This is a€?Media, Technology, and Communicationa€?, chapter 15 from the book A Primer on Communication Studies (v.
This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book.
PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. DonorsChoose.org helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. We live in a media-saturated world and rely on a variety of old and new media for information, entertainment, and connection. Summarize the technological advances of the print, audiovisual, and Internet and digital media ages. As we trace the development of different forms of mass media, take note of how new technologies and competition among various media formats have made media messages more interpersonal and personalized.
The printing press and subsequent technological advances related to paper manufacturing and distribution led to the establishment of print as the first mass medium.
The German blacksmith and printer Johannes Gutenberg, often cited as the inventor of the printing press, didna€™t actually invent much, as most of the technology needed to print, such as movable type, already existed and had been in use for many years. Increasing literacy rates in Europe in the two centuries before Gutenberg undoubtedly contributed to the success of his printing efforts, since literacy creates a market for printed texts. The explosion of printing following 1450 definitely proves that print was the first mass medium. The printing and distribution of books led to cultural transformation, just as radio, television, and the Internet did. These numbers show that the book industry is still generating much revenue, but books, like other forms of media, have had to adapt to changing market forces and technologies. NewspapersThe first medium to serve as the chronicle of daily life in our society, providing regular coverage of events, both historic and mundane, and allowing us to learn about current events outside of our community and country., more than books, serve as the chronicle of daily life in our society, providing regular coverage of events, both historic and mundane, and allowing us to learn about current events outside of our community and country.
1982.USA Today is launched, which challenges long-standing newspaper publishing norms and adopts a more visual style. Newspapers have faced many challenges in recent decadesa€”namely, the increase of Internet-based news, leading to a major decline in revenue and readers. Although newspapers were the first record of daily life in the United States, magazinesThe first national mass medium, reaching people all over the growing United States of the late 1700s and into the 1800s. Magazine publishers had a difficult time finding success, since postal carriers either refused to deliver magazines because of their weight or charged high postage rates that limited subscribers. The high cost of transportation and delivery made magazine subscriptions unaffordable for most people, and the content consisted mostly of stories reprinted from newspapers with the occasional essay on the arts or current events. While television forced magazines to adapt to an increasingly popular visual medium, radio and magazines coexisted relatively well. The origins of sound-based mass media, radio in particular, can be traced primarily to the invention and spread of the telegraph.Richard Campbell, Christopher R. As the telegraph was taking off around the world, the physicist Heinrich Hertz began to theorize about electromagnetic energy, which is measurable physical energy in the atmosphere that moves at light speed. Although the wireless telegraph machine was the forerunner to radio broadcasting, its inventor did not envision the possibility of sending speech or music instead of Morse code.
After Marconi, the road to radio broadcast and sound-based mass media was relatively short, as others quickly expanded on his work. As the technology became more practical and stable, businesses and governments began to see the value in expanding these devices from primarily a point-to-point or person-to-person application to a one-to-many application. Sarnoffa€™s plan to make radio a centerpiece of nearly every US American household was successful, and the still relatively new medium of sound transmission was on its way to becoming the primary means of entertainment and information for many.
The 1920s boom in radio created problems as radio waves became so crowded that nearly every radio had poor or sporadic reception.
Although not a mass medium, ancient Greek theater as a visual medium was critiqued for its content much like movies and television have been in more modern times.
Plato decried the fact that playwrights seemed to focus their plots on the most unpleasant and unrefined aspects of society, such as lust, greed, and violence. As with the birth of any mass medium, technological advances had to take place to move us from interpersonal or group engagement with visual media to mass engagement. As was the case with radio, several people were simultaneously working to expand the technology that would soon be known as television. Televisiona€™s initial success as a mass medium came largely from formats and programming strategies already tested and used by radio stations. Televisiona€™s rising popularity and its effect on other forms of entertainment are documented in many ways. During the golden age of television, the major networks aired very similar types of programs, all aimed at gaining higher ratings and audience shares than the others. Since the major networks broadcast to the whole country and the three options (NBC, CBS, and ABC) needed programming that appealed to mass audiences, television producers and executives were sometimes reluctant to stray from proven models of success.
Cable and satellite television offered customers many more channel choices, for a fee, and forced broadcast networks to rethink their programming and business model. Network and broadcast television was forever changed by the growth of cable and satellite technology. For the past few years, cable companies have grown increasingly nervous about a new trend in television-viewing habits. Do you think cable and satellite companies have a future in providing television programming?
The a€?Internet and digital media ageThe period extending from 1990 until today that has seen the explosion of digital, computer-networked media.a€? began in 1990 and continues today. Just as technological advances made radio and television possible, the Internet would not have been possible without some key breakthroughs. The information that speeds around us through fiber-optic cables, satellites, and wireless signals is made up of binary codea€”also called digital code because it is made up of zeros and ones. The birth of the Internet can be traced back to when government scientists were tasked with creating a means of sharing information over a network that could not be interrupted, accidentally or intentionally. A major source of revenue generated by the Internet goes to Internet service providers (ISPs), who charge customers for Internet access. Many others make money from the web through traditional exchanges of goods or services for money or by selling space to advertisers.
