Media Lab Portfolio part 2, 3, 4
December 3, 2007
“A History of News” by Mitchell Stephens was a good choice for the Media Lab topic this semester. We study how to write properly with special journalism tactics and we read modern day newspapers, but we were able to learn about how journalism and the spread of news originated. In any subject, I think background information and history is important to understanding the topic better. History can even be interesting and exciting sometimes. For example, I was unaware that the first form of delivering news was “word of mouth.” I really had not given it much thought. When we read about the messengers and criers who would stand on the street corner and announce news, it was literally another world and the world has advance today.
If I existed in 1941, I would have heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor on the radio possibly a few hours after it happened. On September 11, 2001, I watched the attack on the World Trade Center on the television ten minutes after it happened. Audio news turned to visual news in less than a century.
The speed of news has also developed significantly over centuries. The spread of news occurs in seconds now whereas in 1481 it took a handwritten letter reporting the death of a Turkish sultan two years to make its way to England.
Also, who could forget the printing press, the invention that sparked a new age of journalism? Gutenberg’s invention affected printing greatly. Books and documents could be produced at a faster rate than ever. Even though the printing press required manual labor and constantly needed adjustments, it was the invention of the century. Today we have computer processors and our beloved Microsoft Word that gets us through the day. If I hadn’t typed up this essay, it would be handwritten and taken me twice as long. I am grateful for new technology because it rules my life and I am okay with that.
Since the first newspaper publication in the 17th century in Europe, the world has evolved to technology and such websites as www.abcnews.com and www.yahoo.com. There does not have to be the sale ads falling out of papers or wet and faded news from the morning dew. Websites provide news that can be updated almost instantly to suit the needs of its readers.
In the end, I would not change our world today from its technological advancements of news and journalism. I appreciate what we have today because from what we have read from Stephens, it seems complicated and obscure. If I had to hand-write everything, I would have arthritis before I hit 20 and really wouldn’t learn as much because each assignment would take so much time.
To end my reflection on the history of journalism, I think this subject should be taught in the next couple of years so that new students can learn about it too. It really is helpful to know background information on a subject; you will be working with for the rest of your life.
Link to my Media Lab blog portfolio