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. ***** 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." ***** (1995) distinguishes between these three eras 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 of communication mechanisms has varied significantly. *****se ********** moved from the individual face-to-face encounter to the ***** yet distant ***** of print to ***** yet more distant, depersonalized, and passive role of ***** recipients in the electronic era. This analysis will discuss the evolution ***** ***** 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 underst*****ding of the role ***** the media in ***** lives - both today and in ***** past - required an "understanding of the cultural context" in which the media operate (5). ***** communication is slow, moving ***** one person to another in a deliberate and time*****consuming manner. Before the advent of 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 transm*****sion of knowledge from one individual to ano*****r and one generation to another through speaking, listening, and memorization. Originally, culture and customs were transferred ***** one ***** to the ***** and one generation to the next in the form of stories, myths, rituals and ceremonies. Religion held a ***** place of importance in ***** tradition, "Oral tradition is ***** spoken relation ***** preservation, from one 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" (Oral 2001, 1).

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


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