This week’s lecture and readings both encompass the many definitions of ‘media ecologies’.  I thought what was most interesting about this week’s content was really, how many definitions that people could come up with.

Lance Strate describes media ecology as a study of media environments; the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication play a leading role in human affairs. Lance describes technological determinism, technological evolution, media logic, medium theory and mediology as tiers of media ecology as a whole.

Similarly, Christine Nystrom believes Lance’s description of media ecologies however adds that it extends out of media itself with human feeling, thought, value and behaviour. Although Lance argues that media ecology branches out into different theories, Christine believes that a coherent framework does not exist in which media ecologists can organise their questions or subject matters.

Media ecology’s as described by Neil Postman agrees with Nystrom’s inclusion of the human influence arguing that communication affects human perception, understanding, feeling and value and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival. Unlike Nystrom’s argument that media ecologies do not have a coherent structure, Postman believes that media ecologies serve within an environment where a complex message system imposes on a human being’s feelings, thinking and behaviour. This environment assigns roles to people and insists on our playing them.

Kate Milberry agrees with all of the above, describing media ecologies as a medium, where technology within human culture grows, giving form to its politics, ideologies and social organisation. She describes media ecology as an environment that has an explicit concern for their evolution, effects and forms. She argues that media ecologies do not exist through media and technology alone but also through human influences such as borrowing resources from academic disciplines such as linguistics, semiotics and cultural studies. She argues the difference between the study of media ecologies and communication studies; media ecologies focuses on the intergration, interdependence and dynamism of media and technology within human affairs.

Therefore, media ecologies aims to explore the cultural consequences of how media changes and as an extension changes us over time.

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