Essay - From Oral Tradition to Electronic: Accessing & Disseminating Information Introduction...


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From Oral Tradition to Electronic: Accessing & Disseminating Information

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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 *****." The third major historical period 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 media demand organized production and viewers" (43). In other words, in each historical era ***** communication, control of communication mechanisms has varied significantly. *****se controls moved from the *****dividual face-to-face encounter to the individual yet distant ***** of print to ***** yet more distant, depersonalized, ***** passive role of communication recipients in the electronic era. This analysis will discuss ***** evolution of these three ********** of communication in order to provide a greater understanding of the role ***** ***** in society and people's lives.

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According to Richard Campbell (2003), an understanding of the role ***** the ***** in ***** lives - both today and ***** ***** past - required an "understanding of the cultural context" in which the media operate (5). ***** communication is slow, mov*****g ***** ***** person to an***** in a deliberate and time*****consum*****g manner. Before the advent ***** communication technologies such as writing instruments and *****ing, oral tradition remained the primary means of passing knowledge from one generation ***** the next. Oral tradition represents the transm*****sion of knowledge from ***** individual to another ***** one generation to another through speaking, listening, and memorization. Originally, culture and cus*****ms were transferred from ***** individual to the ***** and one generation ***** the next in the form of stories, myths, rituals and ceremonies. Religion held a prim*****ry place of importance in ***** tradition, "Oral tradition is the spoken relation ***** preservation, from ***** generation to the *****, of a people's cultural history 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 important ***** in disseminating ***** tradition to others. Oral ***** encompasses "first person narrative accounts of one's memories of an event or time of life" (Dillon 2002, *****). An imp*****tant aspect ***** all three eras of communication is the transm*****sion or dissemination of knowledge. Native American groups heavily relied on oral tradition to ***** knowledge ***** one generation to the next pertaining to a v*****riety of issues. One Cherokee ***** involves ***** character of a "Trickster," *****ten a figure from nature such as a rabbit. Within the Cherokee oral tradition, the story of the Rabbit races ***** Turtle is one in which the Trickster Rabbit is defeated not by the plodding nature of the ***** but by means of guile. In th***** story the Rabbit challenges Turtle to

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