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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
David Spencer

Oral Society Memory th  Simonides of Ceos 5 century BC o He was at a banquet and the hall collapsed, he was the only survivor o Later he is asked to give an account who was in there, and he was able to do it because he could visualize where everybody was sitting in the room o Memory Palace = constructing a building in your imagination and putting things in it in certain areas in order to remember  We are better at memorizing things visually and spatially  Need to imagine things in rooms in your mind and organize it in different rooms for different topics Spatial, Visual  The more bizarre/funnier the object is, you are able to memorize that  Human beings are better at memorizing terrain/landscape and spatially  Facial recognition Epic Poems of Rajasthan  Bhopas = a person who lives in Rajasthan in Western India o A story teller, has the capability to memorize long poems and stories  Oral tradition  Mahabharata and Dev Narayan are two examples of poems o Thousand of stances long, and the Bhopas recite it orally fully on memory  Only written down in 1870’s when written down, come out of oral tradition  Memorizing the poems uses different techniques and training Oral Society – Walter Ong  Words as brief “events”, they happen and then they are gone  Power of spoken word  Language as mode of action  Interlocutor – sustained thought in society is linked to the act of communication o Talking, listening, produces thoughts in order for ideas to develop and knowledge to be created o Need somebody in front of you talking o In order to think intellectually, you need to be speaking to someone in order to have an advanced knowledge  Ie: The University lecture  Children have a greater ability for memory than adults  Words construct the nature of society itself. Knowledge comes from the act of speaking to others. This is the idea that talking makes you stronger. It means that you cannot have a knowledge base without someone to talk to. Oral Society and Recall  Mnemonics = something to aid the memory (ie: visualizing milk as the actual container of milk) o Ie: rhyming, formulas, alliteration  Serious thought is impossible without mnemonic patterns because serious thought has to be memorizes/incorporated into memory palaces Oral Tradition 1  Rich in metaphor  Multi-sensory  Non-linear creative thought  Homer – originator of the oral tradition (poetry) o Illiterate, 9 century BCE o Illiad/Odyseey Oral Society  Many written texts were written in rhyming form in order to be memorized  Jongleur (Middle Ages-itinerant minstrel) o Memorize hundreds of lines of poems/texts o Aide-memoires o Rhyme Writing/Print History Theory/Orality/Harold Innis  Theorist of communication/culture  Historical relationship between society and technologies of communication  Argued that we have to look at changes in communication and media  Medium theory – “medium is the message”  Time/space  Certain types of media have either a time biased or space biased Innis: Time-Biased Media  Oral (no writing, no reading, communication completely based on talking/singing/music)  The medium in which communication occurs matters  Some of these media (ie: stone, clay, durable media) more geared toward a time-biased in society, more interested in history and less in spatial control  Community, continuity  Practical knowledge (less abstract)  Geographically confined (societies were sef-contained and limited)  Example: organized crime: in order to function, can’t have written records  Hierarchical social order o Priests, class, controlling what is appropriate knowledge and what is not o Theocentric  Vulnerable to “light” media challenge Innis: Space-Biased Media  Need for a balance: of both space and time (not good if just have one)  Examples: papyrus, paper, printing press, TV  Large capacity/less enduring o Ie: newspapers are read and then thrown out, only matter for a day or so and then get rid of it  Administration o Territorial control  Cultural 2  Homogenization  Secular (not religious or spiritual)  Commodifcation – buying, selling, ect.  Monopolies of knowledge o Innis thinks this is the most troubling: new media come and flourish/advance new ideas, more democratic, and then over time interests seem more controlled o Over time that media gets in the hands of fewer hands and more people aren’t in the hands anymore o Ie: newspapers 1700s so many newspapers didn’t cost money to make them if you had own ideas could edit, write articles, ect. and then newspapers became more capital/rely more on money and be bigger enterprises and require advertising. Now the little guy is competing and has a concentration in the newspaper world that cant compete against higher people controlling it Innis: Orality  “My bias with oral tradition”  Spirit of Greek civilization o Dialogue, Socratic method (question and answering back and forth) o Intellectual exchange o Skeptical dogma  Inhibit tyranny, imperialism  Innis thought we need to know what we lose with further advancements and sometimes those things matter and should be brought back  Question, challenge rulers and ideals Origins of