The Evolution of Newspaper – Hilary Cochran – 549 words

Everywhere we look, we are flooded with media – radio, television, newspapers, magazines, online content. The buzz first started with newspapers, though. News now circulates in print, on television, and through online news websites. Newspapers were introduced in America at the closing of the 17th century after inspiration sparked from the British Empire who had been publishing news since 1665. However, they didn’t gain traction until the colonies started debating whether or not they should separate from England. At this time, newspapers became widespread with larger cities even producing multiple forms of print. People wanted to be informed and up to date with the latest intelligence. They really took off when the Revolutionary War broke out, however. People hungered for the latest updates about what was going on in the world around them. As evidence, “By the time the war ended in 1783, an estimated forty-three newspapers were operating” (Currents in Communications, 12). These companies only continued to grow in reach with the growing advancement of technology. New technology made it so both production and distribution became quicker and more efficient. Nonetheless, this new technology started to have an opposite effect. As technology progressed into the second half of the 20th century, newspapers saw a drop in readership. Many were forced to close because of the competition with expanding outlets for news. Newspaper businesses took the biggest hit in 2008 when the recession struck. The crashes in both the real-estate and auto industries took a toll on the advertisements newspapers profit off of. Though companies have struggled over the years there are still newspapers in print today, despite the online versions gaining more eyes.

Something news outlets see a lot of is convergence. Convergence is when several people, companies, or things come together from different angles to eventually meet. News does not always come from just one source. News is shared and viewed from different perspectives. It is everywhere. With convergence, news has seen the sharing of ideas and outlets. Many of the same reports are shown from differing angles on various websites and prints. Magazines are reporting, televised news stations are reporting, online websites are reporting, and newspapers are reporting. Each outlet has different audiences because each outlet reports differently and prioritizes different types of stories. However, all these sources converge to ensure viewers are informed on what’s out there. It is just the viewer’s decision on which channel or resource to tune to.

tumblr_lk9n6cThGy1qgtzilWith the readers getting more involved, companies have risen the participation with us in what they publish. On the Baltimore Sun website, readers have the ability to comment and share articles. One can share it on Facebook and voice their opinion tweet about it, email it to someone specific, or comment right on the article’s page. The website is very user friendly, pleasing to the eye, and has tabs such as “Breaking News” and “Freddie Gray.” Therefore, showing the reader, “we have what you want to hear about, the big hitting stories, all easily accessible.” The Baltimore Sun also provides video content in the case one doesn’t want to read, rather listen. It is all about what is pleasing, fun, and gets the viewer interesting. These companies are thinking about the viewer more than they ever have before because they want our attention along with so many other competitors.


“Medium Theory” Final Question – Dominic Belmonte


Since the creation of language, humans have contained an inherent desire to share ideas and develop new concepts. Different mediums have shaped the interactions of different societies over time, as well as the spread of information and eventually the development of fundamental beliefs. “Medium Theory”, written by Joshua Meyrowitz, examines variables as the senses that are required for specific mediums, as well as how to encode and decode specific mediums. This essay explains the developments from oral culture, to the transitional scribal phase, to print culture, and eventually the global electronic culture; each phase containing it’s own special developments based upon its predecessor.

The original and most basic medium described in “Medium Theory” is the development of oral culture. Oral culture relies completely on the living memory of people because it is essentially the spread of information by the word of mouth. Due to this, oral cultures is ‘closed’ in two senses. First, since the information people are obtaining is only from the people around them, and second, complex ideas are not often spread because they are difficult to remember, even for those who developed them. These problems however were solved with the development of the scribal phase.

The transitional scribal phase developed when written language became more common. It offers a way to preserve one’s ideas in a way that previously would have been impossible to do. Writing down ideas also “establishes the potential for true ‘literature’, ‘science’, and ‘philosophy’.” (Text Ch.2) This phase also allowed individuals to spread ideas to people who did not live next to them. The only major downside to this form was that only people who were very educated could participate. This form eventually led to the development of print culture.

The rise in the modern print culture further enabled the literate middle and upper class members to partake in the immense network of information that was newly available. People began to write about things that the illiterate can not partake in and people began to develop viewpoints and perspectives. These individualized ideas being spread created new conceptions of literary style, fame, authorship, and intellectual property. During this time the emphasis on literacy grew and led to the next medium of the global electronic culture.