The a€?Getting Reala€? boxes in this book have focused on how the concepts we are learning relate to specific careers. Less conventional means of monetizing the web involve harnessing the power of social media. How do you think your friends would react if you started posting messages that were meant to make you money rather than connect with them? Do you have a talent, service, or area of expertise that you think you could spin into some sort of profit using social or digital media? What are some potential ethical challenges that might arise from celebrities using their social media sites for monetary gain?
Internet access is also following people away from their home and work computers, just as radio followed people into their cars.
See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.
However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. The beginnings of mass media and mass communication go back 560 years to the a€?print revolutiona€? that occurred in Europe in the fifteenth century. While our interpersonal interactions are direct, our interactions with mass media messages are indirect, as they require technology or a a€?third partya€? to facilitate the connection. In short, the mass media that served large segments of the population with limited messages evolved into micromedia that serve narrow interest groups.Charles C.
In fact, the mass reproduction and distribution of texts began in East Asia around 700 CE, more than 700 years before Gutenberg, as the Chinese used a wood-block printing method to mass produce short Buddhist texts.Marshall T. The impact of the printing press, as introduced to Europe by Gutenberg starting with his first printing shop in 1439, should not be underestimated.
BooksThe earliest form of communication to be distributed to the masses, which led to significant cultural and social transformation. The rise of literacy and the availability of literature, religious texts, dictionaries, and other reference books allowed people to learn things for themselves, distinguish themselves from others by what they read and what they knew, and figuratively travel beyond their highly localized lives to other lands and time periods.
Technological advances in the manufacturing of paper and cheaper materials for binding booksa€”for example, using cloth covers instead of leathera€”helped reduce the cost of books. Whereas local bookstores used to be the primary means by which people acquired new and used books, the expansion of chain bookstores and the advent of online book purchasing have led to a dramatic decline in local and independent booksellers.
While radio, television, and online news serve that function for most people now, newspapers were the first mass medium to collect and disseminate such information. James Franklin, Benjamin Franklina€™s older brother, publishes the New England Courant in Boston, which caters to business and political leaders.
Benjamin Franklin runs the Pennsylvania Gazette, which is well respected for the quality of its contents and also generates revenue through advertisements. Benjamin Day, founder of the New York Sun, changes the pricing, distribution, and content of newspapers by cutting the cost of the paper to one penny per issue and selling them individually on the streets and through vendors rather than through subscriptions, which are cost prohibitive for many people. The Associated Press is formed when six New York City papers agree to share incoming information from dispatched reporters and other news sources far away.
Many newspapers practice a€?yellow journalisma€? to be competitive, meaning they publish sensational news items like scandals and tragedies and use attention-getting (in terms of size and wording) headlines to attract customers. The Village Voice is published in Greenwich Village, New York, which marks the beginning of the rise of underground and alternative newspapers. The size, layout, use of color and images, and content is designed to attract a new newspaper audience, one used to watching television news. In recent years major papers like the Rocky Mountain News have gone out of business completely, and others like the Seattle Post Intelligencer have switched to online-only formats. The Saturday Evening Post is founded and becomes the longest-published magazine in the United States and the first general-interest magazine to be successfully marketed to a national audience.
The first womena€™s magazine, Ladiesa€™ Magazine, is founded and marks the beginning of the trend toward targeting women as a distinct audience. Magazines pioneer the use of images in printed texts, reproducing high-quality illustrations and sketches, though not photographs. The Nation is published, which focuses on political opinion and caters toward a more educated and liberal readership. As television explodes as the new mass medium of choice, national magazines lose advertisers to the new audiovisual medium.
Magazines adapt to changing times by devoting pages or entire publications to the covering of television and movies. But the clash between print, audio, and visual media in the early 1900s marks an interesting time in the history of mass media.
Although Hertz proved the existence of this energy all around us in the atmosphere, it was up to later inventors and thinkers to turn this potential into a mass medium.John R. As is often the case with rapid technological advancement, numerous experiments and public demonstrations of radio technologya€”some more successful than othersa€”were taking place around the same time in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It wasna€™t until 1916 that David Sarnoff, a former Marconi telegraph operator, proposed making radio a household necessity. With the technology now accessible, other key elements of radio as a mass medium like stations, content, financing, audience identification, advertising, and competition began to receive attention. First noncommercial radio station goes on the air at the University of Wisconsina€“Madison. KDKA, the station often credited as signaling the beginning of the age of commercial broadcast radio, receives financial backing from Westinghouse (a major company) and gains much national attention for airing election returns following the 1920 presidential election. The first broadcasting network is created by New York station WEAF to give advertisers a discount and allow them to reach a larger audience at once. More than 600 commercial and noncommercial radio stations are in operation and about 550,000 radio receivers have been sold to US consumers. 5.5 million radios are now in use in the United States, making radio a powerful mass medium. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the largest radio network, begins to form affiliate relationships with independent stations that will broadcast NBCa€™s content to supplement their own programming (a practice that is still used today by radio and television networks).
