Essay - From Oral Tradition to Electronic: Accessing & Disseminating Information Introduction...

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From Oral Tradition to Electronic: Accessing & Disseminating Information


In Forms of Media as Ways of Knowing, Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi (1995) identifies three specific his*****rical eras or periods in communication (43). The first and earliest period was one in which orality or the "*****al tradition" was dominant. The second ***** emerged with the development of print, or "written communication." The third major historical period in communication was the result of the technological developments creating electronic media, the "information age." Sreberny-Mohammadi (1995) distinguishes between these three eras as follows: "In orality, speaking and listening are the central activities. Print requires writers ***** readers. Electronic media demand organized production and viewers" (43). In other words, in each historical era ***** communication, control of communication mechanisms has varied significantly. These ********** moved from the individual face-to-face encounter to the ***** yet distant ***** of print to the ***** more distant, depersonalized, and passive role of communication recipients in ***** electronic era. This analysis will discuss the evolution of these three ***** of communication in order to provide a greater understanding of the role ***** communication in society and people's lives.


According to Richard Campbell (2003), an understanding of the role of the ***** in ***** lives - both today and ***** ***** past - required an "underst*****ing of the cultural context" in ***** the media op*****te (5). ***** ***** is slow, moving from one person to an***** in a deliberate and time*****consum*****g manner. Before the advent ***** communication technologies such as writing instruments and *****ing, oral tradition remained the primary means of passing knowledge from ***** generation ***** the next. Oral tradition represents the transmission of knowledge from one individual to another ***** one generation to another through speaking, listening, and memorization. Originally, culture and customs were transferred from ***** individual to the next and one generation ***** the next in the form of stories, myths, rituals and ceremonies. Religion held a prim*****ry place of importance in ***** tradition, "Oral tradition is the spoken relation ***** preservation, from ***** generation to the next, of a people's cultural h*****tory and ancestry. It was traditionally used to transmit religious beliefs because it conveys cultural tradition" (Oral 2001, 1).

In Ancient Greece and Rome, orators played an import*****t role in disseminating ***** tradition to o*****rs. ***** tradition encompasses "first person narrative accounts ***** one's memories of an event or time of life" (Dillon 2002, 1). An import*****t aspect ***** all three eras of communication is the transm*****sion or dissemination of knowledge. Native American groups heavily relied on oral traditi***** to transmit ***** from one ***** to the next pertaining to a variety of issues. One Cherokee ********** involves ***** character ***** a "Trickster," often a figure from nature such as a rabbit. Within the Cherokee oral tradition, the story of the Rabbit races with Turtle is one in which the ***** Rabbit is defeated not by the plodding nature of ***** Turtle but by means of guile. In th***** story ********** Rabbit challenges Turtle to


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