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Understanding New Media

Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition


Robert K. Logan

Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions that the Internet would become a «global village,» making us more interconnected than television; the closing of the gap between consumers and producers; the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication; and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression «the medium is the message.» These predictions form the genesis of this updated volume by Robert K. Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In this second edition of Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates McLuhan’s Understanding Media to analyze the «new media» McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. The book is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media.
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Chapter 21. Press (or Newspapers) and the News


← 184 | 185 →

· 21 ·


Content and extension: The content of the press or newspapers is the printed word and photographs and hence this hybrid medium extends the mind and the eye.

Cascade: The cascade is from two different sources, one from photographic images (Chapter 20) and one from the printed word (Chapter 18) to the newspaper.

LOM: The daily newspaper enhances current events, obsolesces yesterday’s news, retrieves gossip, and reverses into spin and the manipulation of the truth by vested interests and political actors.

21.1  Impact of “New Media” on the News

In describing the impact of the “new media” on the press or newspapers we will discover that some of the transformations of print news also apply to broadcast news, so we have therefore expanded the range of discussion of this chapter beyond that of McLuhan’s original treatment. When we come to the ← 185 | 186 → chapters on radio and television we will not repeat our analysis of the news presented by radio and TV but deal with the other issues surrounding these two media.

Since both newspapers and broadcast news create Web sites as part of their service offering these two types of news organizations are more closely connected than they were in 1964 when UM first appeared. We will defer our discussion of a third news outlet, namely blogs or Web logs, to Chapter 44, after we...

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