impact of motion pictures is mostly in the areas of entertainment • Produced cultural icons (movie stars) • Also had an impact on journalism with newsreels
  12. 12. News & Entertainment at Home: Radio and TV Broadcasting • The shift from using radio as a point-to-point form of communication (i.e. ship to ship, ship to shore) to a point-to-many type of communication surprised people • Radio was a hit; created the broadcast advertising market • Led to the creation of the Federal Communications Commission • Became a more important source of news than the newspaper
  13. 13. News & Entertainment at Home: Radio and TV Broadcasting • Helped popularize different kinds of music • Had impact on popular culture through programming • Changed the way Americans spent their free time; radio was the primary form of news and entertainment
  14. 14. News & Entertainment at Home: Radio and TV Broadcasting • TV became popular post WWII • Much is happening in American culture during the time TV comes of age; allowed these events to be experienced in people’s living rooms • Today, TV is in 99% of households • Replaced radio as the source of entertainment and news
  15. 15. The Digital Revolution • How is e-mail different from traditional mail? • Digital systems encode information in ways (binary computer code) that allow it to be transmitted instantly • The internet connects the entire globe • Convergence of media • Everyone can be a mass communicator • Impact on politics • Job creation/economic effects: creation of new industry • Impact on art/music • Digital Divide: describes the gap that exists between those with access to the internet and computing technology, and those without access.
  16. 16. The rise of the intangibles• In 2011, Amazon reported Kindle e-books were outselling print editions• Digital music sales are increasing, while the sale of CDs continues to drop (25% from 2007-2009)• Sales & rentals of DVD media are declining, while streaming media increases in popularity• Newspapers and magazines struggle in print, trying to redefine themselves for the WWW and mobile media (apps)• Direct download of games (Xbox 360, Wii, iDevices)
  17. 17. Mobile Media • Depend on wireless technology; portable; interconnected (phone and internet); blurring the distinction between mass and interpersonal communication • Accomplished surveillance function better than any other media • Everything, everywhere • Status • Mobile parenting: using mobile media to assist in family life • Time softening: how cell phones change our concept of time • Talking/texting while driving • Pervasiveness of camera phones • Expensive • “Third screen” (TV, Computer, Mobile)
  18. 18. Social Media • Telephone was the first tool for social media; connected people, enabled keeping in touch • Internet provides many more channels for socializing • Social networking sites (Facebook) create a global social neighborhood • Creating a surveillance culture • Make history more permanent (the internet is written in ink)
  19. 19. Social Media• (2000) is largely regarded as the first social network• Myspace (2005) sold to NewsCorp for $580M• Facebook began in 2004• Twitter began in 2005• People over the age of 55 are the fastest growing demographic joining Facebook
  20. 20. The Impact of New MediaThe greatest potential impact of a newinvention is not how it changes or replaces old thingsbut how it generates things thatare entirely new