The global electronic culture, which is now the main medium around the world, built upon the print culture, and with the help of the internet, created a web of electronic media. This web is shared globally and allows its information to be stored and viewed by anyone worldwide. This availability of information paired with increased literacy rates allows for electronic media to create new types of “shared experiences.” The creation of Web 2.0 plays a large role in this modern spreading of information.

Web 2.0’s services and applications allow users to partake in more interactive and user-to-user interactions than ever before. It offers people the ability to spread information faster than ever before and reach an extremely large audience in a short period of time. This fits into the argument of global electronic culture it can preserve information as well as be experienced by large amounts of people at any given moment. This development is so important because it draws upon the fundamental basis of each medium which is to preserve cultural heritage and spread ideas. The influence of social media outlets that have been created is monumental in the development of future generations and their exposure to important information. However, this development also comes with a large drawback. It proposes the question, how much is too much? Parents must be aware of the content that their children are viewing and new social media outlets have developed new forms of bullying and other negative unintended consequencesSurprised baby boy using a laptop computer     The negative outcomes of Web 2.0 are potentially outweighed by the positive outcomes that have resulted. The Internets ability for instant communication has played a large role in the development of medical advances, collaborations between different global countries, and mediums to support societal change. The development of new mediums have allowed individuals to interact in a way that was never before possible, and permanently changed the way the world operates.

Words: 683

Michelle Pooran – Medium Theory Final

Michelle Pooran

770 words

Medium Theory is used to describe the research done to find out what the potential influences of communications technologies are and to differentiate it from most other media theories. This theory focuses on each individual type of media and how each fixed feature of communications make the medium physically, psychologically, and socially different from one another. Medium theorists analyze how several factors of which influence the main theory. These factors include the type of communication, such as directional or uni-directional, the speed of dissemination, and how people interpret each message. The universal question of this theory is how does the medium theory influence socially, politically and psychologically.

The Theory discusses a couple of eras throughout the chapter. The eras discussed range from traditional oral societies to modern print societies, to an electronic global culture. Traditional oral societies attempted to preserve the ideas based on the living memory of people. Thus, having to focus on memorization and recitation in order to achieve ones goals. In oral societies, ideas were formed into poetry in order to simplify the memorization process for people. The culture was usually formed in familiar stories with phrases, actions and events. These societies require physical presence in order to communicate with one another, thus making it difficult to interact with people one is not living with. The societies are what is called traditional. People within theses societies did not interact if it was not physically. Preserving the culture and not changing is a huge essential for them because they pride on who they are, what has been done and what has been said within these societies. These oral societies however, are beneficial because they increase the interplay of all the senses. Ultimately, promoting physical interaction with one another which is what we now are trying to encourage as well.

The Transitional Scribal Phase has developed the way we write, express and share our ideas, and ultimately establishing the potential for literature, science and philosophy. This also helped people who were literate to experience and know different things. To think and analyze everything, and to have different world views. This society promoted one which writing helped unify people with ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. These however, are not “natural” ways of communicating. They require a lot of learning in order to perfect this. The printing press was not effective until the sixteenth century; the spread of schooling and growth of literacy(NIH). Thus having a higher impact on Western societies because of the higher level of written symbols used in the East.

The Rise of Modern Print Culture separated the community based on communication system. Therefore, the poor, which were illiterate remained in a system which oral communication was used. Whereas, the middle and higher class were advancing much quicker and were becoming knowledgeable with the libraries. Reading and writing created a separation because of the experiences and knowledge that differed based upon different informational worlds(CBS). This became extremely valuable because societies were developing at a very high rate due to these resources. Several changes in thinking patterns began to occur to the how much people were learning.

Global Electronic Culture was huge step from others because it is when print culture came to its full power. This happened during the late nineteenth century, when the universal literacy and first electronic media collide. The telegraph, telephone, radio, television and more were invented throughout this era. Electronic media have fostered new types of shared experiences in terms of communication(TRINITY). It has allowed forms of sensory experience to compete with print knowledge, thus creating a highly technological society.

