Mass Communication Theory and Research: Concepts and Models
Bradley S. Greenberg Michigan State University
Michael B. Salwen University of Miami
Medieval Europeans knew, spoke, and thought about a universe within their immediate observation--a slice of land carved from the forests encompassing their villages. Few ever ventured beyond the timberland. They knew from occasional travelers that there were other villages beyond the woods. But, so little did they know of the other villages that the other villages might have well been distant planets.
The development of the printing press changed the medieval view of the world. The social consequences of the printing press were demonstrated in 1517 when Martin Luther published his 95 criticisms against the Church in Rome. He was not the first person to criticize the church. But, because his seditious writings were mass circulated, within months Europe was talking about Luther's defiant act. The Church, in kind, responded with its own attacks. Luther's criticisms ushered in the Protestant Reformation and "the first propaganda war" ( Burke, 1985, p. 118).