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Communication Technology: The Impact Of The Telegraph On Society

1450 words - 6 pages

Over the course of the next two essays, we will address the factors which made the advent of the telegraph in 1876 such a deciding influence on the future prospects of the technology industry as well as the growth of communication itself. We will also observe examples of just a few of the logistical, financial and distributional processes that go into the publication of a magazine designed for controlled circulation.

Essay #1
Before the invention of the telegraph in 1844 by Samuel Morse and his colleagues, news and messages traveled at a much more laborious and protracted rate. While businesses and individuals could communicate by interpersonal communication through face-to-face conversation through face-to-face conversation or written letters or messages that were to be delivered, this was often a rather slow process, due to the fact that the entity wishing to encode the message would usually have to travel or rely on someone else to travel in order to ensure that the message would reach the receiver. One example of this is that of how reporters originally worked in the field. They covered various stories and events, however; relating and filing their stories depended upon the speed of the messenger. Consequently, news spread slowly and the public were limited to how often they could receive news. While most newspapers were published daily prior to the telegraph, the frequency of news – especially that of national news – took a long time to publish and update. As the next big event occurring after the telegraph, the Civil War was covered much more closely that previous conflicts and situations (Buckler, Hill & McKay, 2006).
The advent of the telegraph significantly impacted the immediacy of communication in the 19th century and onward and paved the way for future channels of communication to come, much like its successors. Smith (2001) compared the influential power of the telegraph and more modern inventions, stating that “The same phenomena is easily seen in the relatively recent proliferation of computers and electronic communication technology” (p. 279).
By the 1850s, predictions regarding the impact of the new medium abounded, including statements about how it would make countries further connected, how it would change politics and business and how it would make newspapers obsolete. All of the same statements were later made in the 1990s, when people were astonished at the potential of the Internet. Whatever expectations and predictions people had about the telegraph, they were right about one thing: the telegraph would be consequential over the course of history. The introduction of the telegraph had an influence in communications on a large global scale, and altered both diplomacy and society. To sum up the impact the telegraph had on the financial realm of the world, “While a British tramp freighter steamed from Calcutta to New York, a broker in London was...

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