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2014-10-26 23:44:48
Media History at the University of Oregon
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  1. History's value for mass communication professionals
    1. It gives us knowledge about how the present conditions of our industry came into being.

    2. It prevents us from recycling ideas, stories, and images from the past and calling them “new.”

    3. It allows us to assess the present using comparisons with the past.

    4. It helps us think critically about new media.
  2. Technological Determinism
    Views technological innovation as the result of “an internal process of research and development”
  3. Cultural Determinism
    Examines the social, political, and economic context out of which new technologies emerge

    Believes that communication technologies are the products of the collective action of many people. They seek to understand a technology’s development as opposed to its invention.
  4. Supervening Social Necessities
    "Interface between society and technology.”

    No difference btw. prototype and invention

    The so-called invention occurs when there are real social needs and uses for a technology
  5. Popular Memory
    A history for the present; it is a mode of historical consciousness that speaks directly to the concerns and needs of contemporary life. [It] is a form of storytelling through which people make sense of their own lives and culture.
  6. Official History
    “Histories deemed legitimate by schools, museums, textbook publishers and other arbiters of social knowledge.”
  7. Prehistory
    The history of human existence before written language made durable records possible.

    Little is known of the history of vocal language, save what archaeologists and paleontologists can tell us.

    Vocal language is the only communication medium that human beings did not invent.

    The ability to speak was the result of millions of years of evolution.
  8. Self-Referencing Language
    Higher order words that are non-referential that allow us to create complex sentences.

    Examples: “to,” “which,” “because,” “why”
  9. Socrates
    Writing is “inhuman, pretending to establish outside the mind what in reality can only be in the mind.”
  10. Types of Writing Systems
    • 1. Pictographic
    • 2. Ideographic
    • 3. Phonetic
  11. Pictographic
    An iconic drawing of a natural person or event (e.g., early cave or rock paintings)
  12. Ideographic
    A drawing that members of a group agree conveys a concept (e.g., an image of the sun that means warmth and fellowship)
  13. Phonetic
    Symbols that refer to spoken language. In phonetic writing systems, a picture becomes a sign that indicates a particular sound (e.g., the symbol A means the sound “ah”)
  14. Printing Technologies
    • 1. Type (moveable, interlocking metal that is uniform in height and width)
    • 2. Paper
    • 3. Press
    • 4. Ink
  15. Martin Luther
    "Unless I am convinced by proof from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can die no other. God help me. Amen!"
  16. Effects of Printing
    Standardization of vernacular and rise of national languages

    Shift in what gets printed from patron’s taste to public’s taste
  17. Colonial Newspapers
    • Content tended toward a common model:
    • 1. Local advertising
    • 2. Occasional local gossip
    • 3. Large chunks of European economic and political information taken from London papers
  18. John Peter Zenger Trial
    In 1733, the German printer founded the New-York Weekly Gazette, in which he printed material that railed against William Cosby, the colonial governor of New York. The paper was essentially a mouthpiece for James Alexander, a New York Attorney.

    Spent 9 months in jail.

    Trial did not change colonial law or practices, but it did drum of opposition to British authority in the colonies
  19. CATO's Letters
    John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon

    Wrote against tyranny of the rule of George I

    Advocated freedom of the press

    Popularized the ideas of John Locke in America
  20. Benjamin Franklin
    Pennsylvania Gazette

    Wrote under the name Mrs. Silence Dogood
  21. Importance of the Press
    Public opinion was central to the success of the American Revolution, and to implementing public policy.

    Public opinion was shaped by communications, especially the era’s print media.

    Political leaders needed to use the power of the press to shape public opinion.
  22. Partisan Press
    In the years after the American Revolution, newspapers were expensive, published for the gentry, and often contained partial, partisan views favored by their wealthy patrons

    Central partners in developing U.S. political system (not independent observers)

    Printed official documents, announcements, speechesAdvocated for policies, leaders, political parties

    Editors likely to be political leaders, campaign managers, advocates

    Privately owned: No government ministry of information. Instead, official sponsorship and patronage

    Audience: Political elites, men, activists, interested citizens, regional newspapers
  23. Benjamin Day's "Sun"
    “The object of this paper is to lay before the public, at a price within the means of every one, all the news of the day, and at the same time afford an advantageous medium for advertising. The sheet will be enlarged as soon as the increase of advertisements requires it – the price remaining the same."

    Crime beat
  24. James Gordon Bennett

    • 1. Business report
    • 2. Society page
    • 3. Bureaus in other cities
    • 4. Foreign correspondents
    • 5. Lower class episodic crime coverage
  25. Horace Greeley
    New York Tribune