Media Taxonomy

With this taxonomy, I was attempting to present the different characteristic of the different media, their similarities, and the ability for the media to be varied in themselves. I grouped each set of media based on similarities in the media that make up one of their primary components. Speech and writing rely on the use of language to create the medium, while video games and the internet are media solely found on computers of one form or another.

Each of the Parameters chosen provides information on different aspects of the media. Two parameters that should be mentioned are the entertainment and artistic examples. One might object to differentiating media into these two components, but it gives insight into how the medium is used and how the medium uses others. In the artistic examples, you find how artists in the medium use it to give transmit their personal ideas and opinions. The entertainment examples on the other hand show how the medium is used by the receivers to hear what they want to hear. The person creating in the medium is not giving his own personal ideas in this case but the ideas that he thinks will resonate the best with his audience. Obviously these two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but I attempted to give examples that were clearly one or the other.

This taxonomy provides differences but is also meant to show similarities in media. The two addition of video games and the internet to what otherwise is a very traditional list of media is trying to show new emerging forms of communication that up until recently are not seen in the same light as the others on the list. Recent news coverage concerning video games is still portraying the medium as a demonic tool that corrupts our youth. However, similar articles were written about the cinema when it was first emerging as a prominent form of media. Hopefully this taxonomy shows such similarities, and possibilities for use of these media so that future media will not be portrayed in this fashion.

Philip Veith
Winter 2004