Writing: Sumeria  3200 BCE start to see the first examples of written language Mesopotamia o Seems to have developed in a form of bookkeeping (shopkeeper and traders) realized their memory couldn’t keep up  Accountancy o Economy outstripping memory  Pictographic script Sumerian  Rebus principle  Pictographic symbol used for phonetic value  Concepts that can be depicted through the use of actual identifiable images Sumerian/Cuneiform/Clay  Abstract concepts o Religious/legal/medical texts o Objects and ideas  Cuneiform o Pictography to formal patterns o Ideographic and syllabic symbols o Non-alphabetic  Forming words and sentences through the forming of idographic and syllabic symbols  Cylinders on clay – personal stamps  Baked clay tablets 3  Trade/commerce  Time-biased medium – fixed in clay, clay lasts a long time Spread of Writing  Only focusing on the development of writing in the Middle East/Europe, but other parts of the world in India and Pakistan, writing is developing at the same time  Pictographic/schematic script (not a picture but the word will still have something like a pattern or a line or something) Writing: Alphabetic  Phoenicians – 1500 BCE, 22 letters (only consonants, no vowels) o More efficient and economical form of writing  Basic for Hebrew, Latin, Arabic, Cyrillic, Bengali o Indo-European (Romance, Germanic, Slavic, Indonesian)  Now the symbols represent letters in alphabet and efficiently piecing them together to create words  Easier with alphabet, harder with schematic and pictographic Greek Alphabet/Writing  Adapt Phoenician alphabet o Advancement: Greeks add vowels o 1000 – 200 BCE  Easier to read/write  Precise meanings Ancient Greece (500-100 BCE)  Craft to democratic literacy o Technical innovation (alphabet) o Social innovation (more prolific widespread schooling system) o Writing is concentrated in a few  Devalue memorization – the skills of memorization becomes less reliant and valuable  New statements/novel ideas o Because you can create more words with the alphabetic system it effectively opened up the ability to create more concepts o Stimulating novel thoughts that can be seen and spread among others  Eric Havelock: “pre-philosophical, pre-literary, pre-scientific” o Pre-alphabetic (importance of an alphabetic writing system for all kinds of advances that occurred in society at this time) Writing (Ancient Greece)  Objectify texts o Putting something away to be brought back later, becomes an object  Disembodiment o You can separate the lecturer from the person who writes the readings, there does not need to be someone in front of you for you to understand what is going on o Don’t need the person to know what the knowledge is  Abstraction o A greater capacity to have o Deductive logic, rational philosophy, abstract science 4  Havelock argues: the alphabet allowed ancient Greece to become the cradle of Western tradition and civilization Literacy/Orality: Greek Ideal  Innis  Oral Tradition  Alphabetic literacy  Brake on knowledge monopolies Writing/Limitations  Scarcity/expense writing material o Stone, clay, papyrus, parchment o “Calligraphy as enemy of literacy”  it is a style of writing and design which has a lack of standardization, also writing this way is hard and takes a lot of time Scribal Culture  Scriptoria o Dark/middle ages (600-1400 AD)  Book production  Hand copying – mostly religious texts  Parchment  Dictation o Person reads out the sentence and the scribes in the Church copy that out o Problem: hard to get the sentences actually right and there will be texts that will not be entirely properly copied from the original o Slow labour, intensive, it will be idiosyncratic Scribal Culture  Hyrbrid: o Writing/orality o Literature was designed for a reading and a hearing public too o Meant to be said out loud  Holy Scripture  Lay Stationers (1200s-) Oral Society (Middle Ages)  Legal proceedings o When getting a will revealed, it needs to be read out loud (can’t just read it off paper) o Tradition of having it spoken out loud  Aura of spoken word o Letters read aloud o Spoken prayers  Logographic and phonographic o Refers to the ideas of knowledge that are conveyed in writing, or conveyed orally Printing Press (1450s)  Johann Gutenberg (ca 1499-1468)  Goldsmith, specializes in metal  Came up with the idea of the printing press by adapting pre-existing technologies 5 o Wooden hand press (used for olive oil) was the idea behind putting metal letters in the press that were soaked in ink and can be put together to have printed words  Moveable type – have letters that move around to make the words that are going to be pressed on each page  Paper (rag-based)  paper, not parchment (by 1300s, innovations in terms of paper developing by using rags or old clothing as the source, didn’t use trees yet) Gutenberg Bible (1455)  42 lines of text on the Bible **** exam  Bible embodies all those things mentioned above  Rapid changes in the proliferation of written text  More people can afford to buy texts  Higher speed of production  Greater quality, transcribers labor is not needed  Dissemination of text Impact of Printing  Reduce costs; speed production  Greater quality/dissemination  Latin to vernacular – greater standardization among those languages  Problem with Printing Press: ideas can spread quicker and give information and power in the hands of others  Piety/pornography  Reformation (1517-1648) o Martin Luther – the reformation was successful because they were able to spread ideas against the Catholic Church among the population o Ideological campaign against corruption of the Roman Catholic Church o Printed pamphlets  Press: “God’s highest gift of grace”  ability to transform religious experience could have happened without the advent of written printed texts Impact of Printing (Einstein) Hearing Public Reading Public  Communal binding – the people  Atomistic – fragmenting that are around you (supposed to silently read the words, not supposed to share, supposed to be individualistic)  Local embrace – (ie: I share  Distant embrace (read a novel, something with these readers millions have read it) from other parts of the world)  Direct participation  Vicarious participation – imagined communities, defined by people that we do not always have face to face contact with (Facebook)  Pulpit news – you go to Church  Printed news every week to get the weekly news 6  Religious(?)  Secular (?) Continued Orality  Typography o “Conveyed to the ear, not the eye”  Book learning: oral/literate hybrid o Pervasive illiteracy o Minstrel shows, ballads, poetry readings o Village reader o Sermons o Lectures o Coffee houses, salons Space-Biased Media (Innis)  Dialectic o Liberty and monopolies of knowledge o Printing Press  Balance: o Time/space o Centrifigural/centripetal o Democratic society Newspapers Print/Modes of Reading  Individualism o Early 1500s – late 1700s o Taking shape in terms of the political economy, religion, Protestant reformation o Reading is not the driving force behind individualism, but it is one element about it o The idea that you can be alone, reading, deep in your thoughts o People did not always think this was a desirable thing  “Dangers” of Private Reading o Dangers of the common people learning to read and then reading privately o They were doing this in an unsupervised sense o You take away the middle person o Seen as dangerous o Saw this with the early days of the internet where people had access to all this information online o There was a sense that reading alone was seen as a suspicious activity o During the inquisition there were many instances of people being reported to the inquisition based on the fact that the person read a lot o People were on the lookout for this sort of activity  Mobile Reading o 1500s-1600s o Book formats were getting smaller o Pocket books start to come into play o Poetry books getting smaller o People could take their books with them and read on the road o The ability to take up time which was otherwise filled with boredom and fill it up with intellectually stimulating ideas because you could bring the book around with you 7 o It opened up new possibilities for reading  Silent/Vocalized Reading o Does not mean that you stamp out reading aloud  Middle/Upper Classes, Working Classes o Increasingly middle and upper classes in Europe the practice of reading privately/silently was prevailing o Amongst the working classes, the practice of listening publically was more common, why?  Because illiteracy was more likely to be the case among working class people  However, just because you were illiterate doesn’t mean you were excluded from reading culture  There were many ways literary ideas could be taken in by people who weren’t readers Women Readers  Women were not political equals to men at this time  Fear unleashed emotions o There was a feeling that novels were a real challenge because people were scared that women were succumbed to love o Novel/fiction o Some argued that women should not read at all  Bible/devotional works o Some people argued women should only have reading materials consisting of the Bible and devotional works o Some people thought it was okay to let women read some of the classics o What women read was controlled – vetted by husbands and children  Challenge to patriarchal authority o The idea that certain things women would read could present a challenge to the patriarchic authority that existed at these times Print/Modes of Reading and how it Changes  Critical Reading o Model of critical readership = you are taking on a less reverential view of books, less as seeing books as sacred or devotional texts, and more as texts that should be studied and questioned and challenged o As more and more books get published you can get more ideas and opinions on certain topics o You can get different interpretations o This suggests a different mode of reading – you are reading and recognizing that there are different ideas out there o Having questions and interrogating the validity of arguments becomes a more common presence of reading  Intensive to Extensive Reading o Intensive reading = you read a small number of texts but you read them in depth, over and over, because you are trying to pull out the essential ideas of that and sometimes to get to this you need repeated reading  In the early centuries of manuscripts and the printing press, intensive reading was the more common mode