• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book offers an introduction to communication theory that is appropriate to our post-broadcast, interactive media environment. The author contrasts the 'first media age' of broadcast with the 'second media age' of interactivity. Communication Theory argues that the different kinds of communication dynamics found in cyberspace demand a reassessment of the methodologies used to explore media, as well as new understandings of the concepts of interaction and community (virtual communities and broadcast communities).

Theories of Broadcast Media
Theories of broadcast media

It is not possible to understand the central dynamics of network communication, or why the second media age thesis has become an orthodoxy, without understanding the nature of broadcast as a medium. In fact, as we shall see, the two communicative forms can be argued to be, in the contemporary period, mutually constitutive. That is, I argue, they are mutually related in their practical reality and are also related therefore in how we should understand them.

Understanding broadcast and network as distinct communicative architectures also entails making some fundamental distinctions about the kinds of communication effects which are internal to them. The distinction between ‘transmission’ versus ‘ritual’ communication is one which provides a useful way of classifying the different ...

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