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


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

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


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