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 "*****al tradition" was dominant. ***** second period emerged with the development of print, or "written *****." The third major historical ***** in communication ***** the result of ***** technological *****s 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 and readers. Electronic ***** demand organized production and viewers" (43). In other words, in each historical era of communication, control ***** communication mechanisms has varied significantly. These controls moved from the individual face-to-face encounter to the individual yet distant encounter of ***** to the ***** more distant, depersonalized, ***** 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 ***** ***** in society and people's lives.


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

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


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