Benjamin Franklin, American printer and revolutionary.

  • Introduction to Revolutions in Communication
  • Understanding history
  • Media technology in perspective

Section I  – The Printing Revolution

  • Before the printing revolution:
  • Oral culture
  • The development of writing

Chapter 1 – The Printing Revolution: 1455 to 1814 

  • Foundations of the printing revolution
  • Technological context of printing
  • Gutenberg’s insight: the original “matrix”
  • Printing and the Protestant Reformation
  • Martin Luther and printing
  • The slow emergence or religious tolerance
  • Scientific and technical impacts of the printing revolution
  • Political impacts of the printing revolution
  • News in print
  • Journalist Camille Desmoulins urged French revolutionaries to storm the Bastille in July, 1789.

    First newspapers

  • Censorship and freedom of the press
  • Press freedom and the Enlightenment
  • Political revolutions
  • A tumult of journalists
  • The English Civil War and the marektplace of ideas
  • Revolutionary Press fights for American freedom
  • SIDEBAR:   The trial of John Peter Zenger
  • France: The call for freedom and the descent into terror
  • The  partisan  press before the industrial revolution
  • Partisan Papers in Great Britain
  • SIDEBAR: What was the Fourth Estate?
  • Trans-Atlantic connections
  • Partisan papers in the United States
  • SIDEBAR: The world of the printing “chapel”

YELLOW PRESS – Pulitzer and Hearst fight over credit for the Spanish American War, 1898.

Chapter 2 – The commercial and industrial media revolution 1814 – 1900

  • Steam powered printing launches a new media era
  • The “Penny Press” – The first new media revolution
    • The US Penny Press
    • The rise and fall of the New York Sun
    • Bennett and the New York Herald
    • Greeley and the New York Tribune
    • The New York Times as the national paper of record
  • The Penny Press in Britain
    • The Daily Telegraph
    • William Stead and the Pall Mall Gazette
  • The Penny Press in France
    • The Dreyfus Affair
  • Political and Media Revolutions in Germany
  • Political revolutions of 1848
  • The Progressive era:  Crusading, yellow and tabloid journalism
  • Technological acceleration
  • The “Press Barons” of theProgressive Age
    • Crusading Journalism and Joseph Pulitzer’s World
    • SIDEBAR: Nelly Bly, Investigative Reporter
    • E.W. Scripps and the first newspaper chain
    • SIDEBAR: Bugville: Founding the Science Service
    • Yellow Journalism and William Randolph Hearst’sJournal
    • Tabloid Journalism and Alfred Harmsworth’s Daily Mail
  • SIDEBAR: Four stages of the press

Chapter 3 – Print media in the 20th

and 21st centuries

  • Theprinting revolution’s last century
  • SIDEBAR: Five stages of  printing technology
  • Ida B. Wells fought lynching in the American South and was eventually recognized as one of the foremost “muckrakers.”

    The Muckraking message 1900 – 1915

    • SIDEBAR: The Man With the Muckrake
    • SIDEBAR: Who were the Muckrakers?
  • World War I  1915 – 1920s
  • The press in the Russian Communist Revolution
  • The press in India’s non-violent revolution
  • The German press and the Nazi revolution
  • The press in World War II
  • Pressresponsibility and the 1947 Hutchins Commission
  • The press and Civil Rights
  • Vietnam, Watergate and the adversarial press
  • The Pentagon Papers and Watergate
  • Literary and Gonzo journalism
  • The story of the century: covering science and environment
  • Final decades of the printing revolution
  • The beginning of the end
  • Publishers face the digitial revolution
  • News and the web

The Nuremburg Chronicles of 1493 (Die Schedelsche Weltchronik) were a crowning achievement in the earliest years of printing and provide a fascinating glimpse into the Medieval mindset.

Section II — The Visual Revolution

  • Introduction to the Visual Revolution
  • Before photography
  • Images from the Middle East and Asia
  • Early visual communication in Europe
  • Visual communication and the press
  • Lithography allows faster, cheaper reproduction of images
  • Precursors of photography
  • Social impacts of the visual media revolution
  • Stereotypes: Injury and inspiration
  • Advertising and public relations as image-making

Chapter 4 – Photography: Giving vision to history

  • The arrival of photography
  • SIDEBAR: Historical detective work
  • A question of art and copyright

    Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother"

    Photographer Dorothea Lange approached the subject of her famous Migrant Mother portrait in California in 1936 “as if drawn by a magnet.”

  • Making photography art:  Pictorialism
  • Photography made easy
  • Social change and photography
  • Photographic magazines
  • The corner of her eye: Dorothea Lange
  • Parks and other Life Magazine photographers
  • Twentieth Century war photographers
  • Ghandi and Iwo Jima photographs
  • Conservation and environmental photography
  • Photography and ethics
  • Digital photography
  • Democratizing impact of digital photography
  • The future of photography

Chapter 5 – Motion pictures, dream factories and popcorn palaces

  • Introduction
  • The new theater
  • The Edison “trust”
  • MPAA Code
  • The silent film era
  • SIDEBAR: Charlie Chaplin and super celebrity

    MARXISTS — Chico, Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo — Hollywood stars who made the transition from vaudeville in the 1930s.

  • The end of the silent film era
  • The golden age of Hollywood
  • SIDEBAR: Chaos on the set
  • Animation and the cinema
  • Propaganda films
  • Fighting Fascism with film
  • Postwar film industry
  • HUAC hearings into Hollywood Communism
  • Movies bring empathy to the racial divide
  • The seductive, volcanic sixties: Antiheroes and social themes
  • Special effects animates blockbusters
  • Digital issues
  • International cinema
  • The end of the mass audience

The Jordan Car ad — One of the best examples of creative advertising copywriting in history.