of reading  You had a smaller number of books and you just read them many times, intensively 8 o Extensive reading = about skimming or browsing, not necessarily starting from page 1 and moving sequentially until you get to the end  After printing press  This was because there was an abundance of books so it wasn’t easy to read every book from start to finish  You are starting to think in terms of how much ground you can cover because you want to get to the other books to  Format Changes o As you get into the 1600s and 1700s, books were taking on the structure we see today:  Title pages  Chapter breakdowns  Printed notes in the margins  Contents  Indexes – a way to dip in and out of the book to find bits of information you want without having to spend a lot of time o People aren’t just reading to get the whole intellectual range of the book – they are dipping in and out for various reasons Reformation/Printing (1520s to 1640s)  Printing press not “causal” o The printing press facilitated the reformation o Reformation = a kind of revolt against the Catholic Church  The Catholic Church was said to be corrupt  There was a reform against that led by Martin Luther  This resulted in Protestant denominations being formed  It is also a propaganda war because the ideas about what it means to have a direct relation with God o The printing press is able to facilitate the information flow needed to get people to take on these new ideas through books, pamphlets, ect. o People who weren’t literate could be aware of these messages by having people read to them and be able to understand these posters  Variety of printed matter o Information supply, not advance literacy  Illiterates and new ideas Reformation  Vernacular bible o German, etc.  This contributed to people learning to read and write o Catholic prohibition  Bible reading/personal salvation o Bible reading brought about personal salvation o Your ability to be saved and go to heaven was linked to your regular reading of scripture o You see rise of literacy because of this  Counter reformation o Catholic church fighting back against the upswing of Protestant o They were therefore producing their own written material to counter the claims that were being presented in the Protestant theology 9 Censorship  Catholic Church – Index of Prohibited Books o A catalogue of books you were not allowed to read if you were a good Catholic o If you were found to possess these you could be put on the torture wheel o Most of the books had to do with protestant theology o A lot of the books were by Erasmus, Machiavelli Dante (not all religious) o There was a sense amongst the Catholic church that the way to deal with threatening ideas was to ban them by censoring them  England: Stationer’s Co. 1550s/1790s o Inspect manuscripts before printing o A pre-clearance process Censorship Effects  Interest in banned titles o People would see this list of banned titles and become interested o Interest was ignited in these works that they otherwise would not have come into contact with  Clandestine publishing and communication o If you are going to ban books, don’t be surprised if people try to get around that o Printing would go on in secret areas o The publishers name printed on it would be a pseudonym for obvious reasons  Printing abroad o In more liberal countries things could be printed about the protestant church o These works were then smuggled into France and countries that forbid them  Allegory o Scholars have looked at latent meanings/truths that speak to an adult audience o You tell the truth through the allegories o The use of parallel modes of explanation that defy the latent o Ie: animal farm, political issue in allegory through animals Print Culture  Fixity of texts o If something isn’t written down the fixity is not there – the text is fluid o The press promoted the fixity of texts – that you can ground these texts, keep the more static, controlled, and less subject to change o Oral tradition was more fluid o When the missionaries were trying to convert the natives to Christianity they talked about the superiority of Christianity by saying that Christianity is something fixed whereas the native culture isn’t – they argued for the superiority of Christianity because of the fixity of the texts  Accumulation of knowledge o You are much more likely to make discoveries o Knowledge is more widely known o More difficult for information to be lost o Many copies of books printed and disseminated so even if one library burns down, you will have a copy of the book in another place – the works will not be lost forever o Seen with the growth of libraries  Destabilize knowledge 10 o Knowledge is destabilized by printing because it makes readers more conscious of conflicting accounts and stories and interpretations of events o There is not a definitive work about something now – there are different interpretations that come along o As readers become more aware of texts, they become more aware of conflicting stories and accounts – not just one book that is the be all and end all, there are competing versions  Additive not substitutive o Print culture does not undo oral tradition o It is a hybrid process – it moves in