25a€“30 million people listen to a a€?welcome home partya€? for Charles Lindbergh, who had just completed the first solo transatlantic flight, making it the largest shared audience experience in history until that point. The Radio Act of 1927 and the Federal Communications Act of 1934 helped establish some order and guidelines for frequency use and created a policy that stated any broadcaster using the now government-owned airwaves had to act in the publica€™s interest. For at least 140,000 years, humans have been entertained and informed by watching and listening to the things going on around them.Marshall T. What Plato may not have realized was that the Greek playwrights were continuing a theme that started with the earliest producers of visual media.
In the 1830s, the technologies needed to create photographs were put together in Europe, and photos were in regular circulation by the 1840s. The earliest television was mechanical, meaning that it had to be turned or moved rather than relying on electronics. The cathode ray tube is invented, which serves as the basic picture tube for later televisions.
Vladimir Zworykin develops the iconoscope, the first television camera tube capable of converting light rays into electrical signals.
Public demonstrations of television capture the attention of people around the world, culminating in the famous demonstration of television by RCA at the 1939 Worlda€™s Fair.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopts standards for television transmissions that help commercialize and turn television into a mass medium.
From the perspective of successful radio stations, television stole the best ideas from radio, including prime-time programming and show ideas and even the stars of the shows. For example, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, cities with television stations saw a drop in nightclub attendance, radio listening, and library book circulation, as well as a 20 to 40 percent drop in movie ticket sales.Richard Campbell, Christopher R. The typical lineup of sitcoms, hour-long dramas, news programs, sketch comedy and variety shows, and soap operas persisted from the 1950s until the 1980s. There is a generation of television viewers that grew up on free broadcast television, didna€™t get cable or satellite when they became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and still doesna€™t pay for television and never will. Whereas media used to be defined by their delivery systems, digital mediaMedia similarly constructed with digital, binary code made up of ones and zeros.
The InternetA decentralized communications and information network that relies on the transmission of digital signals through cables, phone lines, and satellites, which are then relayed through network servers, modems, and computer processors.
More than thirty years ago, those government scientists created an Internet that was much different from what we think of as the Internet today.
The US Defense Departmenta€™s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) begins to develop a communications network called ARPAnet (a€?the Neta€? for short) with numerous points of connection (rather than a message coming from one place and going to many) for military and research use that was not as vulnerable to failure related to a technical malfunction, natural disaster, or planned attack. The Net is in its developmental stage, being used primarily by academic and government researchers to send text-based information using e-mail and bulletin boards.
The Net is in its entrepreneurial stage after an investment by the National Science Foundation is used to create a high-speed communications network with connection points all across the country. The Net has now developed to the point that pictures, video, and sound (in addition to text) can be transmitted.


Web 2.0 is realized as the Internet use becomes more social and communal, as evidenced by the popularity of such platforms and websites as Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Facebook that encourage and enable the creation and sharing of user-generated content.
The majority of the content was user generated and the programs needed to create and navigate online content were in the public domain. These methods of commerce are not new for any mass media, as they were used in print, radio, and television. Although you might not make a whole career out of being a web entrepreneur, many people are turning to the Internet as an extra source of income. Smartphones and the development of cell phone networks capable of handling data traffic allowed cell phone providers to profit from the web. The development of the printing press in Europe around 1450 was the key technological advance that moved us from the manuscript era to the print era. The development of digital code, microprocessors, and fiber-optic cables were key technological advances that made the Internet and digital communication possible.
Books allowed people to educate themselves and be more selective about the information to which they were exposed rather than relying solely on teachers or clergy.
You may also download a PDF copy of this book (291 MB) or just this chapter (22 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). As we progressed through the centuries, mass communication evolved from a mechanical process to electronic transmission, which paved the way for the digitized world of today. As youa€™ll recall from Chapter 1 "Introduction to Communication Studies", mass communication involves transmitting messages to many people through print or electronic media. And despite the advent of many other forms of mass media, print is still important as a channel for information and as an industry. Of course, before writing emerged as a form of expression, humans drew cave paintings and made sculptures, pottery, jewelry, and other forms of visual expression. His press helped usher in the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution that swept Europe during the 1600s. Before this, people relied on storytellers, clergy, teachers, or other leaders for information.
The first regularly (weekly) published newspaper emerged in Paris in 1631, and others popped up in Florence, Rome, and Madrid over the next few decades. Its content is not timely, since its focus on European events means the information is weeks to months old by the time it is published.
