In the world we live in today, it's hard to imagine life without the presence of the mass media. The mass media in the past fifty years has gone from a national scale, to a global machine, echoing news from around the world at all times. No sooner than you hear about a hostage situation in Russia do you learn of a mushroom cloud being sited in North Korea. Yet while one hundred years ago all this may not bear any significance to the average American, in today's world of global markets and global media, it bears much more weight.
The media has gone through three stages since it's formation. In the early days of man, the media, the way news was communicated, was extremely primitive. News was spread by word of mouth, or in some cases by manuscript. This kept communications very localized, as well as the arts. The media was a small scale operation, as the ability to mass produce documents was unavailable.
With the arrival of the Gutenberg Press in 1455, the first books were able to be produced. This led to the first real boost in the pre-modern era of media. From 1455 to 1800 there was little change in the mass media. Books were printed, which led to the spread of education. Later the newspaper came about, which established daily news. All these aspects of the media revolved around a central medium; the printed word. This, along the media being restricted to localized communication, is what came to define the pre-modern era.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the modern era of mass media began. With the Industrial Revolution came new concepts of society. The former hierarchies of rulers and peasants were transformed into factory owners and factory workers. New technologies were being used...