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This edition: Media Convergence

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Episode Details

Cyberspace is based on a convergence of all the media that have gone before, including two that have not been covered thus far in the course: the telephone and the computer. Neither of these technologies fit the “mass medium” criteria until they formed the core of the Internet and became part of a system that delivers media content to a wide, dispersed audience. While the Internet is a mass delivery system, it does not neatly fit the earlier definition of mass communication because the sources of media content are decentralized and dispersed just like their audiences. This lesson begins with brief histories of the telephone and the computer, which set the stage for a look at the media convergence that became the Internet. It then proceeds to examine how the Internet works and its implications for social relationships, education, and the world of work.