conjunction with oral traditions o Manuscript communication coexist with print – it doesn’t just die out o Print is an old medium today but it still coexists with television, radio, etc. o The idea is that we should look at ways that these forms of coexistence take place and the way new media is shaped by old media Pre-Newspaper/Printing Press Communication Networks (early 1400s) Four channels:  1. Catholic Church o Communication network was based on the needs of the catholic church to spread the word  2. State/Political Authorities o Administration of territory o Diplomacy  3. Commerce o Trading networks o Banking centres – need to communicate with other merchants using them  4. Itinerant Peddlers o Balladeers, entertainers, merchants o They were applying their trade by selling their services and objects o They would go from community to community and therefore disseminated news from one to the next o Some were adept at turning the knowledge of news into a commodity and charging a small fee for news th th New Communication Networks (15 /16 Centuries) Examples of when postal services appeared:  Postal service o France, 1464, Royal Post o Hapsburg, 1500s o England (1500s) o 1700s: networks through Europe o Slowness  Both for domestic and private mail  Restrictions on what you could send  An infrastructure was established  The letters typically travelled by horse and carriage – very poor roads, slow  It wasn’t until the advent of the railroad that this process was sped up Printed News (late 1400s)  Leaflets, broadsheets, posters o They used a printing press to make these 11  Distant news & Hawkers o People became more interested in learning about things from afar rather than local, and are willing to pay a little money for it too o Not formal systems, just roaming around selling news o Would get the printed newsletters and would spread them o The newsletters would give accounts of distant news o These are localized societies so your knowledge usually didn’t go very far Early Newspapers (Corantos)  Corantos o Weekly journals initially appeared in German cities (Berlin, Strasberg, ect.) and then disseminating them to various channels (post masters, hawkers)  Postmaster as news provider o The postmaster is the regional representative of the postal system o The postmaster would collect news in that area and assemble it into a postmaster report o Then, these reports would be compiled into the Corantos which was a weekly account of news from different postmasters  Thomas Archer, 1621- o In England, first example of this (he became imprisoned because he wasn’t licensed to do it) o He reported on what was happening in continental Europe to an English audience o Continental Europe was in the Thirty Years’ War – there was a lot of stuff going on because of this war and war was good for business o There were a lot of good things to report on o He would take the Corantos reports and compile it into a weekly Corantos for people in London English Civil War & Newspapers  1640-1660 o 1640: the king was dethroned and a parliamentary form of government was in place and this freed up press controls  Press Freedom o You didn’t need a license to have a print shop o No censorship  Growth of weekly newspapers o Pamphlets, politic tracts o They were weeklys because still costly time couldn’t get it done on a daily basis  Domestic news – more news about what’s happening in England than anywhere else  Restoration (1660) and press control  Monopolies of knowledge/dialect o The printing press is an example of Innis’s views of monopolies  More and more people become accustomed to reading newspapers and getting their information from this source and therefore it became harder to suppress this type of medium British Newspapers  Samuel Bucklet, Daily Courant, 1702  Specialized papers o Daily instead of weekly newspapers come into play o Specialized ones – ex. politics, finance, etc. 12  1750: 5 dailies: 5 weeklies o Some with 100,000 + circulation o The papers could travel through the postal network and therefore people in the countryside were able to read them  Many of the papers were read in coffee houses, taverns o Reading aloud, debating what was in the papers o Readership/circulation o If you have a circulation of 100,000 your readership really could be 5 times that because of people reading papers in coffee houses o Jurgen Habermas - Public Sphere  A sphere of society, separate from the state and family  It is a space where public opinion comes into creation  Within these coffee houses, a form of rational debate and discussion could take place among different social classes  These space were seen as the creation of a public sphere  This is linked to the idea of the dissemination of newspapers and their common reading in venues like coffee houses  The public sphere is an outgrowth of media development  You can’t have a public sphere without newspapers and you can’t have the discussion for rational, critical debate without the setting of a coffee house  He said it specifically happens in England at this time and in parts of Germany  Certain conditions had to be met first – one of those was the availability of newspapers and the ability for public opinions to influence