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Old and New Media,Theorizing Their Relationships in Media Historiography

Gabriele Balbi;Institute of Media and Journalism(IMeG) Faculty of Communication Sciences Universitàdella Svizzera italiana,USI;  
This paper analyzes the relationship between old and new media,one of the key questions of media studies.It presents supportive examples and reviews the scientific literature in order to formulate a general theory on the topic.The relationship between old and new media is characterized by at least 4 different,and sometimes overlapping,phases.The first is called imitation because,when a new medium enters society,it often imitates the old ones.A process of specification,secondly,happens when a new medium diversifies from the old.A third phase of change realizes when a new medium seems to overcome the old one and the latter starts imitating the new one and changing its nature in order to survive.Finally,there is also a static stage named continuity:which may explain how old and new co-exists together.Taken all together,analyses on these phases may build ground for one to understand studies on new media,history of media,and its development as whole.
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