Web2.0 and social media have impacted are society enormously. It has allowed for knowledge about every form of life to expand and to be accessible to anyone who needs or wants it. This form of technology and communication has forced people to think to a higher level and to become more aware of the world surrounding us. It has also forced people to dream bigger because of how much one can do nowadays with the technological advancements. These developments have both impacted our society positively and negatively. It has helped us advance and grow at a faster rate socially, physically and psychologically. This however, has decreased physical interaction between human beings because of how effective technology is today(CBS). People don’t have to move in order to obtain information, it is accessible on a telephone or laptop or every kind of machine. People around the world have been attempting to use this technological advancement in a positive way in order to promote oral contact instead of calling or messaging. Thus, improving our society so that we become more aware of what is happening around us.


  1. – TRINITY
  3. – CBS
  4. – NIHnew-all-media2

Evolution and Convergence of the Print Industry- Precious Uwaya (654 words)

From the colonial times, to early twenty-first century America, print media was the predominant form of information access. Including breaking news, gossips, trends and opinion pieces. The print media once a dominate foothold is slowly dwindling with the technological increase. Despite the print media convergence with technology, its success in the future is uncertain and declining.

Chapter 12 of the text book explains that newspapers were introduced to the American colony toward the end of the seventeenth century by the British Empire. These early newspapers were usually no more than four pages long filled primarily with short news and largely geared to an elite and educated audience. The newspaper industry flourished when the Revolutionary War broke out and dozens of papers were being published as people’s curiosity for news with England increased.  By the time the war ended in 1783, there were an estimated forty-three newspapers operating in the United Sates. Technological improvements in the early nineteenth century lead to an increase of newspaper circulation. Before the late 19th century, paper was often made from textile fibers such as cotton and linen however the invention of paper from wood pulp created low-cost, low-quality paper and readily available papers. The rise of the paper industry made paper cheap, which meant that newspapers could be printed for reasonable prices. Prices so reasonable that in 1833, when Benjamin Day launched the New York Sun, he sold it for one cent an issue. An increase in low cost meant that average working people could buy newspaper which greatly expanded the potential reading audiences. The affordability of newspaper became known as the penny press. In the American colonial times newspapers started out as a luxury for the elite and educated and in the course of fifty-years evolved into a commodity necessary for everyday life, until the early twenty-first century. Competition from television, and other social media sites is creating an immense decline in readership. Below is a graph showing the decline of newspaper readership in adults.  Just in the course of 40 years from 2010-1970, readership fell 40%.


With the decline in leadership, the print media needs to evolve to survive this technological based world by converging with the technology boom. Convergence  is defined as the coming together of two distinct identities, which in this context, means the coming together of two different media outlet into one.  The print industry specifically newspaper have been very affected by convergence.  Due to the demand for easier access of content on the go, society has lost interest in classic newspaper leading to a decline of newspaper readership.  Which is attributed to rapid development of the internet, television news companies, and social media. The United States had 267 fewer newspapers in 1990 than it had in 1940. By 1992, only thirty-seven cities in the United States had separately owned, competing daily newspapers. Many newspaper have converged by shifting gradually from print to digital. Newspapers are struggling to change their business model for example New York Times has merge its print n digital newsrooms and the Washington Post has an online college.  Many newspapers have created available apps to read news on the go.

The Baltimore sun appears to use multimedia and use participation by enabling readers to communicate with them via twitter, Facebook, Gmail, and ETC and having an online app for easy read on the go and easy sharing.  The Baltimore Sun also has a talk forum where readers can place their opinion regarding specific topics such as the Orioles, or any other topic they wish to get off their chest. This is done because of the accessibility of social media is making it easier to access news therefore, the infusion of technology is being used to attract audience of all ages, as to decrease revenue loss, and complete annihilation of the print industry. Despite the changes being made by the print media to converge with technology, sadly it is only a matter of time before the print media is no more.

Analog Television Set

Television: Past, Present, and Future by Brian Francesschelli (Word Count: 761)

"A Picture is worth ten thousand words - Chinese Proverb" (A History) 
If this is true, then a television contains more words than every book combined...
I wonder if it's worth it...

