The Evolution of Media 

A. Michael Noll

Published 2007


This book is intended as an introduction to the evolution of communication media—past, present, and future. The book is unique in that it treats both mass media (such as radio, television, print) and interpersonal media (such as telephony, computer communication, new technologies). The first part of the book describes various media, including their history, technology, and development. The second and third parts of the book develops a taxonomy for media and then compares the various media in such terms as technological requirements, applications, and other significant dimensions. The fourth part presents a simple methodology for assisting the prediction of the success of new media products and servcies.

The objectives of the book are to introduce readers to the wide variety of communication media and also help them understand how media differ and how they have evolved. The book ranges across media, including some of the earliest and the Internet, as the most recent. Media success and failures are analyzed to draw conclusions to help develop an understanding of future media.


Communication schools are defining the field of communication media in a much broader sense to include not only conventional mass media but also interpersonal media (such as the telephone system) and new communication technologies (such as the Internet and computers). This leading edge approach will create the need for introductory texts that reflect this new definition of the field of communication media.

Business people in various sections of the communication industry need a broader introduction and understanding of the totality of communication media, along with a broad means to compare different media. This will help them develop business plans and strategies. This book satisfies this need.



1. Introduction

PART ONE: Communication Media                                   

2. The Written Word: From Printing to the Internet           

3. The World of Audio                                                           

4. Still and Moving Images                                    

PART TWO: Comparing Media                       

 5. A Taxonomy of Communication Media                                   

6. The Modality, Purpose, and Interactivity of Communication

7. Technology                                                                       

8. Consumer Perspectives                                               

9. Media Comparisons                                                           

10. Bandwidth                                                                       

PART THREE: Analyzing Media                                               

 11. Services                                                                                   

12. Computer Communication                                               

13. Content and Conduits                                                           

14. Enhancements                                                                       

15. Convergence                                                                       

16. Industry Structure                                                           

PART FOUR: Thinking Strategically                                   

17. Five Factors for Shaping the Future                                               

18. Historical Perspectives                                                           

19. Examples                                                                                   

 APPENDIX: Technology Tutorial                                   


Published in 2007 by Rowman & Littlefield, Publishers, Inc. 

ISBN Paper 0-7425-5482-1 $27.95

ISBN Hard 0-7425-5481-3 $75.00