Mid-Semester Reflection (option 4)

One of the most interesting chapters in Starr to me was chapter 4 “America’s First Information Revolution.” Starr discusses the rise in popularity of printed items, and constitutional changes that insured quality in all public printed items. One of the sections I found most interesting in this chapter was ” The Creation of the News Network.” Starr discusses a shift in printed media, from the way things were written to the demand for it. Starr on page 85 quotes printer Isiah Thomas, who we’ve learned a lot about “After the end of the Revolution, printed presses multiplied rapidly not only in seaports,” (1) We’ve discussed why and how printed materials gained their popularity, and the social change that went along with technology becoming more advance. Rather than an issue that Starr has discussed my interest stems deeper into what we have yet to learn. What I want to learn more about it how printed items are still extremely popular and well-known today.

We’ve seen trends come and go, from fashion to media, but some are still with us. Starr in his book discusses the rise of media and communication, from the early 18th century to the present. As we’ve discussed in class and as we’ve read in books society has always been looking for the next best thing when it comes to technology, so how is it that a news platform so old has been popular for so long. Starr writes on page 192, in chapter 6 that ” In the rise of any new medium, a key factor is its relationship to the dominate technology of the day.” (2)In the world of our phones, and tablets it seems that there would be close to no printed media in today’s world, but in fact there is an abundance, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  

Printing media has become more advance today than back in the 19th century, and just like in the 19th century popularity and demand for printed media has increased, as told in Starr on page 90 ” Between 1790 and 1835, while the population grew from 3.9 million to 15 million, the number of newspapers in the United States climbed elven fold, from 106 to 1,258.” Today we see hundreds of newspapers stands, filled will pages of news and information, just like bookstores with hundreds of copies of the same book with hundreds of pages in a book. This advancement has shown that maybe the advancement to newspaper can’t get any better.We understand why this form of media is so important in our technology today, printing presses and newspapers shaped the evolution of communication and media. Newspapers may remain timeless, from what is shown today they still remain a strong element in news and media information in todays society.

1,2Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications, (New York: Basic Books, 2004)

 

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3 thoughts on “Mid-Semester Reflection (option 4)

  1. I think this is a great observation, one that I had began to think about before I read this blog post. One answer to your question about why there is still an abundance of print media in today’s society even though our technological advancements have made it so we can do without them is that there are still a lot of people, myself included, that need to read materials in paper form in order to get the most out of the reading. Personally, I find it difficult to read off of a screen for an extended period of time, whereas with a book or any other form of print media I can read for long periods at a time. There is something about having the print media in hand that makes it easier to read. In addition, although we have made great strides in technological advancements, tablets and smart phones have a limited battery life that people tend to strive to save so they can use them in important situations. Thus, having print media to make a morning and evening commute more bearable is a necessity for these people that do not want to waste their battery on their tablets or mobile devices. These were a couple of explanations that I came up with after reading your insightful blog, but the answers are certainly not limited to what I have offered.

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  2. When writing this post I guess I never really thought about the limitations electronic media has to print media. I definitely understand where you are coming from, I myself find it easier to read something on paper rather than having a screen flashing in my face, and I tend to understand the material better when I have something physically in my hands. This definitely has made me think about my questions more, and thank you for some input on how I can begin answering these questions!

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  3. Hi Kylie,
    I think you did a great job coming up with questions to a topic that is so relevant today. I think one of the reasons why there is an abundance of printing matierals today is that technology regarding to iPads and kindles in which we can read books and newspapers is still relativley new. 15-20 years ago none of those things exisited and the generation before us still enjoys holding a newspaper, book, or magazine in their hands. Another reason as well is that, like you said before, there is nothing like holding something in your hands and to be able to feel the paper and for myself I have a tough time reading something on a screen. I think that as time goes on, printed matierals will still be used because some people can not afford new technology and in schools due to budgets textbooks will still be used as well. However, I think that we have come a long way since the creation of the printing press and printed matierals are still extremely relevant today.

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