ERIC Number: ED247611
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-11
Reference Count: 0
Media as System: A Revisionist Approach to Mass Communications History.
Vincent, Richard C.
Media historians have been criticized for their inability to ask substantive questions, for ignoring underlying conditions in media's past, and for their failure to relate the narration of technological developments to existing social and cultural tensions. One problem media historians confront is the scope of their research--many media histories seemingly are written without a well-developed purpose. Too often they cite only isolated instances and then ask that these be accepted as universal proofs. There is also a tendency to reduce history to a mere linear sequence where events are protrayed as existing essentially in limbo. One solution to these problems may be the use of a systems theory for historians to view and conceptualize events of its past. Another way to think of the media system is to use a "participants" orientation, examining the interrelationships among the various sectors of the media system. A more complex model is one that views the media process holistically, allowing for inter- and intra-subsytem activity. An advantage of this model is that it does not assume an unidirectional flow of energy. Influence can be exerted on any point in the model from any point in the model. Because the media are complex, a systems theory model may provide the conceptual framework needed for the study of media processes. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media History
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983). Figure 5 may be marginally legible due to small print.