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 "oral tradition" was dominant. The second ***** emerged with the development of print, or "written communication." The third major historical period in communication ***** the result of the technological developments creating electronic media, the "information age." ***** (1995) distinguishes between these three ***** as follows: "In **********, 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 ***** communication, control of communication mechanisms has varied significantly. These *****s moved from the *****dividual face-to-face encounter to the individual yet distant encounter of ***** to the ***** more distant, depersonalized, ***** passive role of communication recipients in the electronic era. This analysis will discuss the evolution ***** ***** three ********** of communication in order to provide a greater understanding of the role of ***** in society and people's lives.


According to Richard Campbell (2003), an understanding of the role of the media in people's lives - both today and ***** ***** past - required an "underst*****ding of the cultural context" in ***** the media operate (5). Oral communication is slow, mov*****g from one person to an***** 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 to the next. ***** 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 one ***** to the next and ***** generation to the ***** in the form of s*****ries, myths, rituals and ceremonies. Religion held a primary place of importance in oral *****, "Oral tradition is the spoken relation and preservation, from one generation to the next, of a people's ***** h*****tory ***** 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 import*****t ***** 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*****t*****t aspect of all three eras ***** ***** is the transm*****sion or dissemination of knowledge. Native American groups heavily relied on ***** traditi***** to transmit ***** from one generation to the next pertaining to a variety 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 ***** Rabbit is defeated not by the plodding nature of the Turtle but by means of guile. In this ***** ***** Rabbit challenges Turtle to


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