Chapter 12: The Electronic Media
The electronic media of radio, television and the Internet have had
far-reaching impacts on individuals and society.
- The invention of the radio is generally credited to Marconi,
although there were many others who added important innovations that
would make the radio a reliable means of communication.
- Initially radio was used by the military and and for ship to shore
- First commercial station was KDKA – 1920. By 1922 there were more
than 500 stations.
- These stations were originally basically commercial free. When the
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) demanded
royalties for recorded music, stations began running commercials
- The first workable television camera and receiver was produced
- In 1939 RCA began the first regularly scheduled broadcasts.
- Congress established the Federal Communications Commission to
oversee and regulate television and radio.
- Important responsibilities of the FCC are to issue licenses to radio
and television stations, assign broadcast frequencies and set technical
- Ongoing problems with the FCC are (1) whether it truly considers the
public's interest and (2) potential conflicts of interest.
- Amount of time spent watching television each day is 3 hours and 16
- Connection between violence on television and violent behavior:
definite correlation, but not necessarily causation.
- Sense of immediacy of events, not necessarily better information.
- Television news lends itself to short “sound bites” rather
than in-depth analysis. Average news story is less than 1.5 minutes.
- Politically, television has led to a focus on form rather than
content (style, image) since it is confined to 30 second commercials.
- Some believe television has had a negative impact on our attention
spans and imagination.
- Internet: a giant network of smaller computer networks that
allows users to access files located anywhere within these individual
networks. Note: the Internet is not the WWW!
- Originally developed by the Defense Department: ARPANET.
- An important concept in the development of the Internet was
Packet switching: information was broken into small packets
which could follow different paths to the destination. Packet
switching was necessary in case of enemy attack.
- The World Wide Web
- The World Wide Web is a part of the Internet; it is a
collection of Web pages with links to other web pages. It is the
part of the Internet that supports multimedia.
- The technology and software that are used on the WWW are "open
source." No one holds a patent to it or controls it. As a
result the Web has experienced explosive growth: In 1993
there were 600 web sites; today more than 10 million .
- The internet has made a tremendous impact on business communications
and has given rise to e-commerce (conducting business on the
- The Internet is also creating a revolution in education through the
use of Web-based learning.