What is the origin of the Media?

We explain the origin of the media and how inventions affected communication today.

Origin of the media
The invention of the printing press revolutionized the field of books and communication.

What is the origin of the media?

The media occupy an indispensable role in industrialized society, as forms of information circulation, opinion makers and platforms for the debate and visibility of public affairs. But they did not always exist as we understand them today.

Human beings have felt the need to communicate with others since the dawn of civilization, in fact therein lies the invention of verbal language and, later, of cave paintings and other means of primitive representation of thought.

But it would not be until the time of the great empires when, once writing was invented, that communication could become massive and constant. Hieroglyphs in Pharaonic tombs, reflections of Hellenic Greek philosophers and especially imperial edicts posted on the streets of ancient Rome are good examples of it. Of course, there were no independent media outlets yet, but generally they were advertisements from the ruling political class.

The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 revolutionized the field of books and communication, since his machine made it possible not only to mechanically replace the scribes of the Middle Ages who copied and copied a text by hand, but also made it possible to print the same text many times in a short time, to distribute it to the public.

In June 1605 this gave rise to the printing of the first newspaper, by the young John Carolus, and was called “Collection of all the distinguished news.” There he summarized the news that his network of informants transmitted to him and that until then he had copied manually.

This first newspaper was succeeded by the “WeekleyNews of London” in 1622 and in 1704 by the “Boston News-Letter”, the first newspaper of continuous circulation. Since then the proliferation of printed newspapers has been worldwide.

Other inventions would provide key technologies for the evolution of mass media. Cinema, for example, would emerge at the end of the 19th century in France, with the experiments to capture the image derived from photography, another technology in the making.

The invention of electricity, a few years later, would allow the cinema to become massive and at the same time give rise to the invention of radio in 1896, being in 1901 the first transmission of the human voice. Both inventions would revolutionize the idea of ​​communication, since man could transmit visual or sound messages throughout time and space, without being obliged to write.

Less than half a century would pass from there to the invention of television. The first television broadcasts would be from the BBC in London and in 1936 the first with programming would be thrown.

The massification of this device was another great step in the history of the media, since having a television in each house, the opportunity was born to constantly inform and entertain people in the comfort of their home, either by transmitting information previously recorded or information occurring live elsewhere on the planet.

Finally, the appearance of the Internet in the 80s and of computerized digital technologies in the 90s strengthened the communicative capacity of the human being to infinity. The ability to share information through social networks, e-mails and other cyber community formats are great contributions of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

With the Internet, mass communications also became interactive, customizable and viral., given that information consumption has become increasingly frantic. That is why more and more attention and care are given to companies and information and telecommunications technologies, as well as to the mass media; they are often seen as a major political power that competes with states and is perhaps underregulated.