Early Innovations. Some of the early innovations that have greatly contributed to the development of media and communication include the introduction of the alphabet by the Semites circa 1500 B.C.; the ancient newspaper, Acta Diurna [Day’s Event’s] circa 60 B.C.; the introduction of moveable type printing press in Germany by Johannes Gutenberg circa 1446 A.D.; and the increased printing of books and pamphlets in the 1500s due to the moveable type printing press (Indiana Department of Education, 2008). All of these early events set the platform for mass communication as we know it to be today.
Colonial Era and Early Republic Years. Between the years 1600 A.D. and 1800 A.D., media and communication efforts were great in the colonies and early America. In 1638 the Puritans, a group of English Protestants who left their homeland in search of reform of the Church of England, established the Cambridge Press in Boston, Massachusetts (Cambridge Historical Society, 2012). In 1690 A.D., fifty-two years after the Cambridge Press was established in Boston, a man by the name of Ben Harris printed the first Colonial newspaper entitled “Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestic” (Roden, 1905). This was extremely important in the history of Mass Communications because for the first time, there was an efficient way to get information regarding the goings-on of the Colonies and issues from afar circulated to the masses. Moving ahead to 1731, Ben Franklin founds the first public library. Since books were still too expensive for most people of that time, this was a great way to share information with the masses (Indiana Department of Education, 2008).
Telegraph Era and the Start of the Industrial Revolution. On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse sends the very first telegraphic message “What hath God wrought?” from Washington D.C. to Baltimore Maryland (Bellis, n.d.). This event could be considered the very first text message or Email ever! This technology was used a few months later to capture a man who was accused of murdering his mistress. He escaped, but his description was telegraphed to officers in London and he was arrested upon his arrival. Another major event of this time occurred in 1876. Alexander Graham bell invented the telephone, which is still of extreme importance for Mass Communications and media purposes. Less than 20 years later, a man by the name of Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio and Congress established the Government Printing Office (Indiana Department of Education, 2008).
Golden ages of TV and Movies. In 1927, American Engineer, Philo Farnsworth transmitted the first television image, a dollar sign. , which lead to black-and-white television sets becoming a part of the average American home in the 1950s.
The Cold War Decade. In 1969, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), a branch of the military created to develop top secret weapons during the Cold War, developed ARPAnet, a predecessor of the Internet. “ Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol)” (Bellis, n.d.).
Cable TV, Digital explosion, and Media Convergence. The 1970s saw the development of Email and more progress with the internet. In 1980 the first online newspaper, Columbus Dispatch, was introduced as well as the 24-hour news station CNN (Indiana Department of Education, 2008). Later, Microsoft Windows was launched and Compaq introduced the first laptop computer. All of these events are significant to the media today. The 1990s and 2000s saw the introduction of Microsoft Internet Explorer, news blogs, and cell phone use and cellular technology.
How do messages