Hisotry of International Media & TODAY

Most often, media is defined as a way of communication or expressing thoughts and ideals. Over time, the media has impacted the world and history as we see it. History consisting of past events and human interactions is referred to on a daily basis for insight of the past and potential future. Without media we would be unable to refer to various aspects of our past. Media has taken a variety of forms; beginning at first through oral tradition and vocally media was spread through communication, overtime it developed into written word and eventually broadcast and the internet. With such large expansions of media, what holes in education and communication still exist?

3500 BCE

marked the first development of the alphabet with the Phoenicians. Around the same time, Egyptians developed the pictographic form of communication called hieroglyphics.

In 1775 BCE

the Greeks were the first to use an alphabet similar to modern day in that it was read from left to right and was also phonetic.


Archimedes. Greek physics, astronomy, mathematics.


Although forms of communication and media have existed since before 3500 BC, that does not mean that the world was able to communicate in the more fluid way that we do now. Because of these blockades of communication, early thought and teachings have been divided for many years. One aspect of culture that has been distinctly divided is the notion of science and its origin. David Pingree argues that as the Western world has developed technologically, it has neglected the education and advancements in communication and information brought to us by the Eastern world since the conception of media. He calls those who are unwilling to take these teachings into fair account “Hellenophiles,” or those who are obsessed with Greek and European sciences.”Hellenophile suffers from a form of madness that blinds him or her to historical truth and creates in the imagination the idea that one of several false propositions is true. The first of these is that the Greeks invented science; the second is that they discovered a way to truth, the scientific method, that we are now successfully following; the third is that the only real sciences are those that began in Greece; and the fourth (and last?) is that the true definition of science is adumbrated by the Greeks, but never fully understood or utilized by them.”  (Pingree 555)

Pingree’s argument relates to media in the sense that even today, juxtaposed with segregated regions of the past as a result of non-communication, the same trends of exclusivity and ignorance in a realm as important as science media is still prevalent.

“Western Hellenophiles are still living in the miasma that permeated Europe until the nineteenth century, before the discovery of Sanskrit and the cracking of cuneiform destroyed such ethnocentric rubbish; such persons has simply not been exposed to the knowledge they would need to arrive at a more balanced judgement.” (Pingree)

Pingree’s work, “Cultures of Ancient Science” reminds us that early communication varied between continents and regions such as India, China, Europe and Africa, just to name a few. Advancements were made in language, arts and sciences, with distinctly different modes of media communication. Ancient communication was limited in the sense that sharing techniques and trade were not as developed as today with the internet and print media. Pingree’s point begs the question, even with mass media and the boom of the internet, there is still a segregated framework in the way that education is communicated in the bubble of ethnocentrism.

Al-Khwarizmi (contributions to MATH, algebra, lattice multiplication method, contributions to astronomy based on methods from India.)
Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi

1270 BCE.
The first record of an encyclopedia was in Syria

From 500-170 BCE,

the Egyptians also developed Papyrus rolls, which were portable writing services made from dried reeds.

It was not until 105 CE

that China began to use paper and ink as we know it. The Chinese were also the first ones that invented the first wooden printing press in 305 CE.


was when newspapers began to show up in Europe. Five years later, Johann Von Gutenberg invented the printing press with a movable type.

In 1560,

the camera obscura was invented. It was a primitive type of image making as it was a simple pinhole camera.


was when Claude Chappe invented the long distance telegraph that could transmit written as well as image messages.

Samuel Morse invented the Morse code in 1835, completely changing the way messages were encoded.

The United States established the Pony Express in 1861 and it was the first type of postal service they had developed.

The last major means of communication before the radio was the telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.

In the 20th century

a new aspect of technology and communication was developed, the radio and television. By 1933, two-thirds of American homes had at least one radio, twice as many as those with telephones. Today it is said about 96% of all households have at least one television set.

People used these television sets to not only entertain one another but also learn of the news and happenings around them.

Tim Berners-Lee, creator

The internet became an international phenomenon in 1988. It began to spread from the west to the east. Starting from the United States, to Europe, then Asia, Africa, and Latin America regions. In the 1990’s the internet picked up popularity and a division between countries that adopted internet, and those that did not existed. This became known as the digital divide. The use of internet had grown exponentially and then laws of governing the medium began. Social media became a subcategory of internet that has picked up popularity. A contemporary example of using social media to produce social change, is the uprising in the Middle Eastern regions. In this revolution, middle eastern rebels organized meetups and protests through Twitter and Facebook.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s