THE NATURE OF MEDIAThirty years ago, Marshall McCluhan, the father of modern communications, wrote the immortal words, “The medium is the message.” Today I would amend that to, “The medium is the media.” Our civilization is utterly dominated by the force of media. After our own families, no influence holds greater sway in shaping the text of our being than do the media that cloak us like an electronic membrane.We all think of ourselves as unique, unlike any person past or present. Indeed, what gives human life its divine spark is the distinct quality of every individual. Yet in many ways we are all the same. The task of market analysts, pollsters, and demographers is to identify those characteristics we share, and group us accordingly. If you are in your early forties, male, Caucasian, a father of two, earn $50,000 or more, and listen to a Top 40 radio station, there are total strangers out there who know an awful lot about you.That’s because they understand a lot about your upbringing. They know you watched “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the fifties, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in the sixties, “Saturday Night Live” in the seventies, became environmentally conscious in the… Read full this story
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