The Power of Media in the Digital Age Essay examples

The Power of Media in the Digital Age Essay examples

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The Power of Media in the Digital Age

   Across from my old high school, where once a pool hall

seduced us away from classes, there is now a trendy bar and grill frequented by the

recently-graduated. I visited this establishment to reflect upon the nature of media,

culture and what it means to be literate in the 21st century. The implications for teachers,

libraries and society in general may be daunting, but they hint at excitement, too.

There I was, an English major, a man of the book as it were, all ready to

cast aspersions left, right and center at these clearly illiterate, shallow young hipsters.

Within sight of my old high school library, I was ready to join the crowd of experts

and decry the decay of our culture, the inevitable devolution to a monosyllabic, non-

print bunch of video heads. This was culture at its lowest brow, with no concept of

canonical values or the means to access them. Media shaped these minds and what a

mess had been made. Such doom and gloom scenarios are common enough. Fortunately,

I paused and took a slightly deeper look at what I was really seeing.


The room featured eight television sets, three of them nearly theatre size, with no two

featuring the same show. There were a few sporting events, CNN Headline News on

one, at least two different music videos, while a number of the sets were broadcasting

an interactive trivia game played by patrons on small portable keyboards. Sprinkled

throughout the bar were a variety of entertainment newspapers, some magazines and

at least one person was reading a book in the relative solitude of a corner. People

talked with others around them and interspers...

... middle of paper ...

...the media-cultural soup around them to

worry about what is media and culture. The question of literacy in the face of such

change is still up in the air at this time, but is worthy of further discussion. Digital

media, however, continue to be the major shapers of the path of our culture. We can

argue that the bus is going too fast, but we do not necessarily want to make this

observation from behind in a cloud of dust at the stop.



Works Cited

Ayer, Pico. "History? Education? Zap! Pow! Cut!". Echoes 12. Toronto:

Oxford UP. 2002

Burke, James. The Knowledge Web. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1999

De Kerckhove, Derrick. The Skin of Culture. Toronto: Somerville House. 1995

Manguel, Alberto. A History of Reading. New York: Penguin Books. 1996

Postman, Neil. Technopoly. New York: Vintage Books. 1993


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