Chapter 6 – Advertising,  public relations and the crafted image

  • Image and industry
  • Early advertising
  • P.T. Barnum and the art of ballyhoo
  • The advent of advertising agencies
  • Full service agencies: J. Walter Thompson and N.W. Ayer
  • SIDEBAR: Early models
  • Advertising and patent medicine
  • Public relations versus muckraking
  • Tobacco advertising
  • Madison Avenue goes to war
  • World War II
  • Broadcast advertising
  • Public relations and crisis communications
  • Ad agencies in the late 20th century
  • Advertising regulation: Europe and US
  • SIDEBAR: A landmark advertising and libel case
  • Corporate consolidation
  • New advertising models in the digital age
  • SIDEBAR: Trends in advertising

Section III –The Electronic Revolution

  • The significance of the electronic revolution
  • The telegraph and telephone as mass media
  • Cycles of open and closed technologies
  • Social responsibility

Samuel Morse’s “code” for the telegraph was a software workaround for a hardware problem.

Chapter 7 – The first electronic revolution:  telegraph and telephone

  • The telegraph as the first electronic network
  • Signals over distance
  • Samuel Morse and his code:the software of telegraphy
  • Telegraph ushers in a new era of communication
  • Telegraph changes writing styles
  • Telegraph changes the news business
  • United Press and International Press begin competition
  • European wire services
  • The telephone
  • Conclusion

Chapter 8 – Radio and the electronic hearth

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used radio to unite and reassure Americans during the troubled years of the Great Depression and WWII.

  • Auroras and equations
  • Like discovering a new continent
  • SIDEBAR: Radio and the titanic
  • Early radio technology
  • SIDEBAR: Christmas broadcast of 1906
  • The radio craze of the 1920s
  • Radio licensing and censorship in the 1930s
  • The golden age of radio
  • Radio and the news
  • Martian invasion panics millions
  • Censoring hate speech on radio
  • Developing a governing philosophy of broadcasting
  • Radio in World War II
  • The post-war Blue Book controversy
  • New competition for markets
  • Emergence of talk radio
  • Satellite radio
  • Internet radio and audio streaming
  • The future of radio

The Kennedy – Nixon debate of the 1960 presidential campaign is probably the first time that looks mattered greatly in a presidential campaign, but both Nixon and Kennedy addressed far more substantial issues in 1960 than modern presidential candidates.

Chapter 9 – Television: A new window on the world

  • Television embodied the dream
  • Early concepts of television
  • The FCC and the structure of post – WWII TV
  • Confrontation on television: Murrow and McCarthy
  • Sputnik builds bridges among world “archipelagos”
  • TV culture: golden age or vast wasteland?
  • Quiz show scandals
  • Vast wasteland
  • Television and the US presidency
  • Vietnam: the first living room war
  • Civil rights and television
  • The WLBT – United Church of Christ case
  • TV stars join activists
  • Social responsibility and media reform
  • Public broadcasting
  • Television advertising
  • Tobacco advertising
  • Advertising to children
  • Controversy over television violence and indecency
  • Broadcast deregulation: the end of the media reform era
  • New realities of the global village
  • Satellites increase tension between Islamic, Asian and Western cultures
  • Cable and satellite home television
  • Hard times for traditional media
  • The impact of digital networks on television
  • Broadcasting as re-tribalization

Section IV – The  Digital Revolution

Working on the ENIAC computer in 1946, operators thought of it as a very “personal” computer in the sense that they lived inside it and could see, hear and feel it working.

Chapter 10 – The advent of computers

  • Charles Babbage’s Victorian-era computer
  • Moving beyond mechanical computers
  • New frontiers for science
  • First public test of a computer
  • From tubes to transistors
  • From transistors to integrated circuits
  • Social reaction: fear of ‘1984’
  • New business cultures and the personal computer
  • Apple takes a bite out of the market
  • Apple and the curve in the road at Xerox
  • IBM, Microsoft and the clones
  • Desktop publishing and non-linear editing
  • Sun Microsystems and workstation computers
  • Apple and Microsoft in the new century
  • SIDEBAR: Computer of the future?

John Perry Barlow, author of the 1996 Declaration of Cyberspace Independence.

Chapter 11 – Networks

  • The message that changed the world
  • SIDEBAR: Early visions of a World Wide Web
  • The vision precedes the reality
  • The US Pentagon creates the first network
  • TCP/IP and the Ethernet
  • Networks expand in US, Europe
  • University-based computer networks
  • Interactivity, new technology and the mass media
  • European networks
  • The Internet takes off with ISPs
  • The arrival of the World Wide Web
  • News on the Web
  • When content was king
  • The CNN-AOL disaster
  • Browser wars
  • The long tail of the web
  • Search engines
  • Internet freedom
  • SIDEBAR: Laws of network value

Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks, insisted in 2010 that journalists using the Internet should have the same rights as newspaper and television journalists.

Chapter 12 –  Global Digital Media Culture

  • Social and collaborative media
  • The free software movement
  • Copyright and copy fights over Napster
  • Digital community commerce – eBay and Craigslist
  • From Friendster to Facebook
  • Collaborative media and Wikipedia
  • Twitter’s culture of generosity
  • Citizen and collaborative journalism
  • The future of digital media
  • Last words: technology and freedom