For this week’s readings I decided to focus on the Willey and Rice excerpt “The Integration of Communication” from Communication Agencies and Social Life (1933). I found their analysis of the changing times and mediums interesting as to how it relates to 2013 as we are witnessing a transition period between the more traditional means of communication and mass expression of thought and ideas and the new, more digital and networked means of communication.
As someone looking to make a career in advertising, the changing times in mass communication is something that I’ve been keeping an eye on. As Willey and Rice wrote in 1933, “The surface picture is one of conflict: railroad competing with bus; bus competing with street car; street car competing with private automobile; newspapers concerned over radio advertising; moving picture competing with radio; wireless competing with cable; telephone competing with telegraph.” The same issue is at hand today as can be evidenced by this Wall St./Harris poll which shows that over half of adults believe that traditional media as we know it will no longer exist in 10 years. While I, and Huffington Post blogger Jure Klepic, think that this is an over-exaggeration based on the current mediums serving as a flavor of the month of sorts, it is important to note how Americans are embracing the new wave of media and methods of communication.
Another point to take note of in this reading is the contradictory nature of social stimuli in our world: the reinforcements of community behavior and the standardization over wider national and international regions. I think that the first of these points is especially prevalent today in the form of so many niche groups, blogs, pages, etc. that can be found on the internet. The contradiction is that someone can be a part of a small niche yet that niche can have members from all across the world, something that new forms of communication and media bring which traditional media may not have had the opportunity or capability of doing.
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