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Volume :13 Issue : 52 1995      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Information Superhighway and the Process of Communication

Auther : Nabeel A. Jurdi

The process called the "convergence of modes" or "media fusion" is blurring the lines between point-to-point communication, such as the post, telephone. telegraph, and mass communications, such as the press, radio, and television. The major stepping stones in these "mediatech" developments were the introduction of telegraph and telephone networks and cinematography in the nineteenth century, the invention of television in the 1930s and the digital computer in the 1950s, and the emergence of the microcomputer in the 1970s. The telephone network, which was once used almost entirely for person-to-person conversation, now transmits data among computers, distributes printed matter via facsimile machines, and carries sports and weather bulletins on recorded messages. A news story that used to be distributed only through newsprint nowadays may also be broadcast on television or radio, put on a telecommunication line for remote printing, and placed in an electronic morgue for latter retrieval. So the one-to-one relationship that used to exist between a medium and its use is eroding and that is what is meant by the convergence of modes. It was the emergence of these technologies in the late 1980s that finally provided the framework for the electronic media. Electronic media are an entirely new kind of media experience born from the marriage of TV and computer technologies. Their raw ingredients are images, sound, text, video, which can be brought together in any combination. It is a medium that offers "random access"; it has no physical beginning, middle or end. It is this combination of random access with multiple media that opens up such exciting possibilities for radically new ways to communicate ideas, information, and entertainment.  

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