Academic journal article Journalism History

Media Convergence

Academic journal article Journalism History

Media Convergence

Article excerpt

"Media Convergence." Princeton, NJ: Films for The Humanities and Sciences, 1998. 28 min. color.

"Media Convergence" is an uneven effort. This production sometimes provides cogent passages on the history of various personal and mass media. Too often, though, it drifts into generalities. It might be of use to instructors in introductory telecommunications courses, but specific segments rather than the entire program would have to be screened. Instructors in media history courses will face the same constraint.

The program concentrates on different aspects of convergence. Producer David P. Stone begins, properly enough, with an introductory overview of several sources talking about the significance of media convergence. One thinks that media convergence will be a strong theme, perhaps taking a historical look at how media forms have bumped into one another, supplanted roles, and found niches. Instead, the video takes a jarring jump backwards to the beginning of the industrial revolution. The documentary then is forced into a four-segment format, highlighted by a full-page graphic announcing that topic: telephone, computers, the internet, and computer-mediated communication.

A segment about telephones is mislabeled because it deals with both broadcasting and telephones. This segment does have merit, though, and raised interesting observations about pre-computer telecommunications. …

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