A Brief History of Television

Initially discovered by accident, the transmission and receiving of pictures – the basic idea behind televisions, was something that took years to develop. Different technological mediums were experimented with for both the capturing of an image and transmitting it, and the receiving and display of that image. After a multitude of experiments, the cathode ray tube was chosen for its abilities on both ends of the transmission (A History). Experimentation with television in the United States began in earnest in the 1920s as several inventors struggled with a variety of cathode ray tube designs to find a product with commercial possibilities. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) premiered its electronic television set to the public at the 1939 New York World’s Fair (Currents in Communications, Chapter 12). Other notable achievements in the history of television were the development of a remote, giving the viewer to change the channel and volume of a television set from afar (remotes like the “Space Command” raised the prices of TV sets, but were hugely successful in the market and later became standard), and the introduction of the VCR, which allowed viewers to record broadcasts to watch at their own leisure (The Future of Television, 20). Driven into popularity through technological advances, television finally hit big in the 1950s, and ever since television has been the dominant form of mass media not only in the U.S., but across the globe.

Used for its popularity across the country, Television became a successful medium for broadcasting a wide spectrum of news, political communications, and entertainment. “The first efforts at regular news broadcasts consisted primarily of men sitting at a desk on camera and reading from a wire service. However, when television started delivering news as a live event, it demonstrated that television news could have a significant, even decisive, political impact.” “News is only one small part of the mix on content found on television, which is primarily a medium for entertainment. The early entertainment shows on television were often based on popular radio dramas.” “Seeking to build large audiences, television producers tried to ride the coattails of popular shows by creating similar ones. Ratings mattered more than quality.” When cable television came about, the number of stations exploded, and networks rushed to provide content for every station, leading to popular stations about food, home improvement, cars, and sports. Stations like these are still pervasive in our culture and in the content that television networks provide for us everyday. Stations like ESPN, an all sports station, and MTV, a station dedicated to airing music videos, became largely popular. (Currents in Communications, Chapter 12)

Television Today

Today, there are other, new, types of television shows that have become popular. Contest shows, like American Idol, and Reality television, like The Bachelor and Survivor have more recently become popular. “The defining characteristic of RTV [Reality Television] is that ordinary people (not professional actors) serve as the main characters” (We’re All Stars, 108). With the growing popularity of these types of shows, a similar event is occurring now as happened to popular radio dramas; there are more and more spinoffs, variations, and similar shows coming to television networks as they seek to gain ratings and increase their profits through increasingly larger audiences.

The Future of Television

“Television in recent months is going through a major transformation where people are watching shows whenever and wherever they choose. Popular series quickly are available on DVDs. They are also available through services like Netflix and on-demand services from cable companies. Finally, Internet-based services like Hulu let people watch television on computers, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones, making television totally mobile by allowing people to watch their favorite shows whenever and wherever they want. Viewers do not even need a TV set” (Currents in Communications, Chapter 12).

Just like radio was changed by the introduction of Internet Radio companies like Pandora or Spotify, television is being changed by the growing popularity of internet television networks and companies like Netflix and Hulu. In the end, the convergence of the Internet and Television is imminent and can come in many forms, from using your TV to browse the internet, to using the internet to watch TV. (Internet Television) In the Web 2.0 era, as well as in the next few decades, television will progress to a format where it will be more customizable, more interactive, and more accessible than ever before.

How “Medium Theory” explains the Evolution of Society – By Carla Cornejo

A big part of society’s evolution has come through the different forms of media and technology that have been created. Many, if not all, of these technologies have been designed for the benefit of society, to simplify the lives of many individuals, and to connect the world even more. Joshua Meyrowitz explains his focus on how different forms of technology and their characteristics have impacted society in “Medium Theory”.

evolution of communications

Meyrowitz explains that “Medium theory focuses on the particular characteristics of each individual medium or of each particular type of media.” A simple question that is asked to analyze the medium theory is “What are the relatively fixed features of each means of communicating and how do these features make the medium physically, psychologically, and socially different from other media and from face-to-face interaction?” (Meyrowitz). One level (the micro level) examines individual mediums and compared them to other while the other level (the macro level) examines how all media affects the society as a whole.