The Sun focuses more on a€?human-interest stories,a€? which attracts readers and begins a surge of other competing a€?penny papersa€? using a similar model. The New York Times begins to distance itself from yellow journalism and helps to usher in a period of more factual and rigorous reporting and a split between objective and tabloid publications that begins in the early 1900s and continues today.
Although online news sites have been around for years, this marks the beginning of the rise of Internet-based news gathering and reporting by people with little to no training in or experience with journalism. Although the reach of magazines made them the first national medium, they were generally unsuccessful, and the content of the early magazines was not highly regarded. At the time, magazines devoted more content to important issues such as slavery and womena€™s right to vote.Richard Campbell, Christopher R. Although they generate some revenue through advertising, they still face financial struggles. For example, literary magazines feature the writing of people like Mark Twain and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and magazines focus on specific professions or topics such as farming, law, education, or science. This, along with improvements in rail transportation and mass-production printing, leads to a surge in the number of magazines and the number of subscribers. The early 1900s sees a rise in investigative journalism that goes into much more depth than newspaper coverage. Audiences (now viewers instead of readers) turn to nightly news programs to follow the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, and the Vietnam War.
The growth and spread of print as a mass medium took hundreds of years, which seems like an eternity when compared to the spread of audiovisual media.
This rapid overlapping development has created debate over who first accomplished particular feats. He suggested that his new employer, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), invest in a household radio that contained all the necessary parts in one box.
Charles David Herrold in San Jose, California, which he primarily uses to advertise for his new School of Radio.
As reception became more reliable, programming content became more diverse to include news, dramas, comedies, music, and quiz shows, among others, and radio entered its a€?golden age.a€? During the 1930s and 1940s, the radio was the center of most US American familiesa€™ living rooms. The drawings, paintings, sculptures, and plays produced until that point shared some human themesa€”namely, sex, food, drink, wealth, and violence. By the late 1800s, photographs could be mass-produced and included in existing print-based mass media like books, newspapers, and magazines. In 1884, Paul Nipkow invented a mechanical television-like device that could project a visual image of the then famous Felix the Cat. Paul Nipkow invents a scanning disk that separates a picture into small pinpoints of light that can be transmitted line by line and decoded to recreate a rough (low-resolution by the standards of early television) image. At the same time, Philo Farnsworth patents an electronic image dissector tube and John Baird improves on Nipkowa€™s disk. For example, the radio show Candid Microphone became the television show Candid Camera, and radio stars like George Burns became even larger television stars.Richard Campbell, Christopher R. In terms of information, the three big networks viewed their nightly news programs as flagships that helped establish their credibility as a network and helped attract a loyal viewer base.
During this thirty-year period, the three main networks accounted for 95 percent of prime-time viewership, which meant that almost everyone in the country watching television was watching one of these three networks.Richard Campbell, Christopher R. Until the early 1970s, the major networks had lobbied the FCC to control and regulate cable television to reduce the potential for competition. Although the number of television households in the cord-cutter category increased by approximately one million in 2011, they still only account for about 5 percent of total television households.
Market analysts note that this segment of the market is elderly and will not be around for much longer.
As we have learned in this chapter already, many forms of media have to adapt as technologies change and competition increases. The original Internet was used as a means of sharing information among researchers, educators, and government officials.
The main problem was that there wasna€™t a common language that all computers could recognize and use to communicate and connect. Bulletin boards contained information on specific topics such as computer programs, historical events, and health issues.Richard Campbell, Christopher R.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s brings an end to the military uses of ARPAnet.
The rapid growth of the Internet during this time is something that none of the developers could have imagined.
This fusing of free access to information and user creativity still forms the basis of digital a€?new mediaa€? that are much more user controlled and personal.
Interestingly, old media providers like cable companies (who were competing against satellite companies) and phone companies (who were also struggling after the growth of cell phone and e-mail communication) are the largest providers of high-speed Internet access.
Online auction sites like eBay and online stores like Amazon simply moved a traditional commercial exchange to the realm of cyberspace. People have been making money off the web for decades now, but sites like eBay really opened peoplea€™s eyes, for the first time, to the possibility of spinning something you already have or already do into some extra cash.
The convergence of the Internet with personal electronics like smartphones and the use of the Internet for social purposes are key parts of the discussion of personal media and social media that we will take up in Chapter 16 "New Media and Communication". As paper and bookbinding materials became cheaper, books spread around the world and literacy rates increased. Advances in signal transmission and reception as well as vacuum tube technology made televisions and radios more reliable and compact. Rapid developments around 1990, such as the creation of HTTP and HTML coding and Internet browsers, created what we know today as the World Wide Web. Newspapers chronicled the daily life of societies and provided a public forum for information sharing and debate. While technological advances are an important part of the narrative regarding media, the effects of media are also important to consider.
