Media Technology and Recent History


Media Technology and Recent History (5-7 pages)

You will explore some aspect of recent mass media history from before 2001. The point of this essay is for you to do some more original historical research. Rather than relying on a history that someone else has written, you will write a brief history of your own in which you locate, pull together, and present research that illustrates something interesting about radio and the specific topic you select.

Using the library’s Proquest database ( you will find at least 12 newspaper, magazine articles or advertisements related to a specific topic in the history of either the internet or video games. To search Proquest’s historical newspapers, check the box next to “News” in the “Source Type” column. If you so wish, you may get historical newspapers from other sources as well, although check the Proquest database first. Begin your search by entering a selection of the following terms into the advanced search engine. Your articles must be dated earlier than 2001 (select this by clicking on the “Publication Date” box and selecting “before this date”).

Choose ONE of the following sets of terms for your search:

  • Internet and Advertising
  • Internet and Magazine
  • Internet and Sports
  • Internet and Education
  • Internet and Election
  • Internet and Television
  • Internet and Y2K
  • Internet and Women
  • Internet and Games
  • Internet and Children
  • Internet and Military
  • Internet and Piracy
  • Internet and Prison
  • Internet and Religion
  • Internet and Wedding
  • Video games and Violence
  • Video games and Military
  • Video games and women
  • Video games and education
  • Video games and Professional
  • Video games and Internet
  • Video game and Home
  • Video game and portable
  • Video games and crisis
  • Video games and arcade
  • Video games and art

You will use these newspaper articles as the PRIMARY SOURCES for your recent media history. Your task is to connect the various articles together in a way that tells a coherent narrative about some way in which internet and/or videogames were used or viewed in the late twentieth century.

Your task isn’t necessarily to show a particular change or development (although you may certainly include this in your essay), but rather to give an interesting picture of a recent past or forgotten moment of media use (it may be surprising to you how quickly we may seem to forget our recent media past). Additionally, you may notice similarities between how early radio was treated by the news media and how early video games or internet was treated by the news media. It is perfectly acceptable to link these together if it helps you make an interesting argument about media technologies more generally. The historical articles you find will be the evidence for your discussion so you will need to find strong pieces and spend time discussing them in your essay. Just because an article contains the terms of your search doesn’t mean it will be a good source. It needs to make a clear contribution to your discussion of the media technology on which your essay focuses. It’s your job to interpret these articles for your reader and show how they fit into the broader history you are discussing.

You will find at least one scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article that helps support your discussion in one manner or another. Your journal article can be from after 2001. This should lend to your discussion by offering additional historical context or otherwise lending added credence to your points (though the historical analysis you offer should be primarily drawn from the newspaper articles you find).