One of the most Phenomenal Transformations
The influence, consumption and technological advancement of contemporary media can be viewed as one of the most phenomenal transformations of our age. Critically discuss.
As we know, the media has been around for many years, and has been essential to us all. However the media was not always as advanced as it is today. In fact compared to the past and now, all the various mediums are completely different. This is not to say that media was limited back then, but simply top say that they worked within their means. The media has definitely evolved, making it one of the most phenomenal transformations of our age.
Before we aim to explain how the contemporary media or rather the new media has transformed this world, we should first look the media in general and how it started. In general, media refers to the various means of communication used to get information out to a large number of people at one time. The media is our main source of information; we trust it as a credible source. Up until the 20th century the main source of information were, television, radio, magazine, newspaper and lately the internet. These various mediums play a big and crucial role on all our lives. When there is a need for information, the media is what we turned to. The media is a good source of information and entertainment. The media directly or indirectly influences us whether we like it or not. It tells us what to think, however it cannot tell us what to think about. The media affects the way people see themselves, however there is still the majority that claim that what is seen throughout these mediums does not affect them.
The media and its wide-ranging effects have been around ever since humanity has been in existence and nations were developing methods of communication ways of extending the scope of one's naked voice beyond hearing range, and giving form and substance to one's thoughts. The Paleolithic cave paintings at Lascaux, in other words, are no less viable (although less ubiquitous) expressions of media than TV shows and magazines of today. But the schematic analysis of media --- the recognition and study of its impact on every aspect of social living, is only a few decades old. Carlyle may have claimed in the 1830s that the printing press destroyed feudalism and created the modern world; Plato, as Derrida emphasizes, may have pointed to the effects of writing 2,500 years ago, but the wide-ranging attention today given to media and their effects is, on the whole, unprecedented. Even more fundamental, the concept of the malleable individual constructed by his "field of cultural production," as Pierre Bordieu called it, has been tossed around for centuries. Back to the days when the actors of the ancient Greek and Roman stage jumped in an out of personalities as quickly as they affixed their various masks, notions of the inconstancy of the human condition have been entertained.
The nineteenth century brought about major ideological change that set the stage for media studies. What with a God dethroned by that mundane insurgent, science, the chaos that seized Western nations around the close of the nineteenth-century seemed unparalleled in history. Darwin had come up with a convincing theory of evolution which smacked God-fearing members of the Victorian Age square in the face. He dismantled on a grand scale the moral, spiritual, and even political, foundations of the Western world--- a world hitherto comfortably centered around the almighty God who bestowed tidy, immutable essences in each one of His human creations. Darwin, along with a heady battalion of progressive philosophers and scientists --- including pioneers of the brand new social sciences: sociology, psychology, anthropology, et al --- quite effectively threw into question the fundamental meaning for human existence. The notion that human beings have malleable personalities largely constructed by the environment in which they develop --- the subjectivity of experience --- began to gain currency and scientific evidence in the late 1800s, and established the foundation on which the grandfather of media theory, Marshall McLuhan, would base his claims half a century later.
Since television's induction it has constantly been changing making life better and comfortable for us. Television broadcasting was first introduced in 1936 when it was available in London. The question raised at this point is what was the television actually like? How many channels were available? Naturally the availability of what we have today was not even an idea, and in most cases seemed impossible, but most television sets were capable of providing at least up to four basic channels. However, these channels were only received clearly in larger cities. Since the invention of cable television, it has grown rapidly. By 1960, there were nearly 700 cable systems. In 1971, 2,750 systems were serving almost 6 million homes.In the year 1999, the number has risen to more than 65 million. The invention of cable television was by far if not the only major technological development for television in the early days of television. Today, cable still continues to advance with new developments with satellites. There are over 80 different channels available to cable subscribers ranging from 24 hour music channels, 24 hour movie channels, and 24 hour news channels, and 24 news channels. In addition to being able to have these types of channels, pay television services or better known as premium channels are also associated with the advancement of cable television. Soon after this, interactive television evolved. Interactive TV describes a range in two-way communication services between service providers and end users. It is quite clear that television has and will continue to advance. The main change in TV has become the command center of our culture. Because television is quite different from other media such as film, theater, or music, it must be examined carefully and more in depth. People go to movies to watch movies, they go to the theaters to watch plays, and they buy music to listen to it, etc. However, we go to television for almost everything. Politics, music, religion, news, and even gossip.You name it and television has it. Therefore, this makes us known as television people, because for anything to be legitimate, it has to come through television.
The radio has changed in many ways. Much to the delight of this current generation. The radio has been one of the most important technological devices for more than a century. From their beginnings in the early 1800s until the new developments in recent years, radios have helped to provide communication as well as entertainment throughout the society of many cultures. It has been one of our main sources of information.
The early years of the radio technology began early in the 1800s, but the actual invention cannot be attributed to only one person. During this time period, several inventors created and improved upon the technology that became the radio as we know it today.
The first major breakthrough in the radio technology occurred in 1895 when the first patent for the radio was granted to Guglielmo Marconi. Though the idea was around, the actual devices that made the technology possible was not readily available until 1901. For this era, the radio technology was limited to communications with ships in case of an emergency. In 1907, the first commercial transatlantic radio service was created. From there, the technology continued to draw interested engineers and inventors from all sorts of industries.
During the late 1800s, Nikola Tesla made several advances that got people interested in the radio technology. In 1893, he presented the idea in a lecture to many astonished people in St. Louis, Missouri. It was here that he actually demonstrated the wireless radio technology that other people were trying to produce in the form of an effective and reliable device.
With many great minds working on this idea, it wasn't long before radio stations began to pop up throughout the world. In the United States, there is speculation about the actual first radio station. Much of the debate lies in the actual definition of what a radio station constitutes as well as what they were supposed to do. KCBS is often regarded as the very first commercial radio station in the country, but there are others that produced regular radio programming and other services around the same decade. KDKA in Pittsburgh, for instance, began producing communication over the radio waves in 1920. In 1919, a University of Wisconsin-Madison radio station boasted the first human speech to go out over the airwaves.
While the AM frequency was popular for broadcasting throughout the 1950s and beyond, researchers began developing the FM in the 1940s as an alternative to FM. This method became popular during the 1960s and took hold throughout the 1970s. It was more popular than the AM signal because it could transmit on any frequency. Although its original purpose was intended for classical music lovers and educational purposes, the FM method was a favorite for rock music in the 1960s. It wasn't until 1978, however, that the FM programming had more listeners than the AM.
In recent years, radio has made even more developments that have made listening to your favorite music even easier. With a simple internet connection, you can listen to streaming audio from almost any radio station all over the world. A new trend in radio broadcasting is also the podcast. This is where individuals put together a recording that resembles a radio show and then post it online for anybody to listen to.
In addition to these developments, there is also the creation of the subscription-based radio services. Sirius and XM radio are not controlled by federal regulations in the same way that normal airwaves are governed. This gives both listeners and broadcasters more options to fit their listening pleasure. Made popular by Howard Stern, these radio services are also commercial-free, which is another great advancement in the radio industry.
With the advancements that have just been made in recent years, there is no telling where the radio technology will lead to next. Instead of television, the wide variety of radio programs are becoming more enticing to people throughout the world because of its availability and simplicity.