In “Medium Theory”, Meyrowitz believes the first medium was oral tradition. This mainly focused on memory and was mostly seen as “rhythmic poetry and easily remembered mythic narrative” (Meyrowitz). A concern that is discussed in the essay is the fact that oral traditions tend to only relate to those who physically have lived them. Oral tradition also has a tendency to focus on the symbolic nature of an account. “the first oral tradition is not an attempt to remember exactly what happened, but is rather a return into the symbols of the tradition that could explain an event” and because of this, “the move into a formulated tradition that looks as if it was a description of the actual historical events is actually the end result of such a development.”

The world was also greatly impacted when individuals began writing instead of passing down works orally, which eventually led to the printing culture. Writing enabled people to record longer ideas because they did not have to only rely on their memory. A problem with this, however, was that it required people to be educated in reading and writing, which is not always accessible to many. In the beginning, the only literate people were from upper classes, so “that means that while the historical period is exponentially better understood than the experiences of humans before writing was invented, written accounts are largely about the experiences of the upper classes.” This caused a rift and promoted the importance of education throughout history.

Now, it is evident that we are in an electronic world, where things like the internet and social media prevail. According to Meyrowitz, this brings us back to an oral society and “sensory experience again becomes a prime form of communicating.” Works created on electronic media can be accessed from all different places and all different kinds of people. Social networking sites are a great example of this evolution of media. “Social networking sites”, explains Janey Lee, “explores social media as a primary avenue for gathering news and political information and for formulating perceptions.” This means that what was supposed to be used to connect people on a personal level, now connects us to the greater world and makes us aware of what is happening around us. The evolution of these different mediums and the creation of other mediums in the future will have an even greater impact on how people form opinions and interact.

word count: 567


“Medium Theory” by Joshua Meyrowitz

(links included in text)

Evolution of Communications Picture:

Television by Bobby Gordon

Television lets us se life in a different way. With television, we have a way to see the world from our couch. Television developed over time. It wasn’t just a single invention. A series of inventions and discoveries led to the TV that we know and love today. It all started in 1862 when Abbe Caselli invented the Pantelegraph. The Pantelegraph allowed still images to be transferred through wires. Alexander Bell’s telephone transmitted sound through wires in 1880. 1890s saw the invention of motion picture. All of these inventions led to 1928, which saw the first TV station come about. Just 9 years later, CBS was born. From there, TV just continued to grow and get better each and every day.

Television is arguable the most influential invention of the 20th century. TV has come a long way since its invention. In the 1930’s, programs on the TV were very thin. Due to the expensive price, not many people had televisions in their homes. World War II saw a rise in programs and TVs being sold. The military used the TV as a little propaganda machine to recruit soldiers. Post World War II posted a huge economic boost in America. This led to a television golden age. By 1951, over 8 million TVs have been purchased. This led to more broadcast and the start of fictional television shows. People started to switch from the newspaper to television to get the news that they desire. “In contrast to printing, which took more than 300 years to evolve, the technology used in televisions today was developed over approximately 120 years.” (eBook Chapter 10) That being said, the future of television looks incredibly bright due to the fast pace it is evolving.

During the 21st century, television has dramatically changed. Web 2.0 pushes for more of a user-controlled internet. A lot television has moved toward the internet. Most television channels now have an online websites where users can watch free episodes from shows or past news broadcast. Streaming companies such as Netflix have reach over 31 million subscribers. Online streaming companies have already hurt TV ratings. On top of that, people upload illegal content on the internet for streaming. Over 146 million people in this world access illegal content each day and almost half of that involves television. Almost everything that appears on the television is available on the internet. New applications like Aereo, AppleTV, or Roku allow users to pay a small-monthly fee and they get hundreds of channels on their computer. With the internet rising, the future of TV may be falling. However, Smart TVs is new technology that is blending the internet with TV. Paid applications can now be accessed on your HD TV. Going into the future, cable television may be in danger. With on-demand, Web 2.0 and paid streaming applications, people can watch whatever they want whenever they want. I see the future of television combining with the internet to produce an all-around better watching experience. 10 or 15 years from now, television could very well be ruled by the internet. And as I see it, that may not be such a terrible reality.

Decline in cable
Graph of number of people who pay for cable and predictions for the future