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Electronic newspapers - history, background and development.

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Electronic newspapers - history, background and development In order to understand fully the theoretical aspects of this work and to relate this to practical field results, it is necessary to understand both the history and development of electronic newspapers and the context within which such development has taken place. The general historical context within which electronic newspapers are being developed is first examined. A brief description of the history of electronic publishing itself and some background containing details of the characteristics of electronic newspapers is followed by a review of development in the UK and a statement on their use, spread and status to date. The major characteristics of some existing UK based electronic newspapers are discussed and a comparison made with their hard copy counterparts. The chapter concludes with a review of a non-commercial leading edge example where issues of user acceptability have been uppermost in the minds of the developers. 1. The historical perspective An alternative and enlightening perspective on history (to the more usual one of "dead men and dusty dates") ...read more.


personal characteristics for credibility, and ability to invoke emotional responses in the recipients. Those who heard, as well as those who spoke were "empowered" - but were an elitist group and many neither heard nor spoke. The written and printed word Handwriting provided the first means of non-transient communication and came about for reasons such as the need to provide better and more objective record keeping. Whilst being limited in a spatial sense, the written word is not geographically constrained in the same way as during the orality epoch. However certain other characteristics are important. The sender and recipient need not be present together in either space or time. The context has no where near the same significance as it did earlier and the sender has much less control over the way in which the recipients interpret the message. Clearly there is usually little or no feedback. Paper and the printing press were the keys to the widespread use of the written word. ...read more.


Almost more powerful than the owners of the print media are the often monopolistic controllers of broadcast media who wield massive power over what is and what is not broadcast. Thus the gatekeepers continue to influence greatly the attitudes of the general public through the control over what and how news is received. Feedback is mere noise in the overall scheme of things and is indeed itself controlled by the same gatekeepers. 3. Summary The table below summarises the major characteristics of the three epochs described above. Epoch Geography / Sphere of influence Delivery of message Relation-ships Feedback Control Orality Local Real time One to one; one to many Real time; difficult to suppress Little Written / Printed word Constrained by language Non-real time One to many Non-real time; one to one - invisible, inaudible Little early in epoch; monopolistic tendencies later Electronic media Global - visually; constrained by language orally Real time One to many Non-real time - invisible, inaudible Largely monopolistic ...read more.

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