The Early Stages of Communication

Humans have always been innovating. Today, we see innovation in the field of technology. But one of the first innovations in human history was the written language. The written language allowed people to preserve thoughts instead of relining solely on people’s memories through oral communication. The ability to use symbols to share stories between people revolutionized communication and brought people together. But, the printing press did even more to unit people.

The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the fifteenth century. The printing press revolutionized how the written word was distributed. Before, only a few people had access to books, which made them extremely pricey. Once Gutenberg’s printing press was in action, books were produced much faster, which made them more affordable. Since books became more accessible, more people became literate. This boost lead towards many advancements, ranging from the physical world to the spread of theology. The printing press made it easier for people learn more about the world around them, spurring a desire for knowledge for people of all classes. This desire started a new career- journalism. Newspapers were born. The first newspapers were subject to severe censorship by their respective governments. Despite this hinderance, the industry grew and people were enamored by the news. For the first time ever, the public had access to information that they could then form opinions on. This gave a voice to the voiceless, and gave dignity to common people. This spread of information gave the commoners, the public, the chance to speak up for themselves and ask for more from their government to give themselves a better life and set the generations after them up for a better future.

Many years after the printing press, radios became an institution in American homes. Similar to how the printing press changed the way people think, the radio inspired people to make a change and come together to share opinions and ideology. Before, people were limited to local news and connecting only to people who lived near them. With the radio, people who have never met each other were hearing the same news and were united in shared stories. The addition of the radio changed journalism as well. The radio provided an instantaneous news source, and newspapers could not compete with that kind of speed. To make up for this deficit, journalists started spicing up their stories. It also changed the face of politics. President Franklin Roosevelt used the radio to speak to the American people without the media middle man. What he called fireside chats gave him an opportunity to ease Americans during troublesome times such as the Great Depression and when he wanted to take the country to war.


The printing press and the radio are very important developments in communication because they brought information to people, which sparked a change in how people thought creating the concept of self-government. The printing press increased literacy rates and the radio brought people national news, and these two developments united people. This new united front strengthened the common people, allowing them to pave the way for a better tomorrow.


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