Communication, media

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How has communication changed in the last fifty years?[editovat]

Fifty years ago, only limited number of households owned a telephone. Therefore, public telephone kiosks or telephones available in the post offices were commonly used, especially in rural areas. Telephones were also much more inconvenient to use, especially since wireless receivers didn't exist and it was necessary to stay near to the apparatus for the whole time of a phone call. Phone calls were also relatively expensive, particularly in case of long-distance calls (usually all calls to areas outside of a given city). All these factors contributed to common use of letters in communication.

During the last 50 years, the following new technologies were developed, which made long-distance communication considerably easier:

  • Electronic mail – method of exchanging messages between people using electronic devices. The first standards for encoding emails were published during the age of first experiments with computer networks in 1973 and were originally used by ARPANET. Email operates across computer networks, which today is primarily the Internet. Today's email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver, and store messages. The users need to connect only briefly in order to allow the mail server to deliver the message.
  • Mobile phones – portable telephones that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provide access to the worldwide telephone network. The first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing approximately 2 kilograms. In 1979, the first cellular network was launched in Japan and in 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x became the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. Modern day smartphones support a variety of services, such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, business applications, video games, and digital photography.
  • SMS – text messaging service component of most telephone, World Wide Web, and mobile device systems. It uses standardized communication protocols to enable mobile devices to exchange short text messages. SMS was the most widely used data application, with an estimated 3.5 billion active users, or about 80% of all mobile subscribers, at the end of 2010.
  • Social networking services – web application that people use to build social networks or social relations with other people who share a similar personal or career interest, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. Most social-network services provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as by e-mail, by instant messaging and through on-line forums. Some of the most popular social networking services are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or VKontakte.
  • Online chat – a group of services that offer a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver. Chat messages are generally short in order to enable other participants to respond quickly. Thereby, a feeling similar to a spoken conversation is created, which distinguishes chatting from other text-based online communication forms such as Internet forums and email.

Spreading the news[editovat]

  • News is information about current events. Today, the media companies use modern technologies to bring current events into consumers' homes as the event occurs. Events that used to take hours or days to became common knowledge in towns or in nations are fed immediately to consumers via radio, television, and the Internet. News can be provided through different communication media:
    • Newspaper – periodical publication containing information about current events. Most newspapers are businesses, and they pay their expenses with a mixture of subscription revenue, newsstand sales, and advertising revenue. Newspapers have traditionally been published in print (usually on cheap, low-grade paper called newsprint). However, today most newspapers are also published on websites as on-line newspapers, and some have even abandoned their print versions entirely.
    • Radio broadcasting – transmission of audio by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. The news are usually broadcasted regularly by most of the radio stations. Some broadcasting stations may also have a format of all-news radio, which is devoted entirely to the discussion and broadcast of news.
    • Television – most TV channels offer a news program. News is typically reported in a series of individual stories that are presented by one or more anchors. A news program can include live or recorded interviews by field reporters, expert opinions and other content. Modern day news programs, especially those of commercial networks, tend to become less oriented on hard news and often regularly include humorous reports as the last items on their newscasts.
    • Internet – Internet is nowadays one of the most important way of spreading news. Most of the current day media companies publish their own on-line newspaper which are quickly accessible to anyone equipped with a device with Internet connection. Fewer barriers to entry, lowered distribution costs, and diverse computer networking technologies have led to the widespread practice of digital journalism. It has democratized the flow of information that was previously controlled by traditional media including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Internet has also allowed existence of collaborative journalism where multiple reporters report on and contribute news items to a news story together. The most known examples of collaborative journalism sites are Wikinews and WikiTribune.

TV, radio, Internet – positives and negatives[editovat]

  • TV
    • Positives
      • Universally available form of entertainment
    • Negatives
      • Limited availability (especially while traveling)
      • Limited choice of programmes due to firmly set television programming
  • Radio
    • Positives
      • Simple source of entertainment in cars, restaurants, etc.
      • Available anywhere due to handheld radio receivers (not so common nowadays)
      • Can be used for emergency communication during power outages
    • Negatives
      • Lacks visual element
      • Limited choice of programmes due to firmly set radio programming
  • Internet
    • Positives
      • One of the easiest ways to find information thanks to search engines and many sites with encyclopedic content, such as Wikipedia or fact-checked on-line Encyclopaedia Britannica
      • Available almost anywhere, can be used on widely available handheld devices
      • One of the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to communicate with friends, relatives...
      • Ideal resource for free education since many high-profile universities publish their lectures on-line (edX). There is also a number of sites with tutorials or interactive exercises designed to educate users in programming, foreign languages and other areas.
      • Provides simple tools to share files and other content using file hosting services
      • Allows direct feedback from consumers
      • Its decentralization makes censorship difficult, there are many tools to bypass government's restrictions (VPN, Tor) – important for liberty
      • Allows anyone to run their own website or blog with minimum to none expenses
    • Negatives
      • Its decentralization makes removal of inappropriate or illegal content hard or impossible, can be used for criminal activities
      • It can create an addiction
      • It can be used to spread malicious software

Writing letters × e-mails × telephone[editovat]

  • Writing letters
    • Positives
      • Their delivery can be easily confirmed.
      • They might be seen as more official than e-mails or phone calls.
    • Negatives
      • They can take a long time to deliver.
      • They have to be put into a mailbox or personally delivered to a post office.
      • They can't contain longer annexes.
      • It is necessary to pay for their delivery.
  • E-mails
    • Positives
      • They can be conveniently sent from home.
      • Any text or binary file can be attached to them as long as it is reasonably small.
      • Their content can be encrypted (ProtonMail).
      • They are delivered almost instantly.
      • They are for free and can be sent any time.
    • Negatives
      • They are less personal than phone calls.
      • They are unsuitable for real-time communication.
      • They may contain malicious software.
  • Phone calls via telephone
    • Positives
      • They allow real-time communication.
    • Negatives
      • They are chargeable.
      • The called person needs to be at home.