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Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV)

When broadcasting technologies proliferated in the 20th century, some influential theorists singled out the media platforms themselves as drivers of social change. One of the most seminal texts in this vein is Marshal McLuhan’s Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964). In it, he postulated that the message of any given medium or technology is the change it introduces into human affairs. The change may be in the scale, pace, or pattern of lived experience, and its impact is felt as the medium creates new kinds of cities, new kinds of work, and new kinds of leisure (p. 8). In this archival CBC video we hear McLuhan explain why, in a “new media” landscape, electronic man is “with it” in ways that literary man never was.

A computer network called internet (CBC Archives)

The Internet is remarkably unremarkable to most young Canadians today. In many ways, we take it for granted. This CBC news report (1993) reminds us that the Internet was mystifying to most people in the not-so-distant past. The original broadcast was aired on “Prime Time News.” You can also watch the full clip if you’d like to see the original introduction by a brunette Peter Mansbrige. Bill Cameron reports.

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Convergence Culture

The production and consumption of news are changing on many levels—in terms of technology, industry, content, social relationships—and many traditionally distinct categories now shade into one another. As Henry Jenkins (2006) argues, the digital revolution is about more than new media replacing old media – in fact, the two will increasingly interact in complex and unpredictable ways.

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Did You Know? 4.0

Some changes described by Henry Jenkins in the preceding interview are dynamically illustrated in this animated video, which was commissioned by The Economist for their Media Convergence Forum in 2009. It was created by XPLANE, Scott McLeod, Karl Fisch and Laura Bestler.

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Institutions vs. Collaboration

Large groups of people are increasingly able to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate outside of the logic of the institution. Institutions need several structures — be they economic, managerial, legal, or physical structures — whereas collaborative networks can coordinate around particular problems without many of the coordination costs. When considering new ways forward, there’s a tension around whether institutions are enablers or obstacles. Clay Shirky applies this thinking to journalism at 15:00 mins.

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Envisioning the News Ecology of the Future: Michael Schudson

Columbia University Professor Michael Schudson offers his ideas about the future of news. He argues that the emerging information ecology can, and will very likely, produce a better journalistic world. Schudson has authored several books about the history and sociology of  journalism.