Summary: Media critics have long focused on the content and form of verbal and nonverbal communication, while for the most part neglecting what traditionally has been considered a technical issue--how messages are produced or formatted in the various media. Filling a significant void in the literature, this book shows how criticism changes when the medium of transmission is taken into account. The authors eschew the notion of communication technologies as neutral conduits, de ...show morepicting them instead as active and creative determinants of meaning. Three specific technological cultures that historically have defined human communication are identified--the oral, the literate, and the electronic--and their structural features and social implications are examined. Highlighted throughout are ways that media criticism may serve as a basis for assessing, evaluating, and responding to the effects of communication technologies upon what we know and how we experience the world.