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 *****." ***** third major historical period in communication ***** the result of the technological *****s creating electronic media, the "information age." Sreberny-Mohammadi (1995) distinguishes between these three ***** 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 ***** *****, control of communication mechanisms has varied significantly. These controls moved from the individual face-to-face encounter to the ***** yet distant ***** of ***** to the ***** more distant, depersonalized, ***** passive role of communication recipients in the electronic era. This analysis will discuss ***** evolution ***** ***** three eras 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 underst*****ding of the ***** of the media in ***** lives - both today and ***** ***** past - required an "underst*****ing of the cultural context" in ***** the media operate (5). Oral ***** is slow, mov*****g from ***** person to ********** in a deliberate and time-consuming manner. Before the advent ***** communication technologies such as writing instruments and printing, oral tradition remained the primary means of passing knowledge from one generation to the next. Oral tradition represents the transm*****sion ***** knowledge from one individual ***** ano*****r ***** one generation to another through speaking, listening, and memorization. Originally, culture and customs were transferred ***** ***** individual to the ***** and one generation to the next in the form of stories, myths, rituals and ceremonies. Religion held a primary place ***** importance in oral tradition, "Oral tradition is ***** spoken relation and 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 tradition" (***** 2001, 1).

In Ancient Greece and Rome, orators played an import*****t role in disseminating ***** tradition to o*****rs. Oral tradition 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 of communication is the transm*****sion or dissemination ***** knowledge. Native American groups heavily relied on ***** ***** to ***** ***** ***** *****e ***** to the next pertaining to a v*****riety of issues. One Cherokee tradition involves the character of a "Trickster," often a figure from n*****ture such as a r*****bbit. Within ***** Cherokee oral *****, the story of the Rabbit races with Turtle is one in which the ***** Rabbit is defeated not by the plodding nature of ***** ***** but by means of guile. In this ***** the Rabbit challenges Turtle to


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