While talking to someone about a movie you just watched is interpersonal communication, watching the Academy Awards on a network or in clips on the Internet is mass communication. Gaylord, and Thelma Gaylord, a€?The Evolution of Mass Communication Theory in the 20th Century,a€? The Romanian Review of Journalism and Communication 6, no.
The spread of writing, however, as a means of documenting philosophy, daily life, government, laws, and business transactions was a necessary precursor to the print revolution.
However, Gutenberga€™s use of a press to mash the paper against the typeset, as opposed to the Chinese method of manually rubbing the paper against the typeset, made the process faster and more effective. This spread was aided by aristocratic and religious leaders who turned to the printing press as a way to both spread Christian thought and seek to improve society by educating individuals. In this way, people may only be exposed to a few sources of information throughout their lives and the information conveyed by these sources could be limited and distorted.
These books, also called pulp fiction, had content that was appealing to mass audiences who enjoyed dramatic, short fiction stories. Traditional journalists criticize this practice, but such news outlets attract millions of readers and begin to change the way we think about how news is gathered and reported and how we get our news. To deal with these financial issues, papers have laid off employees, cut resources for reporters, closed international bureaus, eliminated rural or distant delivery, reduced frequency of publication, and contracted out or partnered on content. Unlike newspapers, magazines face more challenges in terms of postage rates and finding an audience. Most magazines serve a specific community or area and still consist of content that is mostly reprinted from other sources. These changes attract more advertisers, which allows magazine publishers to drop the price per issue below what it actually costs to produce the magazine. The 1920s and 1930s see the rise of general-interest magazines such as Readera€™s Digest, Time, and Life. Magazines also adapt by becoming more specialized, trying to appeal more to niche rather than general-interest audiences.
The lack of and resistance to literacy made the printed medium spread less quickly than audio and visual media, which is not surprising from an evolutionary perspective.
His pitch was made more appealing by his suggestion that such a device would make RCA a household name and attract national and international attention.John R. Later, as television began to replace the radio as the central part of home entertainment, radio was forced to adapt to the changing marketplace.Richard Campbell, Christopher R.
But whether it was watching other humans or listening to the sounds of the forest, it had to happen in the moment, as there was no artificial way to convey images or sounds. Ia€™m sure Plato would not be pleased to learn that these themes continue today in more modern forms of visual media like television and movies.
As soon as photographic technology began to circulate, people began to experiment with its limits to see what other potential it held.
It took a while for this crude version of a television to be turned into a more functional electronic version. Baird, working in Great Britain, transmits the first live moving pictures in 1926, and Farnsworth, working in the United States, transmits a picture (of a dollar sign) in 1927.
Even today, the networksa€™ news programs are among some of the highest-rated programs on network television.
Although cable television technology had been around for thirty years, it wasna€™t until the FCC changed policies in 1972 that cable got the green light to compete directly with the networks. Many baby boomers who saw the advent of cable and satellite and have long enjoyed the diverse programming their subscriptions offer view their monthly bills as a standard utility and will likely continue subscribing until they die. Instead of paper being the medium for books, radio waves being the medium for sound broadcasting, and cables being the medium for cable television, a person can now read a book, listen to the radio, and access many cable television shows on the Internet.
The development of digital code was the first innovation that made way for the Internet and all digital media. That remained its main purpose until the Cold War began to fade and the closely guarded information network was opened up to others. He solved this problem with the creation of the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), which allows people to make electronic connections or links to information on other computers or servers. By that time people with computer know-how outside of the military had already begun to create many thousands of new connections on the Net, which meant ARPAnet couldna€™t ever be turned off (finally fulfilling its original purpose). Demand for Internet access and more user-friendly programs created the consumer side of the net, and old media companies and regular people saw the web as another revenue generator. Anyone can establish a web presence now, whether ita€™s through starting your own website, building a profile on an existing website like a blog-hosting service, or using a space you already have like your Facebook or Twitter account.
Determine what you can offer peoplea€”consulting in your area of expertise such as voice lessons, entertainment such as singing at weddings, delivering speeches or writing about your area of expertise, and so on. Cheaper paper, more advanced printing presses, and faster and more reliable transportation technologies also contributed to the rise of newspapers and magazines as print media. Cable and satellite television began to compete with broadcast television, as they provided access to more channels and service in areas where broadcast signal reception was unreliable. Magazines were the first medium to make major advances in the mass printing of photographs, which brought a more visual medium to their audience before the advent of television.
In this chapter, we will discuss some functions and theories of mass communication and some of the key ethical issues related to media and communication. In this section, we will trace the development of various forms of technology that led to new channels (media) of communication and overview the characteristics of some of the most common mass media.
Physical and technical limitations of the time prevented the written word from becoming a mass medium, as texts were painstakingly reproduced by hand or reproduced slowly using rudimentary printing technology such as wood cutouts. Additionally, the rise of printing in East Asia didna€™t become a a€?print revolution,a€? because the audience for the texts was so limited, given low literacy rates.
