Technology or Mass Media

Topics: Mass media, Technology, News media Pages: 5 (1526 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Technology or Mass Media

Technology is a broad term that refers both to artifacts created by humans, such as machines, and the methods used to create those artifacts. More broadly, technology can be used to refer to a way of doing something or a means of organization: for instance, democracy might be considered a social technology. Technology comes from the Greek technologia, which is a combination of “techne”, meaning “craft”, and logia, meaning “saying”. So technology might be considered the articulation of a craft. The word is also used to describe the extent to which a society can manipulate its environment.

When the word “technology” is used today, it is most often used to refer to high technology – computers, cell phones, rockets – rather than technology in general. But when anthropologists use the word “technology,” they go all the way back to the controlled use of fire (from about 500,000 – 1 million years ago), the invention of the wheel (c. 4000 BCE), and beyond. The first technological tools were simple hand-axes made by our hominid ancestors millions of years ago.

The earliest technological divisions are from mankind’s early history, divided into the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age depending on the primary tool and weapon-making material at the time. Each building material is superior to the one before it, but more difficult to develop requisite metallurgical techniques. The Iron Age began in about 1400 BCE.

Since the formulation of the scientific method in the 15th century, technological progress has apparently been accelerating. Some technologies developed since then include the telescope, the microscope, the clock, the engine, the electric generator and electric motor, radio, nuclear power and weapons, television, computer, and many others.

Technological development continues strongly today, fueled by the multibillion-dollar economies of the world’s most prosperous nations. The hottest developments in technology today are happening in computers, nanotechnology, materials science, renewable energy, entertainment, space travel, and medicine.

Philosophers as well as laypeople often debate whether or not technological progress is, on the whole, a good thing for humanity. On the pro-technology side of the spectrum are techno-progressivisms such as Tran humanists, on the anti-technology side are anarcho-primitivists, and Neo-Luddites.

Mass Media is media which is intended for a large audience. It may take the form of broadcast media, as in the case of television and radio, or print media, like newspapers and magazines. Internet media can also attain mass media status, and many mass media outlets maintain a web presence to take advantage of the ready availability of Internet in many regions of the world. Some people also refer to the mass media as the “mainstream media,” referencing the fact that it tends to stick to prominent stories which will be of interest to a general audience, sometimes ignoring controversial breaking news. Many people around the world rely on the mass media for news and entertainment, and globally, mass media is a huge industry.

Usually, mass media aims to reach a very large market, such as the entire population of a country. By contrast, local media covers a much smaller population and area, focusing on regional news of interest, while specialty media is provided for particular demographic groups. Some local media outlets which cover state or provincial news may rise to prominence thanks to their investigative journalism, and to the clout that their particular regions have in national politics. The Guardian, formerly known as the Manchester Guardian, for example, is a nationally-respected paper in England which started as a regional daily.

One of the biggest criticisms of the mass media is that it is too topical. When a media outlet is forced to cover national and international news, it cannot address numerous interesting local stories because...
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