You are on page 1of 6


Electronic and Digital Media

Brian C. Kennedy
University of Phoenix

Mabelle Reynoso
15 May 2016

Electronic and digital media industry


Technology is the vehicle that takes inventive ideas to realization. Todays society relies
on its current technology to make life as easy as possible with ever increasing demands on time
and efficiency. As with any modern society, technology is a dynamic and ever changing concept.
Academic research is now done faster and more comprehensively than ever thanks to database
queries and the World Wide Web. Information can be accessed any time of any day from almost
anywhere a satellite connection or network WiFi connection can be made. Vehicles and smart
phones are now equipped with Global Positioning technology making paper maps essentially
defunct for the average traveler. Television and streaming entertainment have replaced outside
play time for most children. As society progresses, so does our need to make adjustments to the
way we talk and share information with each other.

Photography was one of the first major improvements in technology. In 1826, Joseph
Nicphore Nipce, a French inventor, discovered the first way to capture an image using a lens
and exposure plates. A pewter plate was used along with bitumen and other photosensitive
materials. It took eight hours in the sunlights exposure in the courtyard of his home to capture
the image of a view from his window. (Karwatka, 2007) Eventually, like most technology,
advances made it possible for more and more people to use it. 35 millimeter film gave way to
digital imagery. Now, anyone with a phone (nearly everyone in the United States) can take a
photograph instantly.

Electronic and digital media industry

Capturing and reproducing sound also advanced into a modern day convenience. Thomas
Edison was the first person to invent an audio recording 1877. The phonograph, the Latin
translation for sound writer captured sound and transferred it to a tin disc. (Lerner, 2008) A
cylinder was encased in foil and rotated as someone shouted into the end of a funnel. The
diaphragm vibrated from the sound of the persons voice, correlatively cutting into the tin and
producing the recording. The cylinder than was turned in a machine for playback that had a
needle or stylus. The needle picked up the sounds from the different depths of the grooves
producing the sound. Though primitive and hardly discernible, sound was reproduced for the first
time. (Vivian, 2013) Phonographs became lighter and larger, called records or vinyl. Eventually
those gave way to 8 Track and LP Cassette tapes which improved dynamic range and playback
length. In modern times, sound is now converted to digital data and compressed for storage and
transmission capability. First transferred to compact disc and now stored solely as digital media
for computer devices as Mp3 and Mp4 files (along with other digital formats). The transmission
of sound waves has played a major part in history and is the background of communication.

In the early 20th century, radio became a tool for military and government entities to
communicate over wide areas. Originally using shortwave technology, orders and information
could be passed along waves carrying audio. In World War II, French resistance fighters received
orders and code words from the British Broadcast Corporation over shortwave radio to
coordinate Nazi resistance efforts. Many Americans desperate for news of their loved ones
fighting in Europe and the Pacific found comfort and solace in the Fireside Chats by President

Electronic and digital media industry

Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Even in defeat, the Japanese heard the voice of their Emperor for the
first time as he addressed the Japanese people regarding Japans surrender to the United States.

Commercial radio eventually came online in the form of AM Radio, AM being the
acronym for Amplitude Modulation. Intrinsic flaws with the AM frequency band brought about
the inception of FM, or Frequency Modulation, radio. Higher clarity and increased range made
FM radio soon superior to AM. Now, radio delivers a 24 hour news cycle, public safety alerts,
advertising, and entertainment from high definition and FM radio to satellite driven broadcasts.

Todays Communication

Mass media currently uses all of these mediums to promote products, convey ideas,
policy, and entertainment. Additionally, smart phone technology and the corresponding networks
carry social networking. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other applications designed for
todays smart phone allow for real time, widely unregulated communication between individuals
and among masses. Though wildly advantageous, there does exist a dark side to this capability.
Terrorism uses these networks for the purposes of mass recruiting and coordination of violence.
The criminal element uses this as an underground network for sharing contraband media such as
child pornography and narcotics sales.

What was once a dark corner of the Internet reserved for bad behavior has found its way
into social media as well. Privacy concerns abound with new media as well. Though efforts are
always underway to protect the privacy of users, leaks and hacks occur. Simply using social

Electronic and digital media industry

media puts your information on display for any and all to see. Constitutional issues regarding the
Fourth Amendment and Tenth Amendment arise from ever emerging technology that could not
have been fathomed by our forefathers when writing the framework of our government.

Private enterprise has had to make a shift and adjust to the new conveyance of
communication through technology. The motion picture association now markets much of its
offering through satellite pay per view rather than solely to movie theaters as many consumers
prefer to remain at home to watch a motion picture. Print media is in a constant state of
adjustment trying to keep up with bloggers and podcasters delivering the same information faster
than they could print or distribute it. (Vivian, 2013)


Currently, technology seems overwhelming. Just as you feel you finally have your phone
figured out, it is obsolete. Next years model of the brand new car you just bought will do things
you never dreamed a car would or could do. Communication technology is a mirror to this. With
each new advance in the way we exchange information, there comes new challenges that must be
met head on in order to maintain our efficient and ethical trade of thought and idea. Texting has
become the new dinner conversation mode. Unfortunately, we cannot derive tone and body
language from a text and often times will misunderstand what was inferred. What we know today
with communication technology will be replaced very soon. We may not know what it will look
like, but we know it will be different.

Electronic and digital media industry


Karwatka, D. (2007). Joseph Niepce and the first photograph. Tech Directions, 67(1), 12-13.
Retrieved from

Phonograph. (2008). In K. L. Lerner & B. W. Lerner (Eds.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Science
(4th ed., Vol. 4, pp. 3289-3291). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from

Vivian, J. (2013). The Media of Mass Communication (11th ed.). Retrieved from The University
of Phoenix eBook Collection.