Books As Media, An Introduction

Books As Media, an Introduction

What associations does the word media" bring to mind? Television? The Internet? Computers? Technology? Blogs? Advertising? Movies? Radio? Information? Maybe the nightly news? Maybe even newspapers? But does the term "media" make you think of books?

Maybe, after some thought, you might consider books a form of media, but books are not the first thing most people think of when they hear the word "media." However, Miriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines "media" as “a medium of cultivation, conveyance, or expression…the agencies of mass communication.”  This definition is so broad that almost anything can be defined as media, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with things that we would consider “high tech,” though through the use of technology, books can be mass marketed and widely distributed just like any other form of media.

Though we don’t always think of books as media, they have the same power to entertain and educate us that television, the Internet, and movies have. Just like other forms of media, books communicate to us the norms and values of our society. Sometimes they question these norms and sometimes they support them. Just like other forms of media, books affect our thinking and our worldviews, even though we may not always realize just how they do this. In this series on Books as Media, I will be discussing books as a type of media and the ways that they affect our lives, much the same way that other forms of media do.

--Merrill Miller

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