In 1454, Guttenberga€™s famous forty-two-line Bible was the first book that was mass produced by modern methods and not transcribed by hand, which had been the practice for thousands of years. Remember, only a select group of people, usually elites, had access to manuscripts and the ability to read them. During this time, publishing became more competitive and profit drivena€”characteristics that still apply to the industry today. The closure of nearly four hundred Borders bookstores in 2011 after the company filed for bankruptcy also shows that even chain bookstores are struggling. In just a little over a hundred years, in the late 1700s, large European cities like London and Paris had around two hundred newspapers, some published daily, some weekly, and some at other intervals.
This attracts more readers, which attracts more advertisers and allows publishers to make up the loss between subscription and production rates with ad revenue. Magazines play a key role in providing in-depth coverage of the World Wars and start to cover the cultural revolutions of the 1960s when they run into new challenges.
The telegraphCommunication device invented in the 1840s that transmitted Morse code across cables using electric pulses, making it the first nearly instant one-to-one communication technology. Hertza€™s theories fascinated Italian-born Guglielmo Marconi, who in his late teens began capitalizing on Hertz and othersa€™ theories of electromagnetism to inform and further his own experiments. It wasna€™t until about 40,000 years ago that we know our ancestors first began to explore visual media including drawings, paintings, and sculptures.
Although we can see that visual media have long been a part of human history, they didna€™t constitute a mass medium until the late 1800s and early 1900s with the advent of motion pictures and television.


In 1923, Vladimir Zworykin improved on this technology, followed closely by John Baird and Philo Farnsworth.Marshall T.
In addition, to meet the requirement by the FCC that stations serve the public interest and offer more informational programs, the networks offered newsmagazines as a more dramatized source of news. Generation Xers, who are currently in their thirties and forties, are caught in the middle. Surprisingly, this innovation occurred in the 1940s, leading to the development of the first computers. At this time, only a small group of computer enthusiasts and amateur hackers made use of the Internet, because it was still not accessible to most people. He also invented hypertext markup language (HTML), which gave users a common language with which to create and design online content. Old media advertisers measure their success with ads based on a corresponding increase or decrease in salesa€”a method that is not very precise or immediate.
Next, you need to think about what it is youa€™re offering and who it is that might want it. Then create a web presence that you can direct people back to through your social media promotion. The brief discussion here of these recent changes in how media operate in our lives will be expanded more in the following chapter on new media and communication. Leta€™s now look back at how we progressed from writing to print and trace the birth of the first mass medium.
The high price of these texts and the fact that most people could not read or write further limited the spread of print. Remember, these numbers represent each separate book and not the total copies of each of those titles that were printed. Publishers still acted as gatekeepers, just as mass media outlets do today, which limited the content and voices that circulated on the new medium. While radio and magazines flourished in the first half of the twentieth century, the book industry didna€™t fare as well. In terms of technological changes, many book publishers have embraced e-books in the past few years as a way to adapt to new digital media and devices such as e-readers, but they have also had to develop new ways to prevent unauthorized reproduction and a€?piratinga€? of digital versions of books. Hyperlocal content includes information like real-estate transactions, obituaries, school lunch menus, high school sports team statistics, and police activities, which are a considerable drain on already strained newsrooms. We did not evolve to read and write, which is why the process of teaching those things is so difficult and time consuming.Marshall T.
Fessenden, a professor from Pittsburgh, paved the way for radioThe first mass medium to carry audio in the form of speech and music over a wireless signal. We later know that performing arts became a popular visual medium in societies like ancient Greece, for example, where plays were an important but still relatively new and controversial form of entertainment. In the 1890s, Thomas Edison commercialized film, creating a motion picture company and demonstrating the new technology at expos and fairs and inviting guests to come watch short movies of people doing mundane thingsa€”for a fee, of course. By 1951, televisiona€™s status as the most important mass media of the time was cemented, as sales of television sets surpassed radios for the first time. Many of these people are technologically savvy and know how to access (and occasionally do access) online television and movies. Second, in 1971, microprocessors capable of reading and storing electronic signals helped make the room-sized computers of the past much smaller and more affordable for individuals.
Some more technological advances had to occur for the Internet to become the mass medium that it is today. I actually remember learning HTML code and creating my first (very simple by todaya€™s standards) website in 1996. Online advertisers, on the other hand, can know exactly how many people see their ads based on the number of site visitors, and they can measure how effective their ad is by how many people click on it. For example, if you have a blog that attracts a regular stream of readers because they like your posts about the weekend party scene in your city, you might be able to utilize a service like Googlea€™s AdSense to advertise on your page and hope that some of your readers click the ads.
