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)