Endangered Species of the Media World


This article originally appeared in Issue# 32

Peoples of all cultures have developed, over centuries, patterns and forms of communication that embrace specific values and have had an important socializing effect.

Such structured forms of traditional communication range from the proverb (often the repository of a people's accumulated wisdom) to children's games (unique examples of total communication), adults' plays (in which relationships are not only established, but also changed), jokes and riddles (as a respite from taking ourselves too seriously) and communal singing and music making (whereby sound envelops an entire group like a mystical bond).

All these and other forms of traditional communication are now under threat. In some countries mass media have already largely displaced them. The larger our media grow, the more important traditional communication becomes. It is an essential counter measure in this age of passive media consumerism.