government decisions Stamp Acts/Press Freedom  Stamp Act 1712 o Requiring that you have a stamp on each page of your newspaper for it to be legal o Paying money for the stamp increases hte cost of your newspaper  State Revenues/Press Restraint o It was a way for the state to gain revenue o This was troubling for publishers of newspapers and for advocates of press freedom  Curb Abuse of State power  Stamp Act 1765 (US)  Freedom of Press o First amendment of US constitution o Central pillar for the workings of a truly democratic government British North America/Canada Examples of Newspapers:  None in New France  Halifax Gazette  Quebec Gazette  Upper Canada Gazette – state  Canada Constellation – private Upper Canada, 19 Century  Post 1815 Growth o Immigration, economic development o Growth of towns with newspapers – manageable way to disseminate newspapers 13 Upper Canada Newspapers (pre/post 1820) Before 1820, newspapers embodied the terms of polite sociability, and gradually get the shift to the attributes of the terms of democratic sociability What causes this change is in part owing to the political change in British North America at this time  Polite sociability – about defining proper/good behaviour in society o Essays/letters o Morals/manners o History/literature o Genteel/cultivate mind o Not discuss politics – it was thought that politics caused arguments o State organs (some) o “Polite conversation” o About situating people in a proper behavioural mode  Democratic sociability o *Reflect/create public opinion – the publishers have political viewpoints that they want to convey and that they want you to adhere to o Partisanship o Discuss legislative topics o Government watchdog – if the government was seeing as lax or no adhering to its mandate, the newspaper would jump on them and criticize them o Responsible government (legislature/council) – decision making ultimately would take place in the elected assembly Newspapers/Rights of Citizens  Joseph Howe o Nova Scotian, 1827-  Newspaper: defender of people vs. arbitrary state  Responsible government  Publisher – editor – politician o Howe is all three o Uses this position as a springboard into politics Politicized Newspapers  Editor Politicians o Opinionated press  Etienne Parent (Le Canadian)  William Loyne Mackenzie (Colonial Advocate) o Responsible government o 1837 Rebellion  Mackenzie: Publisher – editor – politician – armed rebel Disseminating Newspapers  Postal networks o Growth in the number of postmasters  Newspapers were given preferential rates – the cost of mailing a newspaper to a different community was lower than the cost of shipping things normally o Letters subsidized the spread of newspapers o Lax enforcement of payment for shipping newspapers 14  Newspaper agent o Hired agents most often postmasters in different communities to help spread newspapers’ popularity o Distribute copies, pitch advertising sales, promote newspapers  Media as complex, integrated systems o Construct network of readership spread across communities Photography/Advertising Readers (Upper Canada)  Circulation rates: Growth o Which families are most likely to subscribe? Those from higher socioeconomic groups o Male readership far outpaces female readership  Social classes of readers  Subscription costs o Unskilled, wage labourers unlikely to subscribe o People were willing to pay a very significant amount for these newspapers o About 3 days salary for someone who was highly skilled o About 400-500 dollars per year  Reading aloud/sharing newspapers o Non paying readers Civic and Mass Newspaper  Text, not aesthetically laid out, not graphically inviting Yellow Press/Mass/Entertainment Newspaper  Reinvention of newspapers in the latter 1800s, focusing on:  1. Advertising over subscription o Revenue model where 75-80% of the revenue is coming from advertising o The content of the paper changes o Realization by 1890s that if you lower the price, you get your money from advertising – PRIME SOURCE OF REVENUE (not subscription dollars)  2. Sensationalism o Local news, crime, scandal o Don’t just report objectively o Emphasize stuff that will maintain interest  3. Entertainment o The newspaper had to bridge the divide between informing and entertaining o Mirroring the content and design format of magazines  4. Self advertising o The front page becomes a self advertisement for the paper o The front page is meant to jump out, capture attention and broadcast what the newspaper is all about in a day to day sense and a general sense (the overall genre of the paper)  5. Illustrations  6. Large headlines  7. ‘Use-paper’ o A paper that isn’t so much about information, but more about tips on how to survive modern life (deal with relationships, kids, etc.) o Offer practical advice for people living in urban settings  8. Commuter Friendly 15 o The paper got smaller – easier to read it on a street car o The idea that the newspaper has to be amenable to the commuting experience o Shorter articles so you can read them during the morning commutes  9. Lead/inverted pyramid o News writing style where first paragraph should embody or capsulate the overall story (in conjunction with the headline) o Reason for