If you have a large number of followers on Twitter, for example, other brands may want to tap into your ability to access that audience to have you promote their product or service. Many people turned to these new media over books, since radio and magazines were generally cheaper and provided more timely information about major world events like the World Wars and the Great Depression.
However, readers and media critics were surprised to learn that Journatic was paying people in the Philippines to write this content and then publish it under fake names. Magazines as a mass medium overcame early challenges to enjoy a period of relative success in the early 1900s and then met one of their biggest challenges, the rise of television, in the mid-1900s.
With this, the wireless telegraphCommunication device that used electromagnetic waves to transmit signals coded into pulses and was the precursor to radio., which used electromagnetic waves to transmit signals coded into pulses and was the precursor to radio, was born.
Platoa€™s early critiques of theater mirror those that have been targeted toward television and movies more recently.
At the same time, advances in sound recording and wireless transmission of sound were occurring, which was essential to bring together the audio and visual elements of modern movies and television. Collectively, these men are responsible for the invention of televisionThe first mass medium capable of instantly and wirelessly transmitting audio and visual signals., which was the first mass medium capable of instantly and wirelessly transmitting audio and visual signals. Television also secured advertising and sponsorship from many of the same sources as radio, which started a fierce competition between radio and television. From the mid-1950s until the cable and satellite boom of the 1980s, broadcast television was in its a€?golden age.a€? Television was made more prominent with the advent of color broadcasting, which by 1966 was standard for the prime-time lineup at the three major networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC). The days of only having three options was about to change, however, and network television saw its influence decline starting in the 1980s. Turnera€™s Cable News Network (CNN) also competed with the networksa€™ monopoly on televised news coverage.
Last, the development of fiber-optic cables in the mid-1980s allowed for the transmission of large amounts of information, including video and sound, using lasers to create pulses of light. Learning HTML code wasna€™t something that the masses were going to rush to do, but new software programs and webpage building programs emerged that allowed people to build web content without having to know the code. If you follow any celebrities on Twitter, you are well aware that many of their tweets link to a product that they say they love or a website thata€™s offering a special deal. As we move closer to our current digital age of media, we can see that new media formats are invented and then made available to people more quickly than media that came before. Despite this fact, brick-and-mortar stores are still the primary channel through which books are solda€”but for how much longer? Also around 1700, newspapers were published in the colonies that would later become the United States. The following timeline traces some of the most important developments and changes in magazines.Richard Campbell, Christopher R. The first telegraph line ran between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland, in 1844, and the first transcontinental line started functioning in 1861. Marconi traveled to England, where he received a patent on his wireless telegraph machine in 1896. For example, during the 1950s, radio technology had advanced to the point that it could now be made portable.
The rush to include color programming is just one of many examples of the intense competition among the three major networks.
The introduction of FOX as a fourth network signaled a programming change as the new network tried to appeal to a more specific audience with some of its shows. Cable television then grew steadily and quickly for the next several years, and many more channels were quickly introduced. These cables began to replace the copper cables used by telephone, television, cable, and satellite companies. As if inventing HTTP and HTML wasna€™t enough, Berners-Lee also invented the first browser, which allowed people to search out information and navigate the growing number of interconnections among computers. Additionally, certain online environments provide even more user data to advertisers, which allows them to target advertisements. This is a pretty traditional way of making money through advertising just as with newspapers and billboards. For example, while it took 175,000 years for writing to become established, and about 1,000 years for printing to gain a firm foundation as a medium, audiovisual media (radio, television, and movies) penetrated society within a few decades, and digital media gained prominence in even less time.Marshall T.
The following timeline marks some of the historical developments in newspaper publishing from colonial times to the Internet age. While we had to adapt our brains to decode written language and our arms, hands, and fingers to be able to produce written text, the turn to listening to the radio and watching and listening to television and movies was much more comfortable, familiar, and effortless. By 1866, we could send transatlantic telegraphs on a cable that ran across the ocean floor between Newfoundland, Canada, and Ireland. Since radio was being forced outside the home, radio capitalized on its portability by marketing pocket-sized transistor radios that could go places television could not. Adult-oriented prime-time cartoons like The Simpsons and more diverse sketch comedy shows like In Living Color shook up the rather predictable lineup of the other three networks. Cable was especially attractive to people who lived in mountainous, hilly, or rural areas that had difficulty receiving the broadcast channelsa€™ signals. Last, we have a generation of people who are in college or are recent graduates who happen to be coming of age during a harsh economic crisis. Because of these advances, information now travels all around us in the form of light pulses representing digits (digital code) instead of the old electrical pulses.Richard Campbell, Christopher R. Berners-Lee named his new network the a€?World Wide Web,a€? and he put all his inventions into the public domain so that anyone could use and adapt them for free, which undoubtedly contributed to the weba€™s exploding size.
If you, for example, search for a€?vacation rentals on Lake Michigana€? using a search engine, ads for lake houses or vacation spots may also show up.
