What are the old media?

We explain what the old media are and what these media are. In addition, what are its advantages and disadvantages.

  1. What are the old media?

The media are those instruments, devices or tools that allow a sender to send their message to be received by a receiver.

Old media, such as smoke, bugle or carrier pigeons , meant the first step in issuing a message that can be picked up by several people at the same time going beyond face-to-face communication and leaving the limits of Distance and time.

  1. What are the most important old media?

The distance was an obstacle that the stone messages failed to overcome.

Listed below are some of the oldest media. Many of them are still used today.

  • Smoke.  Smoke signals were a very old medium used to contact someone who was far away or to notify the location of the emitter.
  • Cornet. This sound instrument also allowed to overcome the distances. In general, the sound was used to call someone or warn that a problem or danger was being recorded . Formerly, instead of this musical instrument a horn was used for the same purpose.
  • Stone. Before the invention of the paper, the support that was used to overcome the passage of time when formulating a message was the stone. On it, and with other stones, signs and symbols could be captured. Because of their weight, distances were an obstacle that they failed to overcome and their content could only be interpreted by those who knew the signs used.
  • Delivery courier.  In this case, no support was used, but a person was responsible for carrying a message from one point to another and communicated the message orally.
  • Papyrus paper  This support was used to write messages, is made from an aquatic plant of the same name and was written with ink on it.
  • Pigeons In this case, the issuer used one or more pigeons to which a tube is placed on one leg, with a letter inside. The pigeons managed to cross long distances and send the message to destination.
  • Letter. In this case, a message was written on paper, placed in an envelope and the mail was responsible for organizing and sending the letters.
  • Bottle.  The sailors used this option to ask for help: they placed a message inside a bottle and threw it into the sea, hoping that someone on the shore would find it and notify the authorities.
  1. Advantages and disadvantages of the old media

Papyrus - Old Media
The papyrus remains over time, is light and easy to transport.

If these means are compared with those of today, it is clear that there are more disadvantages than advantages but at that time they were a solution for obstacles such as distance and time. The following are some advantages and disadvantages.

  • Smoke.  As an advantage it can be mentioned that it allows communicating a message bypassing the distances, it is economical and easy to do and understand. The disadvantage is that it does not allow to formulate many variants of messages and on rainy days and at night, it is not an option.
  • Cornet.  Draw distance, it is easy to use and understand and can be used day and night. The disadvantage is that, like smoke, distances have a limit and it works as far as sound goes.
  • Stone. Among its advantages we can mention that the content remains over time. The disadvantages are that it requires knowledge of the symbols embodied, so it can only be read by those who know them. In addition, they take up a lot of space and are very heavy, so distance remains an obstacle.
  • Messenger . A huge variety of messages can be sent because the content is communicated by a person and manages to overcome the limits of distance. The disadvantage is that the message does not remain in time, is subject to the memory of the person and may take time since it depends on the time it takes for the messenger to move from one point to another. Also, in times of war , if the messenger lost his life, the message did not arrive.
  • Papiro . It remains over time, is light and easy to transport. In any case, it is expensive and could only be used among those who knew the symbols embodied.
  • Palomas . They draw distances and are fast. Among its disadvantages it can be mentioned that they are expensive and require training.
  • Letter . Draw time and space, and protect privacy. Disadvantages: your shipment can be very slow.
  • Bottle . They allow you to cross the barriers of time and distance. But, among its cons is the risk that they will never reach anyone’s hands.
  1. Comparison of old and current media

Old media - Newspaper
The newspaper requires certain techniques by the issuer.

As mentioned before, the technology had a huge impact on the media . It allowed them the massiveness, as well as the instantaneity and the possibility of communicating more complete and sophisticated messages ranging from text and sounds to photographs , graphics and videos.

In this way, taking into account the complexity of the media throughout history , the German scientist Harry Pross established three categories:

  • Primary Media They are those that do not require machines. For example, the voice or the use of signs.
  • Secondary Media  They use techniques, by the one who issues the message, for their broadcast. For example, the newspaper or a brochure .
  • Tertiary Media Both (sender and receiver) require machines or devices to send and receive the message. For example, television , radio or Internet .

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