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The Evolution of Media Essay

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The evolution of media, from old media to new media, has transformed the way we understand the world around us. New media is interactive and is user-generated while old media is a more traditional way of communicating through television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, etc (Lecture Notes. January 12, 2011). New media gives us a new perspective by allowing us to interact with one another through the Internet. Media has become much more personal and diverse as user-generated content becomes more prominent in our lives (Lecture Notes. January 24, 2011). We are exposed to various viewpoints shape our understanding and knowledge of the social world, but does the form of media actually affect the way we understand the content which is presented to us? For my paper, I will determine whether or not the medium is the message by analyzing two different types of media sources and how they affect our understanding of the content. For my old media source I have chosen a news clip from the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric that deals with the ongoing Egyptian uprising. For my new media source I have chosen a video blog, or ‘vlog’, by an Egyptian man named Omar who discusses the crisis in Egypt from a personal point of view. Both media sources deal with the same topic, but result in different understandings of the crisis.
Although both mediums focus on the same issue there are a lot of differences between the two. The CBS news clip uses a lot of visually dramatic effects to engage the audience and to get them to feel a certain way. In the news clip there are several images of violence by both the protestors and the police, however most videos are shot from the viewpoint of the police. This may be simply for safety reasons, however this le...


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...ts. By simply posting a picture on Facebook, a movement for basic rights began. Since the users create the content of new media, people are able to inspire a mass audience.
In conclusion, the medium is the message. The way that information is presented to us plays a key role in our understanding of the topic itself. By framing the crisis in Egypt a particular way, both the old and new media sources are able to give the audience two separate understandings of the social and cultural issues at hand. The media is less interested in telling the audience about the actual story and more interested in the underlying messages of society they provide. These underlying messages lead us to define social and cultural issues the way that the media want us to. Since the media sell us both products and ideas, both personalities and worldviews, the message becomes the medium.



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