Two movie studios now include in actorsa€™ contracts terms that require them to make a certain number of social mentions of the project on all their social media sites. Given that Europea€™s population at the time was only 78 million, thata€™s about three books for each person.Marshall T. This first cable could only transmit about six words per minute, but it was the precursor to the global communications network that we now rely on every day. Marconi became extremely successful, establishing companies in the United States and Europe and holding exclusive contracts with shipping companies and other large businesses. Although these men were able to transmit weather updates and music, their equipment was much too large and complicated to attract a mass of people eager to own it. Radio also partnered with car manufacturers and soon became a standard feature in new automobiles, something that was very uncommon before the 1950s.
Movie technology developed more quickly than television because it didna€™t have to overcome challenges presented by electromagnetic transmission and reception. The networks soon had more than three channels to compete with, however, as cable and satellite became more accessible and affordable and offered many more programming options. Many people were also happy to give up ugly rooftop antennae that required readjustment for each channel change or to compensate for other signal interference.
They have also spent much of their lives watching online videos, television shows, and movies. The growing web was navigable using available browsers, but it was sometimes like navigating in the ocean with no compass, a problem that led to the creation of search engines. The social networks that people create on the Internet also create potential for revenue generation. For example, the Marconi Telegraph Company had the communications contract with White Star Lines and was responsible for sending the SOS call that alerted other ships that the Titanic had struck an iceberg. The price for the access and convenience, however, was a monthly cable charge, which was a big change from the public and free broadcast channels.
The thought of committing to a monthly cable or satellite bill that would likely run them upwards of $100 a month when money is tight and they know how to access their entertainment elsewhere doesna€™t sound like a winning proposition.
In fact, many people have started to take advantage of this potential by monetizing their personal or social media sites, which you can read more about in the a€?Getting Reala€? box. Of course, books werena€™t evenly distributed, since most people couldna€™t read or write and had no use for them. First, the telegraph couldna€™t transmit the human voice or other messages aside from language translated into coded electrical pulses. Ambrose Fleming and Lee de Forest paved the way for much more controlled and manageable receivers. Stations that once aired prime-time dramas and comedies now aired popular music of the day, as the a€?Top 40a€? format that played new songs in a heavy rotation was introduced.
As cablea€™s subscriber base and channel options grew, different pricing options helped make cable an a€?easier sella€? to potential customers.
In a time when we can get unlimited streaming on Netflix and Hulu Plus for about $8 a month each, a la carte access to programs through iTunes or Amazon Streaming, or illegal downloads of shows through torrent services, cable and satellite have to face challenges that many of us couldna€™t have imagined just ten years ago. At the same time, though, cheaper, shorter materials were printed that included content that catered more to the a€?commona€? person. Second, anything not connected to a cablea€”like a ship, for instancea€”couldna€™t benefit from telegraph technology.
His success at adapting the already existing system of Morse code to wireless transmission was apparently satisfying enough that Marconi showed little interest in expanding the technology to transmit actual sounds like speech or music. Lee de Forest, in particular, was interested in competing with Marconi by advancing wireless technology to be able to transmit speech and music.
Talk radio also began to grow as radio personalities combined the talk, news, traffic, and music formats during the very popular and competitive a€?drive timea€? hours during which many people still listen to the radio while traveling to and from work or school. Additionally, cable companies and satellite television providers compete fiercely with each other, which helps reduce cost. These early publications were similar to tabloids in that they were sold as news items but featured stories about miracles, monsters, and other sensational or fantastical events. During this time, war ships couldna€™t be notified when wars ended and they sometimes went on fighting for months before they could be located and informed. Despite the contributions of the other inventors mentioned before, de Forest patented more than three hundred inventions and is often referred to as the a€?father of radioa€? because of his improvements on reception, conduction, and amplification of the signalsa€”now including music and speecha€”sent wirelessly.
Even more recently, radio stations have turned to online streaming and podcasts so their content can still make its way to computers and portable devices such as smartphones.
Luckily for the cable and satellite companies, many subscribers dona€™t cut their services completely, since they may also rely on the company to provide the Internet access they need to switch to online-only viewing. Yahooa€™s success spawned many more tech companies and the beginning of the a€?tech bubblea€? of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Although not regarded for their content or positive effect on society, these publications quickly grew into what we would recognize today as newspapers and magazines, which we will discuss later.
His improvements on the vacuum tube made the way for radio and television and ushered in a new age of modern electronics.Richard Campbell, Christopher R.
Although this number makes it clear that the days of broadcast networks entering viewersa€™ homes free over the airwaves are over, there is a growing trend of people who are turning back to the free airwaves as a primary source of television. In the end, the combination of audio and visual offered by these new media won out over radio. The a€?Getting Plugged Ina€? box discusses this new phenomenon of a€?cord cuttersa€? and broadcast televisiona€™s growing popularity over cable among a new generation of television viewers.



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