Media (communication)

A medium (. Lat.: medium = middle, center, AltGr Méson μέσov: Intermediate, also public, common good, public footpath ) is the new understanding in mediating a general sense. The word " medium " in everyday language can often be equated with means of communication. In media theory, media philosophy and media studies, a large number of developed concepts with different objectives.

The plural media is used around since the 1980s, for the totality of all means of communication and communication organizations and upset with slogans such as media culture to interdisciplinary issues between technical, economic, legal, social or psychological issues to.

  • 3.1 Georg Rückriem

Conceptual history

The term medium has a checkered history and has been around in the aesthetics, the physics used in different ways (such as Aristotle or Newton ), physiology or jurisdiction. Often the speech, between which there is an interplay that is understood as communication of a conjunction of several elements. This raises the question of whether a definition does not restrict too much the varied meanings.

An older pre-scientific concept of media up to about the end of the 18th century referring to magical mediation (or, more sober: recruitment, based on an incomprehensible power or competence): A medium as a person makes contact to inaccessible worlds. The science of the early modern period, however, understood " medium " as a substance which fills a space, be it water, air or the breath of a man. The resulting in the 19th century scientific slanted media concept denoted by the totality of all carrier medium of physical and chemical processes.

It also came to light two categories of media that have to do with communication:

An extension of the concept of media brought the developed from the late 19th to early 20th century means of communication such as phonograph, Cinematograph, telegraphy and radio, as well as new reproductive and production processes in the print media. Since the end of World War II film were and after 1940 the television to mass media.

Due to the controversial slogan "The Medium is the Message" ( " The medium, the message is " transformed by a misprint on the title The Medium is the Massage, 1967) made ​​the literary theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out that the channels of information transmission may are more important than the information itself, and thus drew the attention of the contents on their often neglected mediation. In his book Understanding Media (1964 ), he defined media as extensions of the senses and claimed in this way a parallel between mass media and tools.

Current use of

Colloquially " mass medium " often considered synonymous with the term medium: This refers to communication media with a wider circulation. This is a conceptual blur what is actually described as medium: the information itself (eg, film), the technical equipment (eg, film projector, Internet) or the institutions that provide both are available ( eg. Facebook, Youtube ).

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

The writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger developed in his treatise kit to a Theory of the Media (1970 ) a socialist media theory, which deals critically with mass media. Based on Bertolt Brecht's radio theory and Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno's polemic against the culture industry, he dealt with the question of how media can contribute to the emancipation or exercise manipulation. From him the condemnation of television comes as "zero Medium".

Niklas Luhmann

A definition of communication media that requires technique, but has not directly to do with technology, comes from the sociologist Niklas Luhmann as a further development of the theory of his teacher, Talcott Parsons, who understood money and power as media. Luhmann is based on the observation: "Communication is unlikely. " Media are for him, " equipment", " improbable transformation into probable communication " are used to. He distinguishes interaction media such as voice, dissemination media such as writing ( including so-called mass media) as well as symbolically generalized communication media to which he expects in addition to Parsons the truth, art and love.

Occurs to this very general media conception at Lumann added the distinction between medium and form (according to Fritz Heider's Ding and medium and George Spencer Brown's laws of form), for example, from a command as a form in the medium of power, of so you a investigation can speak as a form in the medium of truth or of a friendly gesture as a form in the medium of love.

Harry Pross

Harry Pross tells media depending on their production and reception conditions in Group:

  • Primary media are means of human contact without elementary unit,
  • Secondary media require for their production, but not to their perception, devices,
  • Tertiary media set on the part of producers ahead as on the consumer devices.

Can be supplemented quaternary media that require devices on both sides, but not limited to mass communication or communication dissemination actions. The Internet is, for example, a medium from users in other service which requires active decisions about the use and allows some direct feedback of the user to the provider. This results in rapid and spontaneous change of assignment due to the changing Benutzungsmodi: Switch between tertiary and quaternary properties are something new to be inserted into this structure. Digitization allows the integration and mixing of the first three stages of media in the fourth. Quaternary media provide a close link mass media properties ( tertiary media), but allow for the always quick change between individualer and group speech or communication, but always under conditions which relies on both sides of the connection to devices.

Ulrich Saxer

Ulrich Saxer developed in 1998 a definition. After this media is trying to capture not only as technical artifacts, but in its social dimension. "Media are complex institutionalized systems of organized communication channels of specific performance " and are characterized by five more or less distinct features:

Jürgen Wilke

Media scholar Jürgen Wilke coined in 1999 the term medium for mass media, which have a special influence on public opinion. His interest in the specific relationship between media and influence was ironic in English, the term " German leading medium ".

Media and digitization

With the latest development, which is related to the digitization of many communication media, the Internet and the advent of social media, created over the previous meanings, a dominant concept of cultural studies.

Media Philosophy

The philosophizing about communication media since the 1990s called Media Philosophy. Pioneer since about the mid-20th century, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Jurgen Habermas and Vilém Flusser. Secondary literature by Frank Hartmann or Mike sand Bothe has established the concept of the universities. The media contemporary philosophers are about Norbert Bolz, Sybille Krämer and Dieter Mersch.

Georg Rückriem

Georg Rückriem differentiated, in contrast to the above definitions, an exchange between the concept, means and media, the media is simply a space within which the mediated means relationship is possible. " Agent" means in this context, then, to provide a tool for a purpose between two sizes. This is often an option for the purpose of utility maximization. Thus, the example above would be following the newspaper described as Stoffliches medium does not as such but as a means.

List of different definitions

  • " Exchange carrier of information" ( Horn / Kerner )
  • " Information broker between source and sink " ( Fluckiger )
  • "Media are mediators and form a sphere of mediation" ( Winkler )
  • " Complex, institutionalized systems of organized communication channels of specific performance " ( Saxer )
  • "Practical therapist ( medium ) between " guru " Therapist ( Supervisor) and target person ( target) "
  • "Invisible, not materialisierbare Information and Communication Systems" ( Rückriem )
  • " Mediating element " ( Duden )
  • " Media technology for storing, transmitting and processing information. " ( Kittler )