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. The second period emerged with the development of print, or "written communication." ***** third major historical period in communication ***** the result of ***** technological developments 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 of *****, control of communication mechanisms has varied significantly. These *****s moved from the individual face-to-face encounter to the ***** yet distant ***** of ***** to ***** ***** more distant, depersonalized, and 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 of the ***** in ***** lives - both *****day and ***** ***** past - required an "underst*****ding of the cultural context" in ***** the media operate (5). Oral communication is slow, mov*****g ***** one person to an***** in a deliberate and time*****consum*****g manner. Before ***** 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 transmission of knowledge from ***** individual to ano*****r and one generation to another through speaking, listening, and memorization. Originally, culture and cus*****ms were transferred ***** ***** ***** to the next and one generation ***** the ***** in the form of stories, myths, rituals and ceremonies. Religion held a ***** place ***** importance in ***** *****, "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 tradition" (***** 2001, 1).

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

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