this is because people tend to not read the entire story anymore Mass/Entertainment Newspaper (CDA)  Hugh Graham – Montreal Star  John R Robertson – Toronto Telegram  1. Advertising  2. Higher Costs  3. Local news (crime, scandal)  4. Entertainment over information function From Civic to Mass Newspaper Civic Newspaper (1820-1890) Mass Newspaper (1890-) (Democratic Sociability)  Political advocate  Commercial enterprise  Public defender  Advertising reliant  Public responsibility  Corporations and chains  Civic education  Heavily capitalized – therefore need to maintain a certain amount of revenue t all times because have a lot of costs  Editor-publisher, small shop  Decline of editorial pages  Opinion making – editorial pages  Less partisan  Public record of legislative  Higher circulation, fewer proceedings newspapers  “Public utility”  Readership over partisanship – attracting as many readers as you can becomes the goal, some of the papers move away from taking a partisanship view on articles Space-Biased Media (Innis)  Dialectic o There was a limited type and supply of reading material o It was said that the Catholic Church had a monopoly of knowledge because it controlled the supply and dissemination of reading material  Liberty and monopolies of knowledge o Printing press  This takes away the power of the Church – there were so many books being published now in all different languages  A sense that you have more liberty and freedom o Increase in licensing of print shops 16 o Reinsertion of monopolies of knowledge, but in different hands – no longer in the hands of the Church  Censorship and licensing control was not able to endure, so there became far less of it  There was a greater recognition of freedom of press and freedom of speech  So what you have is a lot of newspapers coming into play and a lot of diverse viewpoints  Newspapers are heavily capitalized (requires a lot of money to start up)  Different monopolies of knowledge – function of the oligopolistic nature of capitalism  The newspapers are controlling so much of what people read and learn about their lives  But, this was not good – it had to be balanced  Ultimately, it is the TV that presents a serious challenge to the authority of newspapers  Balance: o Time/space o Centrifugal/centripetal o Democratic society  Have we reached this balance? Early Photography  Daguerreotype – unique image  Wet plate process – multiple prints from single glass negative  Dry plate process – no more portable darkrooms, allowed for mobile photographic use Photographic Portraiture  First type of photography was portraits  Mathew Brady – got famous people to take portraits  National pride, citizenship, and character Democratic Portraiture  It spread, and middle class working class are now able to afford to get their pictures taken  At first only the rich could afford it because it was really expensive  Photography allows ordinary people to be part of it, democracy  Individual as a coherent self  Symbol of inner self – belief was that your outer self could be encapsulated in a photo, and the effect of that was to get a sense of your inner self (personality) could be communicated through a photo  Keepsake of deceased Seeing, Believing: War Documentary  Burden of Truth  Civil War, 1861-65  M.Brady  A. Gardner/T. P’Sullivan  Orchestrated Realism Social Documentary  Jacob Riis – a photographer in NY concerned about the environmental social conditions of the poor  Poverty, poor social conditions cause crime  Wanted to show what it was like so we can treat these conditions and make society better 17  Affect social change, reform movement, cultural “other”  Taking photos of the poor so the middle class and wealthy could see this and realize there’s a problem Kodak Camera, 1888  George Eastman  Hand-held, point-and-shoot box camera  Portability/Affordability  Amateur users – getting cheaper  Autobiographical record  Time Machine/Time Bias?  Nostalgia – a sense of looking at our past  Women, men, and children are all starting to use cameras Early Photojournalism  Technological changes, 1880s/90s  Engraved to half-tone reproduction  ‘reality’/authenticity Photo-Journalism  Flash photography  Camera improvements (Kodak);snapshot camera, fast drying gelatin plate o Faster shutter speed, can now take pictures of moving objects  Movement/action photography o Ie: can go to a war and take a picture of the battlefield as its happening  Photo-journalist: wars, disasters, public events  Wirephoto, 1921  Flash bubs, late 1920s  Photo agencies – Bain’s News Pictures Service  Veracity/immediacy Photography’s Rapid Uptake  Mechanical process  Self-representation o Individual/familial  Realism/objectivity  Subjectivity Advertising/Patent Medicines  The first advertisements were patent medicines  Herbal compounds, tonics, liniment oils o These were sold to people who were ill o They were very successful in terms of the growth of the industry o “Dr. Duponco’s Golden Periodical Pills” o “Hmlin’s Wizard Oil”  1804: 80; 1860: 1 500 +  Gout, f
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Related notes for Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G

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